Santaquin Utah Divorce Attorney
Santaquin is located in Utah County, about seventy miles south of Salt Lake City in a picturesque and beautiful site with a view of Utah Lake and Mount Timpanogos to the north. Originally called Summit City because of its location at the summit dividing line between Utah and Juab valleys, it was settled in late 1851 by pioneers who were helping settle Payson, located about six miles to the north. Abundant water, plenty of fertile land for farming, and abundant groves of trees for firewood, fence posts, and cabin logs made this an ideal place for a community. A friendship developed between local Indian chief Guffich and Benjamin F. Johnson, leader of the original pioneers, which enabled the whites to settle peacefully in the area. By 1853 the settlement had grown sufficiently to become known as Summit Creek Precinct No. 7. Soon after, however, the Walker War broke out, and the settlers were forced to move for safety to Payson, where they remained until 1855. Around this time a fort was built according to plans furnished by architect Truman O. Angell. After its completion, the settlers moved back to the town in the spring of 1856. One night soon after resettlement Chief Guffich came secretly to warn Johnson of an impending raid by young braves, including his son Santaquin. The settlers quickly left, and when the raiders found the fort deserted Chief Guffich explained to them that the white men were good people and that the Great Spirit had warned them of the attack. It was claimed that from that day peace was made between the local Indians and the Mormon pioneers. It was decided to name the town after Guffich, but he declined the honor and asked that the settlement be named “Santaquin” for his son.
A rock schoolhouse was built in the fort in 1856. It was stoutly built and served the public for many years, still being used into the 1980s. It was not until 1896 that the first local church building was constructed, religious meetings having been conducted in the school building, which now serves as a senior citizens’ center and a veterans’ memorial hall. In addition to farming, early industries included sawmill, a flour mill, a molasses mill, and a furniture shop. A silk industry was started with the planting of mulberry trees, some of which still remain in the city. Horse and buggy were the only means of transportation available until 1875, at which time the Utah Southern Railroad completed a line to Santaquin. About that time, rich ore was discovered in the Tintic area. Several mines were discovered on Santaquin ridge, or Dry Mountain, with some copper, lead, silver, and zinc being mined; the Union Chief mine was the most prosperous. Following serious flooding in 1949, the Summit Creek Canal and Irrigation Company was given approval to construct a reservoir west of the city; on several occasions it has prevented disastrous damage to the community. A diversion dam was completed and more than 10,000 feet of concrete pipe laid in 1971, which proved to be an efficient method of conserving valuable water resources. Irrigation methods changed to sprinkling systems or drip systems, enabling farmers to efficiently irrigate land that was not level, bringing more farmland into production. Natural gas service was brought to Santaquin in 1954, and marked a major development in the modernization of the community. With the construction of the steel plant at Geneva and the rapid growth in the Provo-Orem area to the north, many fruit farmers relocated to the Santaquin area. Large orchards were planted, replacing wheat fields and pasture land. The construction of huge cold storage facilities for the fruit created many jobs in the community. Another boast to the economy and population came in 1968 with the completion of Interstate 15 through the town.
Division of Assets on Annulment of a Marriage in Santaquin
When a marriage annulment occurs, a court declares that the marriage was never legally valid to begin with. It is a procedure that dissolves a marriage and declares it null and void. The effect of an annulment is to treat the marriage as though it never happened. Annulments are generally granted by a family court judge. In many instances, an annulment is requested by only party involved, although a court is more inclined to grant the annulment when both parties request it. Regardless of who wishes to have the marriage annulled, they will need to bring an annulment action to a family court. If one party disagrees with the action, the court will hold a hearing in order to consider whether there are grounds for an annulment. Grounds for an annulment include:
• Fraud or Misrepresentation: This could occur if one party’s consent to being married was obtained by trick, or under false pretenses. An example of this would be if one party falsely tells the other party that they are not married to anyone else. If a person agrees to enter into a marriage solely because of a specific representation made by the other person, and that representation turns out to be false, a court may then grant the annulment. The party seeking the annulment on this basis must prove to the court that if not for the false representation, they would not have entered into the marriage;
• Incest, Underage, or Bigamy: If parties are closely related by blood, it may violate their state’s incest laws. Underage annulment occurs when one of the parties were underage at the time of marriage. It may also occur when one of the parties was under the age of consent to be married for their state, and there was no parental consent. Annulment as a result of bigamy results if one of the parties is married to multiple individuals. In such a case, the court would likely rule in favor of a marriage annulment; or
• Mental Impairment: In order for a marriage to be considered legal, both parties must have entered into the marriage knowingly and voluntarily. This means both parties must have been fully aware of what they were getting into. Thus, at the time of marriage, if one or both of the parties involved was sufficiently mentally impaired and was not able to knowingly consent to the marriage, an annulment may be granted. Coercion or force also qualifies as grounds for annulment as a person cannot knowingly and voluntarily consent to be married if they have been coerced or threatened into being married. Simply being dissatisfied with the marriage, or wishing it had never happened, is not enough to warrant an annulment. Annulments differ from divorce in that a divorce occurs when a legal marriage is terminated, but the fact remains that the couple was once married. That fact forms each party’s legal obligations, such as alimony or child support. When an annulment is granted, rendering the marriage void, neither party has a legal obligation to each other any longer. The two are very different, and as such, there are differences in the legal property rights and division of assets between the parties.
Since an annulment essentially renders a marriage void, there has not actually been a change in the legal status of the property of either party involved. Additionally, as annulments are generally granted a short time after the marriage, it is relatively easy for courts to determine who legally owns what property. Courts responsible for dividing assets in annulment will attempt to try to leave the couple in the same financial state as before the marriage. If the parties did not obtain any marital assets over the course of their marriage, each party will be left with whatever money and property they brought into the marriage. If the marriage is annulled after a longer period of time, the process is more complicated, as the couple likely did obtain shared property or assets during the marriage. In such cases, the court will need to decide how that property is to be divided. This is usually done by tracing the property back to its original purpose and determining which spouse purchased the property. The court will attempt to reach a fair or equitable resolution for both parties by considering the facts and circumstances in each case. A fair resolution for both parties is one that considers the specific needs of each party, including their financial needs. A court may also award temporary alimony and child support to void marriages that have gone on for some time. For example, in cases where one “spouse” depended on the other for financial support, a court may award alimony in order to restore that spouse to the financial position they occupied before the marriage that is being annulled. Child support is granted in order to protect innocent parties from being affected by the decisions of the spouses seeking annulment.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Annulment In Santaquin
• There is no minimum residence requirement. Unlike divorce, which typically requires a six-month residency before a party can bring forward a petition for dissolution, there is no such requirement in order to be granted an annulment.
• There is no required waiting period before being granted an annulment. Divorce requires parties to wait six months after filing before a final judgment will be entered. A judgment of annulment will terminate the marriage immediately.
• If an annulment of marriage is granted under the theory of fraud then grounds may be established to ignore inter-spousal property transactions that took place during the invalid marriage.
• Spousal support and attorney fees are awarded to a party who is a putative spouse i.e., a spouse who has a good faith belief that his or her marriage was actually valid but where in fact, the marriage was not valid. If a party lacks this status they will not be awarded spousal support or attorney fees.
• Establishing the grounds for an annulment is more difficult than the grounds for divorce.
• Issues or fault are highly probative in an annulment proceeding. Unlike divorce, where fault is not an issue, in an annulment proceeding fault can have a huge impact on how property is split, whether support is issued and how attorney fees are paid.
• There is no per se community property.
• If either or both parties to the invalid marriage believed in good faith that the marriage was legitimate, the court will classify the property as quasi-marital property. This has the same effect as if the property were community property.
• In order to be granted an annulment, the parties must appear in court.
Who Qualifies For An Annulment in Santaquin
In order to secure an annulment, one of the parties must meet qualification criteria. This includes:
• One person already being legally married
• Fraud (one person lied to the other person so they would consent to marriage)
• Duress (one person agreed to the marriage after being threatened)
• Incompetence (at least one person was not legally competent to agree to be married, such as mental illness or physical disability)
• Bigamy (parties are first cousins or nearer relations)
• Being underage without parental consent (17 and younger)
Things You May Not Know About Utah’s Divorce Process
• You can point fingers, but you no longer need to: In the past, Utah followed a system where you had to have a reason for your divorce. Usually, that reason put the blame squarely on one spouse’s shoulders, and that spouse received the short end of the stick during property division and other parts of the divorce. That is no longer the case. Today, divorcing spouses can claim irreconcilable differences as the grounds for their divorce, and most do. Yet, what if you have a different reason for divorce? Utah law still lists out other statutory grounds for divorce, ranging from adultery and habitual drunkenness to mental/physical cruelty, neglect and incurable insanity. You can allege one of these grounds in the divorce filing, but you may have to prove it to the court.
• Utah requires you to wait to get divorced: There are two potential “waiting” periods. First, you or your spouse must have lived in your county in Utah for at least three months prior to filing for divorce in that county. If you have met that residency requirement, you can usually expect your divorce to take at least an additional three months. Under Utah’s family law, you typically must wait 90 days between filing your divorce petition and receiving a divorce decree. Spouses must show extraordinary circumstances to waive this 90-day waiting period.
• If you have minor children, you’ll be going back to school: Parents of minor children are required to attend two classes before they receive their divorce decree: a divorce education class and a divorce orientation class; however, they can both be completed during one three-hour block of time. In fact, you must attend the orientation course before the court will grant a motion you make for temporary orders.
• If you and your spouse disagree about something in your divorce, get ready for mediation: Utah courts require parties to attend at least one session of mediation if there are any contested issues in a divorce. You and your spouse will need to find and pay for a mediator to meet this requirement. You can avoid this requirement if you and your spouse can come to an agreement on all of the issues of your divorce. You may also ask the court to waive mediation if you have good cause to do so. For example, courts often dismiss the mediation requirement if one party feels unsafe in the presence of the other party.
• You may be able to convince a judge you are married (even though you never had that ceremony): While Utah does not have common law marriage; you may be able to ask the court to declare your relationship a marriage in order to get a court-ordered divorce. You will need to show:
You are both of legal age and capable of entering into a marriage
You have acted as though you were married, including living together
You present your relationship to the public in a way that makes them believe you are married
You both consent to the marriage designation
The divorce process is complicated, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a nightmare. By working with an experienced lawyer, finding ways to minimize conflict and taking it one step at a time, you can set the stage for a better tomorrow.
Santaquin Utah Divorce Lawyer
When you need to get divorced or modify a divorce in Santaquin Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506