Uncontested Divorce in Utah: Everything You Need to Know


You will hardly ever find a person who can claim that divorce is an easy decision and a simple process. However, luckily, spouses in the United States are given the possibility to make their marriage dissolution less stressful and faster. This process is called an uncontested divorce.

In this article, you will find everything you need to know about Utah uncontested divorce process.

What Is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce is a type of case that allows spouses to end their marriage without involving lawyers and going to several court hearings. An uncontested marriage dissolution is a fast and cheap option, which is only available if both parties agree concerning such important matters as child custody, support, visitation, property division, etc.

As a result, the couple does not need to fight over any of these aspects in court, which allows them to finalize their case shortly after a waiting period adopted in the state is over.

Having reached a full agreement, a couple can go through the divorce steps completely on their own without working with attorneys and saving a lot of money. Spouses can record all their agreements in the divorce paperwork and later present it to the judge for review.

Who Qualifies for an Uncontested Divorce in Utah?

According to Utah divorce laws, one can be eligible for an uncontested divorce if they fulfill the following requirements:

  • Can reach a full agreement. If you plan to get an uncontested divorce, you should not have any issues left unresolved with your spouse. It means if you have property or debts, you need to make up a plan on how you divide them. If you have children, you must decide on the type of custody both of you get as well as the amount of child support each of you will pay. Finally, if one of you requires to be financially maintained, you need to agree on this aspect as well.
  • Meet the residency requirement for divorce. You or your spouse must live in Utah for at least 3 months. Meeting this condition is important since the court of the state must have jurisdiction over your case to review and finalize your divorce. Moreover, if you have minor kids and need to get custody over them, you need to ensure they have been residing in Utah for at least 6 months before the divorce process begins.
  • Agreeing on the reason for a divorce. Utah recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds for a marriage dissolution. Even if you choose a fault-based ground, there is still a possibility of obtaining an uncontested divorce; however, please note that fault grounds can easily turn your case into a contested one. On the contrary, if you and your spouse claim “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for divorce, you will have a higher chance to finalize it as soon as possible, given there are no disputes on the divorce terms. Irreconcilable differences mean that the marriage cannot be saved and there is no chance for reconciliation.

How Does Uncontested Divorce in Utah Work?

You will have to take the following steps to begin the process of filing for uncontested divorce in Utah:

Step 1. Prepare the forms.

The first thing you will have to do to obtain a divorce is to prepare your paperwork. The full list of Utah divorce forms largely depends on the details of your case. For example, if you have children, you will need additional forms such as a Child Support Obligation Worksheet and a parenting class completion certificate.

If you work with a lawyer, they will prepare the documents for you. However, if you choose to file by yourself, you will have to do all the work on your own. It is important to have enough time to look for all the forms and fill them out correctly. Making any mistakes in the documents or filing incomplete divorce paperwork will inevitably lead to court rejection, which delays the whole process.

Step 2. File the paperwork with the court.

After you prepare your paperwork, you need to print each document, sign it, and make some copies. Also, you have to find out what forms must be signed in front of a notary. Once you are done with these tasks, you must file the papers with the district court of your county.

Note that you will have to pay the filing fee. In Utah, it is approximately $325. If you cannot afford the costs, you may ask the court to waive them by filing a Motion to Waive Fees.

In order to qualify for a waiver, you must fulfill the following conditions: receive some governmental benefits (Medicaid, SNAP, etc.); receive free legal aid from the Utah State Bar; have a household income below the state-approved level; be unable to provide necessities for your family if you pay the fee.

All the above-mentioned information must be filled out in the paperwork and filed with the court. The judge will review the documents and make a decision. They can grant you a full or partial fee waiver or deny it. Also, according to state laws, the court may order the second spouse to cover the costs.

Step 3. Serve the documents.

After you file the papers, you must officially notify the second party that the divorce process has been started within 120 days. In Utah, you can serve your spouse in several ways.

The paperwork can be delivered by a county sheriff, private process server, or a third party over 18 years. Please note that you are not allowed to serve the papers by yourself. A person responsible for the delivery must fill out Proof of Completed Service and file it with the court.

You are also allowed to deliver the documents to the second party via certified mail. They will have to personally sign for the delivery. As soon as you get the answer, you will have to file Proof of Completed Service.

After being served, your spouse will have 21 days to provide the answer. Finally, please note that you can skip the service process if both you and your spouse sign the stipulation.

Step 4. Attend parenting classes if you have children.

Spouses who have children must complete two courses before getting a divorce in Utah: an orientation and an educational one.

Divorce orientation course costs $30 for each person. The petitioner must complete the classes within 2 months after filing the papers with the court, while the defendant must do it within a month after the service. The Educational Course for Divorcing Parents costs $35 per person. It can be attended only after the orientation class is finished.

The same as with the filing fees, these costs can be waived by the court. The couple is allowed to complete the classes either together or separately. These courses can also be taken online via USU Extension. Upon completion, each spouse gets a certificate.

Step 5. Wait until the 30-day mandatory period is over.

After filing for divorce in Utah, you must wait for at least 30 days until the judge can start reviewing your case. Within this time, you can attend parenting classes. According to the Utah laws, you or your spouse can ask the court to waive this period but only if you have some serious reasons. To do it, you must file a Motion to Waive Divorce Waiting Period.

Step 6. Get your case finalized.

If you and your spouse signed the stipulation and its content does not contradict other papers, the final hearing is not required. The judge will review the paperwork to ensure that everything is correct. After that, they will sign the decree, and your marriage dissolution will be officially finalized.

How Long Does the Process Take?

On average, the uncontested divorce process in Utah takes approximately 3 months. An uncontested case, apart from being less expensive than a contested one, can also be finalized much faster since spouses have nothing to disagree about in court.

However, according to state laws, the court cannot review and grant a divorce faster than in 30 days after the paperwork was filed. Moreover, your divorce will not necessarily be finalized on the 31st day.

First of all, it depends on whether you and your spouse have managed to complete parenting classes and exchange financial information, if needed. Secondly, the length of the process also depends on the court workload. That is why finalizing an uncontested case usually takes up to 90 days.

How Much Does Uncontested Divorce Cost?

On average, obtaining an uncontested divorce can cost minimum $325 for those spouses who don’t have children and $455 for those who have kids. These are the minimal filing fees and the costs for parenting classes. Please note that there might be more court costs depending on your case.

As mentioned before, the best thing about uncontested divorce is that spouses can save a lot of money by not working with a lawyer. But if you choose to hire an attorney to help you with filing for an uncontested divorce in Utah, you should know that the average cost of a lawyer in the state ranges from $200 to $400 per hour.

Finally, if you cannot afford to work with an attorney but still require help with papers, you can order the full packet of forms from a reliable divorce service, which will cost you only $139.

How Are Assets Divided in an Uncontested Divorce?

Generally, Utah’s courts divide all the marital property based on the equitable distribution principle, which means that the division of assets in divorce will be fair but not necessarily 50/50. When making a decision, the judge usually takes into account several factors:

  • The length of marriage;
  • Age of spouses and their health;
  • Place of work of both parties;
  • Sources of income, etc.

However, since you are seeking an uncontested divorce, you can make an agreement on the division outside of the court. The judge will only review your agreement, ensuring that all the conditions are fair for both parties.

Advantages of an Uncontested Divorce

The US couples prefer to work towards getting an uncontested divorce for the following reasons:

  • It’s fast. You don’t need to spend days in your lawyer’s office and visit several trials where you and your spouse will defend your interests.
  • It’s less stressful than a contested case. When you and your spouse reach a full agreement regarding important matters, you minimize the possibility of conflicts that take a toll on all the family members.
  • It’s cheaper. In most cases, the only expenses to cover in an uncontested divorce are court fees, which can also be waived if you qualify. Even though you may still need to bear some additional costs, an uncontested marriage dissolution is less expensive than a contested one, which may cost $10,000 or more in Utah.
  • It’s more convenient. Since you can file without a lawyer, you can go through all the steps at your own pace. All you need to remember is the court deadlines that you must meet.

Uncontested Divorce in Utah with Children

If you are having an uncontested divorce with children, making an agreement on child custody, support, and parenting time is one more thing you must do before filing.

In Utah, parents are entitled to obtain legal and physical custody of their children. Roughly speaking, you and your spouse must decide where your child will live and who will have the right to make decisions regarding their education, health, etc. The parents can get joint custody or agree to award sole custody to one parent and parenting time to the other.

As per child support, it is important to note that according to the laws, both parents must financially maintain their children irrespective of custody type. The amount of payments is calculated based on the kids’ needs, the income of each parent, and the amount of time (nights) a child spends in each household.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Get an Uncontested Divorce in Utah?

Since spouses can handle an uncontested divorce without involving legal professionals, it’s not necessary to work with a lawyer if you do not have resources or simply do not wish to do it.

On the one hand, an experienced attorney can help you prepare your papers and instruct you on the further steps. On the other hand, the cost of your divorce may increase up to $4,000 or more, which is the average price for uncontested cases when a lawyer is involved.

Is Uncontested Divorce Right for Me?

If you realize you do not want to get involved in endless court battles with your spouse and qualify for an uncontested divorce, you should go for it. This way, you will not only save money and time but also avoid negative emotions associated with a contested marriage dissolution.

A Better Way to Divorce

If you cannot afford to have several consultations with a lawyer but have no idea how to collect and fill out the papers, you can still get a quick divorce in UT at a cheap rate. Our company has helped thousands of couples across the state cope with the paperwork preparation step without extra stress and at a reasonable fee.

To get a full package of court-approved forms for your easy divorce online, you only need to fill out a detailed questionnaire with information about your case, choose a convenient payment method, and wait for your forms to be delivered in less than a week. After that, file the papers with the local court in person or online, if suitable in your case.

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