People don’t usually go into marriage expecting to get divorced and while divorce may be the right decision, it is still extremely difficult, especially when a host of emotions are involved between everyone affected by the divorce. Regardless of the circumstances, divorce is a life-changing event. Even when a divorce is amicable, there are still legal matters that need to be addressed and a divorce lawyer will help you get through the process while also looking out for your best interests.
Steps on the path to divorce or annulment
There are a number of legal steps that need to be taken before a divorce is finalized. For many people, the easier steps are filing for divorce or annulment and deciding on which grounds the divorce or annulment is based. The most common ground for divorce in Utah is “Irreconcilable Differences” which basically means the couple can’t/doesn’t want to stay married, but no blame is assigned to either party. Annulment is a little trickier and is only granted under certain circumstances such as the age of one spouse and parental consent at the time of the marriage or one spouse already being married to someone else.
In Utah, if there are minor children involved, the parties must attend a divorce orientation class and a divorce education class. If there are contested issues, the parties must attend a mediation session. The parties may ask the court for permission to waive the classes or mediation, but it’s up to the court to decide whether or not to waive these requirements.
Some of the more difficult aspects of divorce are related to the following:
- Division of property in Utah is based on fair, not equal, division. If spouses cannot agree on how their property is to be divided, a court will divide the property in a manner that it deems fair to both parties.
- Alimony/spousal support is court ordered financial support that one party pays to the other party during separation, divorce proceedings, and/or after the divorce is finalized.
- Child custody and child support are often the most strenuous and difficult elements of a divorce. Utah has child support guidelines to determine the appropriate amount of support needed for a child. How much each party pays is related to custody arrangements and each spouse’s income.
- Division of debt can be difficult as well, and if the parties cannot agree to how it will be divided, the court will divide debt in the manner it views to be most fair to both parties
After the divorce is finalized
After the divorce is finalized, there may be continued, periodic legal needs due to ongoing family law issues such as custody and support enforcement/modification and divorce decree violations.
Going through a divorce can be complicated and you need a family law expert who is advocating for your best interests. Contact Salt Lake City divorce attorney, Christopher Ault, with Ault Law Firm, P.C. to help you through the legal process of divorce. He will be get you through each necessary step during and after this life-changing event.