Fault and No-Fault Divorce in Utah: What are the Legal Grounds?

Every state in the USA has its grounds for divorce. When filing parties decide on their reasons, it is important to understand that they cannot start the process until they can prove their position; otherwise, their request will be dismissed. Therefore, one should think twice before choosing one ground or another.

Legal reasons for divorce in Utah

All filing spouses are supposed to inform the court about their grounds to untie the knot. Even though there are a few ways to apply for divorce, Utah divorce laws force all applicants to name at least one reason for their requests. In the state, spouses can initiate a fault-based case claiming that their partners’ misbehavior caused a marriage crisis. Many fault-based reasons can be mentioned by divorcing spouses; however, drug abuse, domestic violence, infidelity, and abandonment are among the most commonly cited grounds for divorce in Utah.

All courts throughout the state enable spouses to start a no-fault divorce too, meaning that they can end their relationships without the need to prove anybody’s fault. Usually, this sort of breakup is caused by so-called irreconcilable differences. This is when spouses are supposed to mention that no matter how hard they try to save their relationships, there are so many issues that remain unresolved and thus reconciliation is not seen possible. What most divorcing couples like about this way of untying the knot is that they can go their separate ways without slagging each other. Under the Utah divorce code, couples can also end their relationships basing on the fact that they have been separated for a while, too.

No-fault Divorce in Utah

Before you start learning how to file for divorce in Utah, it is important to decide on your grounds for divorce. As mentioned earlier, what most spouses like about a no-fault divorce is that they can dissolve their marriage simply because they are no longer willing to maintain their marital relationships and thus don’t want to live under the same roof anymore. Therefore, if you don’t feel like participating in endless court battles, then you probably should forget about fault-based divorce reasons and try to end your marriage peacefully.

You may ask: “Is Utah a no fault state?”, and the answer is: “Yes, it is!”. It is quite clear why most former lovers may want to preserve what has left of their marital life after a breakup, so they are allowed to get divorced by starting a no-fault procedure in the state.

To go through the process successfully, be ready that you will have to explain to a judge what stands behind your decision to untie the knot. If it is irreconcilable differences, be prepared to clarify why you and your partner cannot make your marriage work anymore. If you cannot do that, then you can simply ask for a divorce because you and your better half have not been sharing space for at least 3 years. In this case, the court will grant you what you want without any questions asked.

Fault Grounds For Divorce

Although most couples strive to resolve their disputes behind closed doors, many spouses simply cannot or don’t want to keep their mouth shut. In this case, married people can ask for a divorce due to their spouses’ misconduct or health issues.

The court will accept the following reasons:

  • Impotency;
  • Incurable insanity;
  • Abandonment;
  • Alcohol and drug abuse;
  • Felony conviction;
  • Cruel treatment inflicting bodily or mental harm;
  • and neglect to provide another party with necessities for life.

One more reason that is recognized by the Utah divorce laws is adultery. If you goggle “adultery laws in utah”, you will find many articles describing spouses’ unfaithfulness as a very serious offense that can significantly change the outcome of any case.

Unlike couples involved in a no-fault divorce that don’t have to show any proof, those filing for a fault one are required to prove their allegations and therefore are supposed to provide relevant evidence, such as medical records, eyewitness testimony, and so forth.

For example, there was a case, when a wife accused her significant other of being unfaithful. The wife was able to provide evidence that was more than enough for a judge to grant her divorce. The man appealed, claiming that he did adultery involuntary and hereby asked to dismiss her wife’s request, but because the woman could prove her allegations with eyewitness testimony, the appeals court was on her side.