Due to many factors, you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce. Once this decision has been made, many questions are probably swirling around your head as you step into the unknown.

One of the major questions that people tend to ask is how long it may take. A divorce is a difficult process and the duration can vary due to many factors. Here is a look at the laws and situations in Utah that can affect the length of your divorce.

Laws

There are certain laws in the state of Utah that will contribute to the duration of your divorce. First, there are residency laws. You or your spouse has to reside in a county in Utah for at least three months before filing for a divorce. In some child custody situations, the child must live with at least one of the parents in Utah for at least six months.

There is a divorce waiting period in Utah. Once a divorce has been filed, there must be a 30-day waiting period before it can become official. In extraordinary circumstances, this waiting period can be waived.

If there are minor children involved, divorce education classes are mandatory. Online or in-person classes are available. The petitioner has 60 days to complete these courses and the respondent, once served, has 30 days to complete these courses. If there are contested issues, a mediation session becomes mandatory to help solve these issues. This meditation session can be excused for a good cause.

Divorce Agreement and Going to Trial

There are many issues that need to be resolved in a divorce. Child custody, parent-time, alimony, and division of debt, property, and retirement benefits are examples of such issues. If a trial can be avoided and an agreement can be reached on subjects such as these, the divorce can be completed in a proper amount of time as long as both parties have complied with Utah law.

If both parties cannot come to an agreement on certain issues, the case goes to trial and the duration of the divorce will lengthen significantly. In some cases, it could take years to resolve contested cases. If minor children are involved, a child custody evaluation may be requested by the parties or mandated by the judge. There are also pretrial conferences that are conducted to make one final attempt to settle issues before going to trial. If no agreement is made, the case is taken to trial where a judge will hear from both parties. After a judge has heard both parties, he will make a judgment and sign the divorce decree. The couple is not divorced until the decree has been signed.

Conclusion

A divorce is a very complicated situation that involves two parties. The length of your divorce will vary depending on many factors. Utah laws set a mandatory waiting period for each divorce. After that waiting period, the length will depend on if it is contested or not. If the divorce is not contested, once each party has complied with Utah law, a divorce decree can be signed. If the divorce is contested and goes to trial, it could take up to several years to have a divorce decree signed.