One of the best things someone can prepare for divorce is access to information, bank accounts, statements, tax returns, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and any other asset that may be involved. It’s best to have a plan in place in case issues arise in the future. For example, perhaps you see unexplainable credit card bills or transactions. Therefore, it’s vital to be aware of your financial state and options during divorce.
Another good thing to set up beforehand is an email account that only you have access to. You can use this email specifically for divorce-related matters and sensitive or personal information.
Additionally, if you have a regular habit of posting about your personal life online then it is wisest to pause your social media use temporarily. At the very least, your divorce or relationship is not appropriate for discussion on social media during this period. This is because it will usually backfire and hurt your case later on. Especially if someone is using their social media profile to rant emotionally. The idea that Facebook can be used as a place to vent act is often referred to as the “Facebook Tissue”. While common, it can be very harmful to a divorce case.
Do You Need To Have A Period Of Legal Separation Before Filing For Divorce In Utah?
You are not required to have a period of legal separation before filing for divorce in Utah. Utah is a no-fault state. Therefore, to qualify for divorce you only must have lived in the state and county where you’re filing for at least 3 months. There’s a 30-day waiting period afterward in which no divorce can happen but no other waiting requirements.
Are There Different Types Of Divorce In Utah In The Cases That You Handle?
New divorce laws in the state of Utah categorize cases differently. However, there are a few main forms of divorce. An uncontested divorce is when both parties agree they want to get a divorce and agree on how to divide assets and child custody. It’s very rare that divorce goes perfectly uncontested, but if not, there is one other option besides litigation. If the spouses in an uncontested divorce are fairly amenable or only have a few differences in demands, they will likely successfully resolve their case in mediation. As for every other divorce case, litigation is the only route that can fully resolve the dispute. Litigation requires us to go to court for temporary orders or other actions. This process may involve custody evaluations, business evaluations, discovery, and eventually a trial.
Walk Me Through The Typical Steps Through A Divorce Once Someone Actually Files.
After a divorce is filed and the paperwork is served on the other party, there are 21 days allowed for a response. During this time, the responding party can submit a counter-petition to the divorce filing. Once the filing party receives the initial response, both parties have up to 14 days to submit a financial declaration. A financial declaration goes through the income, assets, and debts of each party for up to 12 months before the divorce filing.
The divorcing parties also exchange initial disclosures at that same time, which list all potential witnesses, or people who may have information about the case or documents relevant to the case. This allows each party to deduce what is needed to prove their case at trial.
Once the answer is filed, the discovery period is triggered. The discovery phase is currently set at 90 days. It used to be 180 days, but it’s been cut in half in family law cases. This rule change is meant to move family law cases through more efficiently. Therefore, you have 90 days to identify what information is needed for the trial. Information may be obtained using written questions, document requests, or depositions.
Mediation can happen any time before or after an answer is filed. However, it’s required to participate in mediation before you are prepared for trial. Mediation is a process involving a neutral third party who helps the divorcees find common ground so they can end up with a full agreement. Sometimes, they end up with only a partial agreement or no agreement at all. After mediation, if there are children involved, then the process is moved on to the custody evaluators, who will submit a report. Then, there’s another mediation opportunity if the parties couldn’t settle it prior. Finally, the final major step before the pre-trial is the settlement conference.
During a pre-trial, a judge needs to evaluate the case and determine whether it is ready for trial. Typically, you’re going to be looking at one-and-a-half days in a trial for a divorce case without any major issues. If the case involves child custody or business evaluation, you’re probably looking at two to three days. Afterward, the judge takes all the information and provides a ruling, which can happen that same day but you often receive within 30 to 45 days.
If it’s a full-blown litigated divorce, you’re looking at about 15-18 months from the time you file to reaching the final ruling. Cases involving custody evaluation may be closer to 24 to 30 months total before receiving a resolution.
For more information on Family Law in Utah, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 405-9011 today.
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