Is it possible to handle my divorce outside of court?

In the state of Utah, all separating couples are afforded the opportunity to file for a contested or uncontested divorce. Although rare, an uncontested divorce would allow the couple to negotiate the terms of their separation outside of court. This means that both parties must be willing to cooperate under constructive circumstances, as this type of arrangement will not be successful if the couple could not come to an agreement about contentious issues like property division and child custody. If the separation is amicable, however, the only time that they would need to step foot in a courtroom is to obtain the final approval of a family law judge.

What should I do if my ex-spouse has stopped paying child support?

If the court has ordered your ex-spouse to pay child support, he or she is legally obligated to do so. Should your ex-spouse fail to uphold his or her end of the bargain, you would have the right to bring this to the attention of a judge. In doing so, you could rely on the court to hold the nonpaying party in civil contempt until he or she cooperates, garnish his or her wages, intercept his or her income tax refund or even place a judgment lien on his or her property — each of which would help you to secure the money that you are owed. If you think that the issue can be worked out amicably, however, this is also recommended.

Can I modify the terms of my child custody arrangement post-divorce?

Once your divorce decree has been finalized by the court, the order is legally binding. This means that you would be required to abide by the terms and conditions that have been stated therein. If you would like to change the existing child custody arrangement, however, you could seek a modification from the court. In order to do so, you would need to show that a modification would be in the best interests of the child — which could be the case if your ex-spouse has subjected your child to unsafe living conditions, for example, as a modification would result in an improvement of conditions.

What are the benefits of filing for a legal separation in Utah?

In the state of Utah, you can acquire a legal separation in one of two ways: temporary separation or separate maintenance. Temporary separation can be beneficial for couples who are planning on divorcing but want to enjoy the benefit of having court orders concerning child custody, alimony, child support and property division. Separate maintenance is a practical solution for couples who wish to live apart but would prefer not to file for divorce — usually due to religious prohibitions against it. Both can be advantageous for numerous different reasons.

My ex-spouse is trying to relocate with my children – what should I do?

If your ex-spouse is planning on relocating with your child, he or she is required to notify you of the move at least 60 days prior. This means that you should have time to challenge the proposed relocation — as long as he or she is planning on moving at least 150 miles away from your current residence. Since the other parent would not have the right to uproot the child without the approval of a judge, a hearing will be held to discuss the matter. If the judge does not think that moving is in the child’s best interests, he or she can prohibit such action.

What grounds must I have to file for divorce in Utah?

You are required to demonstrate that you have grounds to file for divorce under Utah state law. This could include anything from impotency at the time of marriage, adultery or willful desertion to habitual drunkenness, incurable insanity and cruel treatment to the extent of great bodily injury. Each of these would be fault-based ground. If you would prefer to obtain a no-fault divorce, however, you can either prove that you have been legally separated for at least three years (without cohabitation) or state that the marriage suffers from irreconcilable differences.

Have additional questions?

We have the answers.
If you would like to address specific concerns under the guidance of a divorce lawyer from Stevens & Gailey, P.C., we encourage you to contact our firm today.  We can provide you with the answers that you are looking for.