Finding your way through Utah’s family law courts can be confusing and intimidating. By understanding the basic divorce process and common divorce laws, you can gain confidence in the courtroom and in negotiations. Utah divorce online
Step 1. Filing for Divorce
The divorce process begins when one spouse files a “Petition for Divorce.” Pursuant to Rule 8 of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, the Petition for Divorce should include a specific request for relief, as well as the grounds for such relief. The petitioning spouse need not provide evidence of wrongdoing to establish grounds for relief. Utah, along with all fifty states and the District of Columbia, recognizes no-fault divorces. Utah Code Ann. §30-3-1 permits either spouse to petition the court for divorce when there are “irreconcilable differences of the marriage.”
The court charges a filing fee, which must be paid in full at the time the divorce is initiated. Currently, the filing fee for divorce in Utah is $310.00. When the Petition for Divorce is filed, the petitioning spouse is assigned a case number, judge and commissioner. The assignment of cases is random and cannot be controlled or manipulated by attorneys or court employees.
Step 2. Serving the Petition for Divorce
Within 120 days after the divorce is filed, the Petition for Divorce must be served with a “Summons” on the opposing party. The Summons should provide the opposing party with the necessary information to respond to the Petition for Divorce. Rule 4 of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure requires the Summons to contain the name and address of the court, the parties to the action and contact information for the petitioning spouse’s attorney. The Summons should also state the time within which the opposing party is required to file an answer. Unless otherwise ordered, service of the Summons and Petition for Divorce must be made by personal service, certified mail or commercial courier service.