If you are not familiar with the divorce process in Utah, you probably think that you can get divorced within a week or two. Well, how about 60+ weeks?
As you may know, each divorce is different, which means it cannot be said that a divorce can be finalized in X number of weeks without taking all of the factors into account, and even then, divorces can get pretty unpredictable and divert from its originally predicted course quite quickly.
We asked our Salt Lake City divorce attorney from The Ault Legal to outline the timeline of an average divorce in Utah. While these time frames do not necessarily mean that your divorce will last for as long as the timeline goes, the only purpose of this divorce timeline is to illustrate the process of getting divorced in Utah as well as to help you get a better understanding of what to expect in the next X weeks of your divorce.
Week 1: You meet with your divorce lawyer in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah and provide him/her with all the facts relevant to your case.
Week 1 or 2: Your attorneys helps you prepare and file your divorce complaint. After the divorce complaint has been filed, you will have to serve your spouse with a summons and a copy of the complaint. Unless your soon-former spouse evades service of the summons, this process usually takes about a week or so. Note: failure to serve the summons to your spouse within 120 days from the date of filing the divorce complaint will result in dismissal of your complaint.
Week 2 through 5: Within 21 days from the date your spouse has been properly served the summons, your spouse must provide a written response to your divorce complaint. If your spouse chooses to file a counterclaim against you, you will have to respond within 21 days.
Week 6: If your spouse ignores your complaint or otherwise fails to respond to it within 21 days, he or she will be deemed by court as being “in default,” which will permit you to seek judgement against your spouse for failure to respond.
Week 6 through 8: Let an experienced mediation attorney in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah help you prepare your financial declaration and initial disclosures, which must be served upon your spouse. After doing do, your spouse must respond within 42 days after his or her first answer to your divorce complaint or 28 days after his/her initial appearance in the divorce action, whichever comes later.
Week 9: Your divorce enters the discovery stage, in which you and your spouse (and your divorce lawyers) will have to collect and present evidence, bring in witnesses, hear depositions, conduct mental health examinations, custody evaluations, and a wide variety of other procedures. The discovery period lasts for 180 days unless the court modifies the time period to shorten or prolong it.
Week 34 or 35: Unless you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement through divorce mediation, your divorce will be scheduled for trial. The court will schedule a date for the judge and the parties to attend preparations for the trial.
Week 43 through 47: The trial is set about 3 months.
Week 57: After the trial has been completed, the judge will have to rule his or her final verdict within 60 days.
Week 65: After the judge issues his or her final decision, he or she will direct one of the spouses to prepare a proposed draft of the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and the Decree of Divorce.
Week 66 or 67: Unless your spouse has objections to the proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and the Decree of Divorce (if so, he or she is required to respond within 7 days), the court will then issue the final Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and final Decree of Divorce.
It is highly advised to be legally represented by a Salt Lake City divorce attorney throughout the entire process. If you have any questions regarding the divorce timelines in Utah or have specific questions about your divorce, schedule a consultation with our divorce lawyers at The Ault Legal. Call at 801-539-9000 today.