Uncontested Divorce in Sandy, Utah
Divorce can be devastating; however, uncontested divorces are often less overwhelming to your finances and sanity than contested ones. Your divorce does not have to become a soap opera. Sandy Utah’s uncontested divorce process allows spouses to reach an agreement on their own and avoid the stress and anxiety associated with completing a divorce trial before a judge. The uncontested process can be relatively quick, and certainly less expensive than taking a divorce to trial. Uncontested divorces (sometimes called “quickie divorces) are an option available to divorcing Sandy Utah couples with or without children. Typically, an uncontested divorce is generally less expensive and faster than traditional divorces because you avoid the expense of attorneys, custody evaluations, and hiring experts for trial. If you and your spouse can agree on all issues regarding your divorce, including child custody, visitation, and support, then an uncontested divorce is a real option. However, if you and your spouse have unresolved divorce-related issues, then the court will require you to go through the traditional “contested” divorce process where the judge will resolve the disputed issues for you.
Request an uncontested divorce in Sandy Utah
You and your spouse must agree on all the following divorce-related topics:
• how to divide real estate and personal property from the marriage
• an allocation of your debts and assets
• child custody and visitation
• who will pay child support and how much
• whether either spouse will pay the other alimony or spousal support, and
• any other issues related to your marriage.
Utah’s uncontested divorce process allows spouses to reach an agreement on their own and avoid the stress and anxiety associated with completing a divorce trial before a judge. Whether you’re requesting a traditional or uncontested divorce in Utah, before the court can take your case, you must meet the state’s residency requirements. When you file for divorce in Sandy Utah, you must have lived in a single county in the state for at least 3 months (or 6 months if you have minor children.) If you haven’t resided in Sandy Utah long enough, you’ll need to wait until you meet the requirements before you can file your divorce. The residency requirement is a crucial part of the divorce process. If you don’t meet the requirement, the court won’t have “jurisdiction” to take your case, and the judge will dismiss it—meaning, you’ll need to start the process over from the beginning. To proceed with the uncontested divorce process, you and your spouse must agree on all divorce-related issues in your case. Additionally, if you have minor children, you must submit a notarized statement telling the court that you are either:
• not requesting child custody, child support, or spousal support, or
• that you and your spouse agree on all issues regarding child custody, child support, and alimony.
If you meet all of the above criteria, you may proceed with your uncontested divorce by filing the required forms. If you plan to file for divorce without the help of an attorney, the court expects you to submit the required paperwork in the right court. If you bring your divorce papers to the wrong court, you risk the judge dismissing your case, and you will have to re-file in the proper location. Utah’s district courts oversee divorce cases and trials. Utah has approximately 70 judges serving in the state’s eight judicial districts. Typically, you’ll submit your divorce paperwork to the court in the county where you live. If you and your spouse have separated but still reside in Utah, you can file in your county or where your spouse has lived for the past 3 months.
Preparing Divorce Forms
The Utah Courts site offers online forms for completing an uncontested divorce. The court offers the Online Court Assistance Program (OCAP) to residents without an attorney. On the website, you will need to create an OCAP account, and then you can choose which type of divorce situation applies to you and follow the instructions. The spouse who files the paperwork is the “petitioner,” and the other spouse is the “respondent.” If you don’t have access to the internet, you can request a hard copy of the required forms from your local courthouse. You must submit the following documents with your divorce paperwork:
• Civil Coversheet
• Petition for Divorce
• Vital Statistics Form/Certificate of Dissolution
• Acceptance of Service
• Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law
• Decree of Divorce
If you and your spouse have children together under the age of 18, then the following forms must be filed as well:
• Parent Identification Forms (for each spouse)
• Parenting Plan
• Child Support Worksheet
• Affidavit of Income and Compliance with Child Support Guidelines
• Financial Declarations
• Education Requirements
• Child Support Locator.
The required paperwork to complete a divorce in Sandy Utah may vary in your particular county. Check with your local court clerk for more information and to determine whether you need to file additional forms. It’s important to understand that if you don’t complete all the required documents, the court won’t accept your case until you do.
How Much Does it Cost to File for Divorce in Sandy Utah?
The cost to file for a divorce in Utah varies depending on the type of case your filing, the fees for serving your spouse with paperwork, attorney fees, and more. You can contact your local courthouse to determine the filing fee for divorce paperwork. If you can’t afford to pay the filing fees, you can submit a fee waiver to the court, asking the judge to waive all the costs with the court.
Completing Your Divorce
Sandy Utah has a mandatory 30-day waiting period to complete a divorce. Under extraordinary circumstances, the court may waive the 30-day waiting period, however, before a judge grants a divorce to parents of minor children, both spouses must complete the Divorce Education Course. If you don’t have children, the court doesn’t require you to attend a class but does encourage both spouses to utilize the resource. Utah does not require that you attend a court hearing before a judge finalizes your uncontested divorce. Instead, after you file all the required paperwork, the judge will review it for accuracy and ensure that it’s reasonable and in your children’s best interests. If the court finds that everything is in order, the judge will finalize your divorce and sign the Findings and Decree of Divorce.
How To Keep From Losing Everything In A Divorce
• Identify your assets: Before you can proceed with anything else, you need to know how much money you have and where it is. Next, clarify what’s in your name and what belongs to your spouse, including any mortgages, bank accounts, investments, and other assets. “A judge is going to care more about a good financial statement than a picture of someone going out of a motel.”
• Get copies of all your financial statements: Get everything in writing. While the court may not care about proof of your spouse’s affair, it will care about proof of your assets, so start compiling as much documentation as possible. Be careful not to rely on electronic copies. You don’t want to risk getting locked out of your information if a vindictive spouse decides to change the passwords to all of the joint accounts, so print everything out. This includes bank account statements, tax forms, brokerage firm statements, and any financial documents you’ve signed in the last few years.
• Secure some liquid assets: The last thing you want is for a petty spouse to leave you without any cash, but it happens. Church recommends taking a proactive approach: “If there’s a joint account, [you] can actually set up an account just in [your] name and move a certain amount of assets over.” Don’t wipe out the account, but make sure you have enough to cover your bills until attorneys can get involved. Otherwise, the only way to get access is to hold an emergency court hearing to get temporary child support or temporary alimony.
• Know your state’s laws: Divorce laws vary from state to state, starting with fault versus no fault states, so it’s important to know exactly what you’re walking into. If you live in a state with community property laws, you could lose half of everything that’s jointly owned in a divorce. In these states, marital assets and debts incurred by either spouse during the marriage are divided 50/50. However, separate property (anything held in only one spouse’s name, including property owned before marriage, given as a gift, or inherited) is not taken into account.
• Build a team: In addition to hiring an attorney, it’s important to have a trusted financial adviser in your corner especially if your spouse was typically the one to handle the money. Find someone that you not only trust, but who is able to explain things to you in a way that you understand.
• Decide what you want and need: “When you normally go through the divorce process, the lawyers are concerned with reaching an agreement for you to have a settlement
The Pros and Cons of Retaining an Attorney When Getting Divorced
Some pros commonly associated with hiring a divorce attorney include:
• Lawyers are Familiar With Matrimonial Law and Family Court While You, Presumably, Are Not: If you choose to represent yourself in court, you will not be given any special treatment. In other words, you will be expected to know the relevant law, to abide by all applicable civil procedures, and you will not be given any “do overs” if you make a mistake. Additionally, you will likely be going up against your spouse’s attorney in court whom, presumably, is an experienced family law attorney who knows the relevant tricks of the trade. You will be held to the same standards as this seasoned professional if you choose to represent yourself.
• A Lawyer Can Provide Objective Advice: Getting divorced is often an incredibly stressful experience and, as a result, spouses in the midst of a divorce often have a hard time seeing the big picture. This often leads spouses to make irrational decisions based on emotions that they later come to regret. An experienced family law attorney can help provide objective advice throughout this stressful process and ensure that you rationally think through each important decision that must be made during the divorce process.
• Hiring a Lawyer Take a Lot of Work and Stress Off of Your Hands: Getting divorced involves an incredible amount of paperwork. It also involves deadlines that cannot be missed and persuading the court to rule in your favor on many important issues such as child custody, spousal support, and asset division. Hiring an attorney takes a great deal of this work and stress off of your plate.
Some cons commonly associated with hiring a divorce attorney include:
• Hiring an Attorney May Cause Drama: If you blindside your spouse by hiring a divorce attorney without warning it may cause a certain amount of drama. Your spouse may think that because you’ve lawyered up you’re trying to take them to the cleaner and that you won’t act reasonably during the divorce process.
• Hiring a Lawyer Can be Pricey: Retaining a lawyer can be expensive, especially if your divorce is messy and drawn out. But, on the other hand, divorces that are messy and drawn out can often benefit the most from professional legal assistance.
Grounds For Divorce In Sandy
There are a number of grounds for divorce in Sandy, which include:
• Impotency of the respondent at the time the marriage took place
• Willful desertion for more than one year
• Willful neglect to provide the common necessities of life
• Habitual drunkenness
• Felony conviction
• Cruel treatment resulting in mental distress or bodily injury
• Incurable insanity
• Prior to filing, the respondent must have been adjudged insane by appropriate authorities in Utah or another state
• Competent witnesses must testify to the respondent’s state of incurable insanity
• Irreconcilable differences
• When spouses have lived separately under a Decree of Separate Maintenance for three years without cohabitation, in any state.
Free Initial Consultation with Sandy Utah Lawyer
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law 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