Are you and your spouse having problems? Are you considering divorce? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may be surprised to learn that there are alternatives to traditional and often contentious divorce. For many couples who wish to separate, uncontested divorce is the answer.
Yet for others, the following alternatives are more appropriate:
If you and your spouse are having problems, but you are not ready for divorce, separation may be a more suitable option. Separation is also good for couples who wish to retain the financial and insurance benefits of being married.
One of the features that make mediation so attractive to couples who wish to divorce is the fact that it takes place in a relaxing environment, instead of a courtroom. Mediation also relies on the assistance of a third party mediator. This person helps couples stay focused on the issues at hand, but also acts neutrally. The process of mediation takes place over several short sessions where couples work at coming to mutually beneficial terms. Mediation is more cost-effective and less time-consuming than traditional divorce.
A large number of couples who wish to dissolve their marriage are turning to collaborative divorce. At first glance, it appears similar to mediation. It deviates from mediation by relying on a participation agreement. This agreement binds each spouse and his or her respective attorney from taking legal action. If the collaborative process fails, the legal counsel of each party must resign and each spouse must retain new counsel for litigation.
An annulment might also be an option if you qualify.
Understanding ‘Equitable Division of Property’ in Utah
Like in most other states, Utah law calls for the equitable division of marital property when a couple gets divorced. It’s important to note that “equitable” is not the same as “equal,” although it can be in some situations. The focus is on creating a property division arrangement that is fair, taking into account what each spouse contributed financially to the marriage and what each spouse needs to maintain a reasonable standard of living in the future.
Utah used to be a “common law property” state, in which the property owned by either spouse was distributed according to how the property was titled. If only one name appeared on the title, that person would receive the property outright.
An equitable division arrangement can be much more complex and takes into consideration a greater variety of factors. These include the following:
- The income of each spouse
- The property each spouse owned at the time of marriage and divorce
- Each spouse’s health and age
- One parent’s need to live in the family home or use property inside of it
- Either spouse’s potential lost pension, insurance or inheritance rights stemming from the divorce
- Whether the court awarded spousal maintenance
- Whether either spouse has a claim to marital property to which the spouse does not have the title
- The financial circumstances of each spouse coming out of the divorce
- The overall character of marital property (liquid versus non-liquid)
- Whether either spouse has purposefully wasted marital assets during the divorce
- Whether either spouse transferred marital property to other people or accounts in anticipation of divorce
- Any other factor the court believes to be relevant
Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah
If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506