Just like the decision to untie the knot, the choice of whether to get separated or divorced is quite personal and needs much consideration. For those, who are not a hundred percent sure if they want to end their marital relationships, separating may be just the right thing to do, since they can get more time apart and still be able to work on their marriage to reunite eventually.
Divorce Versus Separation
Most couples, who find their marriage on the rocks, choose to untie the knot sooner or later. Every divorce starts with a motion submitted with a court-house. Usually, spouses tend to settle their issues themselves; however, if there are still some disputes, they can ask a judge to decide for them. Once all the matters are resolved and divorce is in the past, both parties are considered singles and thus are free to go their separate ways.
When it comes to legal separation, then in most states, it is very similar to divorce, although it doesn’t mean an end of a marriage at all. Under the Utah separation laws, married people can pursue separate maintenance. The latter one is all about deciding on the same divorce-related matters; however, if one or another spouse is going to remarry any time soon, he or she is supposed to ask a judge for a divorce on paper in the first place. The two procedures cost pretty the same, but those couples who got through a separation before divorce will pay twice as much in the long run.
While most spouses prefer to get separated simply because they strive to stay on their partners’ insurance policy, which is impossible in case of formal divorce, others decide to keep their marriage because they are too old to get remarried in the future and the very thought of remaining single for the rest of their life frightens them a lot. There are also some religious reasons that prevent many religious married people from untying the knot. All the mentioned and many other reasons matter. Every couple must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each procedure to decide on which one is the best choice for them in their particular situation.
How to File for a Separation in Utah
Far not all spouses can pursue separate maintenance. Therefore, before starting the procedure, it is important for all couples to check if they are eligible to do so. To proceed with their case, every couple should meet at least one of the following conditions:
- A spouse who provides for their family refuses to maintain his or her partner;
- One party has abandoned his or her partner for no good reason;
- One spouse, through no fault of his or her own, decides to move out.
Requirements for a Separate Maintenance in Utah
Before filing for separation, a couple should check a few things first. First of all, spouses should make sure that they are a husband and wife legally and that they have been residents of the state for at least three months before the date mentioned in their petition.
Temporary separation orders are valid for one year from a hearing date, or until someone decides to start a divorce process, or until a husband and wife get back together. “Do you have to file for separation before divorce?” – “No, you haven’t!” Truth be told, a legal separation may be followed by a dissolution of marriage; however, it is not a rule.
Legal Separation Forms
To start the procedure, a legally married husband or wife is supposed to file both a petition for legal separation and a motion for temporary orders. A couple is also required to come up with a separation agreement in Utah. It must address their custody, child maintenance, asset division, and other relevant issues. This document is legally binding on a husband and wife and thus may be used by a judge for protecting both spouses from any frivolous claims against one another.
How Much Does It Cost to File for Legal Separation?
When filing for separate maintenance, one is supposed to pay a relevant court fee of $35. If someone initiates a divorce process within 12 months from the hearing date, this sum of money will be credited towards the court fee for divorce.
It is also worth mentioning that spouses’ decision to separate doesn’t necessarily should affect custody. In the state, parents can proceed with shared custody, meaning that each party has equal rights to see their kids and provide child support while separated. Oftentimes, one parent moves out and the other one stays with the kids in their marital home. However, if there are some child-related issues that cannot be resolved amicably, either partner can file for child custody, and then the court will decide who will be a custodial parent.