Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

A review of Utah's grounds for divorce

Any person who chooses to end their marriage may have their own rationale for why they believe that their life will be better as a single person. However, to secure a divorce, a person must alleged that their grounds for divorce fit into those accepted by the courts. In Utah, a person may base their divorce on one of two no fault grounds, or one of eight separate fault-based grounds.

The first no fault grounds for divorce is a claim of irreconcilable differences. This is the broadest basis for ending a marriage that courts recognize and may be used by individuals who do not have a fault grounds or who prefer not to allege fault. The second no fault grounds for divorce is a legal separation between two people who have not lived in the same home for at least three years.

The eight fault grounds for divorce involve a range of conduct that in some cases, is so objectionable, it may be sufficient for ending a marriage. The fault grounds are adultery; cruelty or domestic violence; desertion; addiction; impotency; nonsupport; incurable insanity; and conviction of a felony. As with all cases, individuals who plan to divorce should understand the possible outcomes of using fault as a base for their martial dissolutions and may wish to speak with family law attorneys about their options.

The divorce process is unique to each Utah couple. But, these couples must follow the state's divorce law. These laws dictate what grounds a person may allege to end their marriage and must be supported with evidence.

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