Many couples go through a divorce every year; in Utah, it is called “dissolution of marriage.” Unfortunately, statistics are disappointing and say that the number of divorces is inexorably increasing. Therefore, the issue of preparation for dissolution is very relevant. Depending on the circumstances of the couple, the marriage termination may be uncontested and will finish relatively quickly and painlessly, or be contested, which will take spouses to hard litigation.
In a contested divorce, spouses will need good lawyers who will defend their interests in the courtroom. An uncontested and no-fault divorce takes place without an attorney. Spouses have the legal right to prepare all the necessary documents by their own, file them with the court, as well as protect their interests before the judge, this is called Pro Se Divorce, and it is possible only in the case of uncontested termination. In the state of Utah, uncontested divorces are popular because it is a relatively inexpensive way to end a marriage.
Each marriage dissolution begins with the fact that the petitioner files all the necessary papers with a court. Divorce documents are different depending on the circumstances of the marriage and the county. For example, a couple who does not have common minor children should not submit a form describing the type of custody and financial support of the child.
Where to get Utah divorce forms?
To find blank forms for divorce in Utah is not difficult. There are various sources where they can be taken cheap or even for free. First, in the office of the county clerk, here you can get all the necessary papers, taking into account the characteristics of your marriage. But keep in mind that the county clerk will not provide you with counseling services, such as a lawyer. Secondly, all forms can be downloaded for free from the Utah courts website. And the third way, fast and easy, is to get them through an online divorce for very little money.
What is an Online Divorce in Utah?
Online divorce is a quick and affordable way to get all the necessary documents for a divorce without a lawyer. By and large, this is an online platform where the spouse answers questions regarding his marriage. Based on these answers, the system selects the necessary forms and fill them out under the legislation, after which the finished version is provided to the claimant or both spouses. The cost of such services varies depending on the company and ranges from $150 to $400, excluding court fees. Also, many online companies provide instructions that can help spouses to terminate the marriage themselves. Online divorce in Utah is entirely legal and is an excellent alternative to lawyers, as it helps to save a significant amount on their services.
But when choosing an online divorce company, you need to be very careful. The court can accept not all online divorce papers since not all platforms provide quality services. If the documents contain errors, they will be rejected by the staff.
What divorce papers do Utah courts need?
The forms that need to be filed mainly depend on the circumstances of the dissolution, and they also may differ depending on the county. But the main list of documents that will be required by the court includes:
- Petition for Divorce – the form that the plaintiff submits intending to get a divorce. This form contains information about the parties, the main provisions of the marriage, the grounds for dissolution.
- Cover Sheet for Civil Actions – the form that identifies the plaintiff and the defendant, as well as the type of case.
- An Affidavit of Jurisdiction and Grounds for Divorce – the form that the plaintiff files and which confirms the legitimacy of the claim and the grounds for marriage dissolution.
- Affidavit of Income Verification – a document that reflects the financial position of the claimant and the defendant.
- Summons – the form by which the defendant could be subpoenaed regarding divorce case. Based on this document, the respondent must file an answer with the court.
- Notice of Hearing – the form that allows the court to set a hearing date.
- Decree of Divorce – the document that officially ends the marriage when signed by the judge.
- Notice to Submit for Entry of Decree of Divorce – a document that must be submitted by the petitioner to the clerk, indicating that all necessary filing protocols were executed.
- Acceptance of Service, Appearance, Consent, and Waiver – the form that is used only in an uncontested divorce. When both the petitioner and the defendant sign it, it means that both parties agree with all the provisions described in the Petition.
- Motion and Affidavit and Application for Waiver of Court Fees – the form in which the petitioner asks the court to cancel the filing fee for him because he is unable to pay it.
- Affidavit of Military Service – the form due to which the petitioner declares that the respondent is not a member of the military; therefore he is not protected by law from civil proceedings.
- Child Support Obligation Worksheets – a form that must be filed if the spouses have common minor children. The document describes the conditions of custody and financial support for the child.
Besides, if we are talking about an uncontested divorce, the spouses must file a settlement agreement with the court, which regulates the resolution of all disputed issues connected with a marriage termination.
What is a Settlement Agreement in a Divorce in Utah?
The settlement agreement is a part of a package of documents for an uncontested divorce. It must be prepared and signed by both spouses, and it describes how the husband and wife will resolve all the controversial issues of their termination, for example, the division of property, the distribution of custody of common children, visitation plan, whether it is necessary to pay alimony and any other question that may arise during a dissolution. The settlement agreement must be filed with the court before the final hearing. Based on this document, the judge will grant a divorce.
What are the main steps in filing for Divorce in Utah?
First, you need to prepare all the necessary documents for a divorce, after which you will need to make copies of these papers. As mentioned above, a divorce begins with the filing documents with a court; this can be done provided that at least one of the spouses is a resident of the state. This means that husband or wife must reside in Utah for at least three months prior to filing a Petition with a court with this the petitioner must pay a filing fee, which is approx $310.
After the clerk accepts the original documents for divorce, he will stamp copies. Copies must be handed over to the defendant in order for him or her to familiarize with all the papers and file an answer with the court. The defendant has this for up to 30 days. After the answer is filed, the date of the first hearing will be set (not less than 30 days from the date of the Petition for divorce was filed with the court) at which the judge can sign Decree of Divorce if the dissolution is uncontested. Until that time, the spouses must prepare a settlement agreement and also sue it.