Getting out of your marriage is a complex and overwhelming matter, and you may have several questions about divorce. 

The knowledgeable attorneys at The Ault Firm understand this complicated process can be difficult to understand, and we want to help. Last time, we answered five commonly asked questions about divorce, and today, we are finishing up with part two.

Please remember that our answers are speaking in general terms and vary from case to case.

Find out the answers to five of the most frequently asked questions below.

Q: What is a default divorce?

A: If the respondent has not filed a response within their allotted time, the court can grant the requests of the petitioner found in the petition and sign the divorce decree. A lack of response from the respondent is a forfeiture of participation, and the court can grant a default divorce.

Q: How long is the divorce process?

A: Many factors affect the length of a divorce. Some are based on your or your spouse’s willingness to cooperate, and others are state legal requirements, such as:

Residency Requirements — Many states require that one or both spouses be residents of the state for a certain amount of time. For example, in Utah, you or your spouse must reside in a single county for at least three months immediately before filing.

Separation Requirements — Some states require you and your spouse to live separately for a certain amount of time before obtaining a divorce. These requirements range from no time to three years.

Waiting Periods — Some states require a certain amount of time between filing for divorce and court hearings. Utah’s waiting period is 30 days; others are up to 90 days.

Other Requirements — Other requirements required by some states may include mediation, counseling, parental education classes, and more.

Q: Can the waiting period be shortened?

A: With extraordinary circumstances, the court can waive mandatory waiting periods.

Q: Can I represent myself in court?

A: You are not required to hire an attorney in your divorce case, though it is highly advisable. It is important to note that if you opt to represent yourself, you are still expected to know and understand legal processes, jargon, and procedures to the extent that an attorney would. This can make your experience incredibly difficult as judges, clerks, and other court staff cannot give legal advice. Additionally, each of your legal documents is expected to be submitted correctly and on time.

An experienced family law attorney best handles the complicated matters discussed in divorce, such as property, asset, and debt division, spousal and child support, child custody, and visitation. At the very least, it is in your best interest to consult with a lawyer before settling on representing yourself.

Q: What is a collaborative divorce?

A: Similar to mediation, a collaborative divorce is a form of alternative dispute resolution where each spouse hires an attorney who attempts to reach a marital settlement agreement. This process can save the divorcing couple money. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the hired collaborative lawyers cannot represent either party in court and could increase divorce costs.

Contact The Ault Firm, P.C.

For more questions about divorce, let the knowledgeable team of attorneys at The Ault Firm help in Salt Lake City and West Jordan, Utah, help. With decades of experience and a commitment to serve and protect your best interests, our team can help you navigate this complicated process. Call to schedule your case review today!