There are a lot of reasons couples decide to get a divorce. When a spouse makes a decision, they may have many questions in mind as they navigate an unfamiliar process. If you are considering a divorce, you may be wondering how long it may take to finalize a divorce in Utah. A divorce is a tough legal process and a lot of factors can affect its duration. If you want to know about the laws and situations that can impact the duration of your divorce, you should seek legal advice from a reliable divorce attorney.
Laws that Affect Utah Divorce
In Utah, there are residency laws that dictate when you can file for a divorce. You or your spouse must be a resident of a Utah county for a minimum of 3 months before you can file. In certain custody situations, the child should live with one or both parents for a minimum of 6 months.
In addition, there is a waiting period to adhere to. After you file for a divorce, it becomes official after a waiting period of thirty days. If you have minor children, you and your spouse must attend divorce education classes. If you are the petitioner, you have sixty days to complete such courses while your spouse has thirty days to complete the courses. Mediation is mandatory to help solve contested issues.
Reaching a Divorce Agreement or Going to Trial
Alimony, child custody, parenting time, property division, and retirement benefits are issues that must be resolved in a divorce. If your case should go to trial and you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on such issues, completion of your divorce depends on both parties’ compliance with the law. If your case goes to court, the duration will be significantly prolonged. Sometimes, a contested divorce can take several years to resolve. If minors are involved, a judge or both parties can request a child custody evaluation.
Moreover, pretrial conferences must be performed to try to settle issues before the case goes to trial. If both parties still fail to reach an agreement, the case ends up in court where a judge hears from each party. When a judgment is made, a judge signs the divorce decree.
How long your divorce will be finalized depends on a lot of factors. But you can avoid making unnecessary mistakes that can drag the case further by hiring a good divorce attorney.