Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Steps in the Utah divorce process

The decision to divorce can be an overwhelming one, as couples contemplate a different future than the one they may have planned. The family law process provides important resources to help divorcing couples navigate both their divorce and the future following divorce. The divorce process begins when the spouse petitioning for the divorce files the necessary documents to initiate the divorce process.

The documents are then served on the other spouse who then responds with an answer to the divorce petition filed by the other spouse. The responding party has 21 days if served in Utah and 30 days if served outside of Utah to respond. In Utah, there is a 90-day waiting period for a divorce which may be waived in extraordinary circumstances. Once the petition for divorce has been filed, several things can happen.

The parties can agree and stipulate to the terms of the divorce agreement. There is also a process if the responding party fails to answer the divorce petition which results in a default judgment. If the couple has children, they are required to attend mandatory divorce education classes. If there are contested issues, the couple is also required to attend at least one mandatory mediation session. If the couple is unable to resolve their divorce, they will go to the family law court for trial which includes a child custody evaluation and pretrial conference.

When divorcing couples understand the steps that they will go through during the divorce process, it can make the process less intimidating and smoother for them and their family. The steps involved in the divorce process are designed to help couples address their divorce-related concerns and focus on a positive future following divorce.

Source: Utah Courts, "Divorce, The divorce process," Accessed Oct. 10, 2017

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