Divorce Law in Utah
How to Find a Utah Divorce Attorney
Roseanne Barr is famous, funny, from Utah, and divorced. She and other comedians have learned to use humor to deal with pain, including the pain of divorce. It’s actually a good lesson for all of us. In fact, it’s said that every divorce survival kit should include a dose of humor.
We’ll use Roseanne’s humor to introduce the difficult topic of marriage and divorce; she’s said:
My husband and I didn’t sign a pre-nuptial agreement. We signed a mutual suicide pact.
If you are considering divorce and are researching Utah divorce lawyers, you are likely sad, highly stressed, and unsure of how to proceed. If so, we wrote this article, with a side of humor, for you.
In this article (which is based upon Utah divorce law), we’ll discuss:
- Utah specific divorce law requirements;
- What you need to know about divorce;
- Whether it’s in your best interest to hire a Utah divorce attorney;
- How to find and select a qualified lawyer; and
- How to prepare to work with your lawyer.
Utah Divorce Law Specifics
- Either you or your spouse must have lived in Utah for at least 3 months, immediately prior to the divorce filing.
- Utah law requires that grounds for divorce be stated when the divorce papers are filed. In Utah, the divorce grounds are either “no-fault” or “fault” grounds.
- Divorce filings are made in the District Court for the appropriate Judicial District.
- The spouse who files for divorce is called the “petitioner”; the other spouse is called the “respondent”.
- Property distribution will be equitable, which means, “fair”, not necessarily equal.
- Spousal support (i.e. alimony) may be awarded in some cases and child support in based upon the Income Shares Model.
What You Need to Know About Divorce
This section will help you get through divorce with your humor rejuvenated, peace of mind intact, and some money left in your pocket.
Any time you have to make a decision, go back to this advice and use it as your foundation:
- Follow your attorney’s advice.
- Understand that compromise is necessary.
- A marital agreement created by your and your spouse is almost always better than going to court.
- Everyone needs to talk and be listened to; meet with a therapist.
- Get active with friends, volunteer work, exercise, pets, and hobbies. Rent funny movies. Doing what you love and laughing is healing.
Is it in Your Best Interests to Work with a Utah Divorce Lawyer?
You have the legal right to represent yourself through a Utah divorce; you also have the legal right to perform your own brain surgery, but you likely wouldn’t try it.
How to Find and Select a Utah Divorce Attorney
Everything is online. You can easily do a virtual search for “How to Find a Utah Divorce Attorney” or ask friends and family for referrals.
It’s okay to have a conversation with potential divorce lawyers before making your selection.
Ask questions, especially about how they approach the divorce negotiation process.
- A “shark” attorney will be overly aggressive and cause increased anger, stress, and fees. You’ll likely end up going to court.
- A collaborative attorney will work assertively, yet cooperatively, to get you more of what you want (faster and at a lower fee).
It would also benefit you to ask about fees, how long the process takes, what to expect, what actions you should take right now, and how to handle any questions that arise.
How to Prepare to Work with Your Divorce Attorney
- Check each of these tasks off your list:
- Consider reconciliation.
- Consult with a therapist to deal with the emotional aspects of divorce.
- Gather financial documents.
- Make a wish list of everything you would like in the divorce (like the wish list you make when shopping for a house). Decide which wish list items are “mandatory” and which are optional.
- Make a list of questions to address with your lawyer this week.
Even if there is nothing to laugh about, laugh on credit.