How Does Divorce Mediation Work in Utah?


Utah is one of those states that require some divorcing couples to undergo at least one mediation session. The divorce mediation process involves a third party, or mediator, who helps spouses resolve disputes related to the dissolution of marriage.

What Is Mediation in Divorce?

Mediation is a method through which the contentious issues between spouses can be resolved less stressfully and less expensively compared to contested cases with numerous trials required.

Some of the common reasons for disputes between spouses are the division of property, family debts, businesses, etc., so financial mediation in divorce is what many people choose to undertake. However, questions about child custody, support, and visitation are also often settled with mediators’ help.

Overview of Divorce Mediation in Utah

Mediation is one of the best ways to make divorce proceedings more simplified, compared to the contested ones, and emotionally easier for spouses and their children, if any. Below, we will take a closer look at how it works specifically in Utah.

When Do You Have to Mediate Your Divorce?

Since 2005, attending at least one mediation session has been mandatory for families whose divorce cases are contested. This refers to situations when, after being served with the documents by a petitioner, the other party files a response in which they dispute the divorce terms.

Also, court-ordered mediation may be required if the judge thinks it may help reduce duration of trials and emotional toll in cases involving kids. After the divorce, the spouses should still communicate on child-related issues, so it is preferable that their relationships remain as friendly as possible and not ruined completely by lengthy court battles.

The spouses can also seek the services of a mediator voluntarily, even before filing with the court. It is quite beneficial for those who want to resolve all the conflicts by themselves, without leaving all decisions to the judge’s discretion. Spouses will not be limited in the time allocated to settle all issues.

How Does Divorce Mediation Work in Utah?

In Utah, within 15 days after the respondent files an answer with the court, contesting the divorce terms, spouses must find and contact a mediator. Within 45 days, they need to go through at least one session.

What happens in divorce mediation? Its main goal is to help spouses settle their disputes through sessions with a professional neutral party. The mediator will ensure the atmosphere is as friendly and calm as possible. Also, they will inform you about the available conflict resolution options so that you can make the decision that is right for you. Please note that they cannot tell you exactly how to solve the disputable issue or provide legal advice on the matter. The same concerns their personal opinion on the case.

Many divorcing couples are curious about “How long does divorce mediation take?” It is difficult to give a clear response to the question about the length and number of mediation sessions, as it all depends on the specific case and how willing the partners are to communicate and find a solution to the contested issues. For some couples, one session is enough, while others may need more than five sessions to sort out all the matters.

How to Prepare for Mediation Divorce?

One of the main divorce mediation tips and tricks that will help you prepare well and finalize the process as soon as possible is creating the exact list of conflicts and thinking over your arguments on each specific matter.

Also, it is better to collect in advance any documents that relate to the contested points. For example, if it comes to getting spousal maintenance or child support payments, you will need to have papers showing your income level, status of bank accounts, and other financial information.

Even if relationship with your spouse is complicated, try to calm down and think about possible benefits the properly conducted mediation can bring. If you have already chosen a mediator, you can ask them how to prepare for the session.

How Much Does Divorce Mediation Cost?

Utah divorce mediation cost can vary from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on how much the mediator charges and how long it takes you and your partner to work things out.

Some mediators operate on an hourly rate, with prices starting at $100-$200, while others may charge by session, the approximate length of which can be about 2 hours. Usually, the price is divided equally between spouses if the court does not order otherwise. For those facing financial difficulties, it is possible to get free mediation help by completing and filing Divorce Mediation Income Survey.

What to Expect During the Mediation Process

At the session, the mediator will try to ensure that spouses communicate in a conducive atmosphere and cooperate to resolve conflicts without extra stress. Depending on your relationship with your spouse, the session can be conducted in the same room, or the professional may discuss the matters with each of you separately first.

Try to stay calm and determined to find a compromise, listen carefully to the neutral party, and explore the options that can help you reach an agreement.

The main goal of mediator is to maintain neutrality and help spouses reach a consensus by discussing the case. This way, partners have more chances to sign an agreement out of court. Thus, their divorce case can proceed as an uncontested one, which greatly simplifies the entire process and makes it faster. It can help spouses save money on expensive attorney services.

When Is Divorce Mediation Not Recommended

Mediation may not be recommended in cases where there is abusive behavior, violence, or bullying in a couple. It is important that, during this process, the spouses feel protected, comfortable, and able to give their honest opinions. Therefore, if you realize that mediation is not possible in your case because you are afraid of your spouse, you should notify the Divorce Mediation Help Line. You may be allowed not to go through it.

How Do You Complete Your Utah Online Divorce After Successful Mediation?

Once the agreement is reached through mediation, you can continue your case as an uncontested one. Some couples consider online divorce, and mediation is what can help make it possible after all the disputes are successfully settled.

An uncontested case is a great way to save time and money, as there may be no court hearings at all. If the hearing is required, it is much easier to represent yourself in court on your own if there are no disputes, so some people don’t hire attorneys.

If you haven’t filed for divorce yet but have already gone through mediation and agreed with your spouse, you can take advantage of our online paperwork preparation service. At a moderate fee, you can get a set of filled-out divorce documents required in your specific case and instructions on how to proceed with filing.

Get Divorce Forms