While divorce can be a real test in the life of every person that has a devastating effect, there are still ways to dissolve a marriage relatively peacefully. Soap operas have formed the opinion that a divorce is something terrible that can leave you with nothing. But this is only partly true. Indeed, some divorces are like a real war, in which each spouse spares neither strength nor finances in order to defeat his or her almost ex. Nevertheless, in parallel with this, there is an uncontested divorce, thanks to which it is possible to dissolve a marriage peacefully and quietly, without significant financial expenses and wastage of time.
An uncontested divorce is available to couples with minor children and childless spouses. The main feature of the uncontested divorce is that both spouses want to dissolve the marriage and agree with each other regarding all differences related to their termination. By and large, this does not mean that spouses should have the same point of view. Naturally, it may be different, but the couple must find a compromise. As a result, a settlement agreement must be born, based on which the judge can grant a divorce.
When it comes to contested divorce, lots of court sessions immediately come to mind, where almost former spouses are fighting for their interests. Depending on the complexity of controversial issues and their number, a contested divorce may take a year or even more. Divorce will be granted after the judge makes decisions on all contentious issues. An uncontested divorce is a complete opposite. Divorce Decree can be signed at the first court meeting because the spouses simply have nothing to divide; they already have a settlement agreement that regulates the resolution of all disputes.
The main list of issues that spouses must resolve and reach a compromise if they want to get an uncontested divorce in Utah includes:
IIn the state of Utah, it is possible to get both fault or no-fault divorce. If we are talking about an uncontested separation, then it is natural that both spouses must agree with the reasons that led to the desire to dissolve the marriage. Usually for it are used no-fault grounds, such as “irreconcilable differences” because of which marriage can no longer exist. When these reasons are indicated in the Petition for Divorce, it means that none of the spouses is to blame for the event that the marriage was broken, and therefore there’s no need to prove the defendant’s guilt in court.
Nevertheless, an uncontested divorce means the consent of the spouses. If the relationship has broken down due to some fault reason, the claimant may indicate it in the Petition, provided that the defendant agrees with it. Fault grounds in Utah include impotence during marriage, adultery, insanity, willful desertion for more than one year, alcohol addiction, a conviction of a felony, willful neglection.
Each state has its own residency requirements for filing a divorce. And Utah is not an exception. In the state, there is a rule that is the same for both contested and uncontested divorces. The plaintiff or defendant must reside in Utah for at least three months prior to filing a petition with a court, provided that they have no common minor children or at least six months if the spouses have common minor children.
To file for divorce, the plaintiff must fill out all the necessary forms; they may differ depending on the circumstances of the divorce; however, the main list consists of:
Petition for divorce
Acceptance of service
Affidavit of Jurisdiction and Grounds
Military Service Declaration and Order
Decree of Divorce
If minor children are involved in the divorce, then Child Support Worksheet and Affidavit of Income will also be required.
The plaintiff can prepare forms in 3 different ways permitted by law:
1. Hire a lawyer to do all the paperwork. The lawyer will select all the necessary forms that match the divorce and fill them out under the requirements of the state. This is a reliable way, but it can be expensive. The average cost of such services starts from $ 600 for couples who do not have common minor children and $ 800 if children are involved in a divorce.
2. Fill out all the papers yourself. Forms can be obtained from the county clerk or downloaded from the Internet; it is absolutely free. But there is a significant risk because if the forms are filled out incorrectly, the court will reject them.
3. Use Online Divorce. Usually, it means web sites where the plaintiff answers questions about his marriage, after which the system prepares all the necessary papers based on these answers. The cost of such services is $ 150 – $ 400, depending on the company.
Before filing for divorce, the plaintiff must make sure that all disputes are resolved and a compromise is found. Spouses must also comply with the conditions of the state regarding residence. The divorce begins from the moment the plaintiff submits to the court the already completed forms, including the originals and copies. Also, when filing documents, the plaintiff will have to pay a court fee of $ 318. Copies are needed for the defendant to be notified of the beginning of the dissolution of the marriage. He or she will be given all copies through the delivery service or with the help of the sheriff. Once the defendant studied the papers, he must file a response to the court; in the case of uncontested dissolution, this is an Answer with an agreement to participate in the process. After that, the court will set a date for the hearing. The first hearing will take place no earlier than 30 days from the date when the petition for divorce was filed. Until that time, the spouses must also prepare a settlement agreement and a parenting plan, if they have common minor children and file them with a court.