When two people get married, they live in the moment and enjoy their marriage without ever thinking about the possibility of a divorce. Unfortunately, about half of all marriages in this country do not work out, so married couples choose to get divorced for the health and sanity of both parties.
There are certain federal and state requirements to file a petition for divorce in Utah, and many divorcing couples in Salt Lake City and elsewhere in Utah forget that there must be legal grounds to file for a divorce in this state.
If you are looking to get divorced in Salt Lake City, Ogden, or any other city in Utah, our Salt Lake City divorce attorney from Emy A Cordano, Attorney At Law reminds you that there are certain divorce laws you must comply with before seeking to end your marriage.
What are the legal grounds for divorce in Utah?
In Utah, the court may decree an annulment of a marriage if one of the following legal grounds is cited by one of the spouses (Petitioner) against their spouse (Respondent):
- The Respondent is physical, psychologically or in any other way unable to have sexual intercourse with the Petitioner (in other words, the Respondent is impotent);
- The Respondent committed adultery during the marriage (cheated);
- The Respondent willfully abandoned the Petitioner for more than 12 months;
- The Respondent willfully neglects or refuses to provide for the Petition financially and with other common necessities;
- The Respondent has a drinking problem (or, speaking in legalese, habitual drunkenness);
- The Respondent has been convicted of a felony;
- The Respondent has physically or mentally abused the Petitioner through cruel treatment causing the latter bodily injury and/or emotional distress;
- The Respondent has incurable insanity (your spouse should have been diagnosed as insane by the appropriate authorities of Utah; this may require witness testimony to confirm that the Respondent’s insanity is incurable);
- The Respondent and Petitioner have irreconcilable differences in the marriage;
- The Respondent and Petitioner have lived separately after filing a petition for legal separation for at least three consecutive years without cohabitation.
As you may have guessed, the last two legal grounds for divorce in this list are “no-fault grounds,” while all the other grounds are the Respondent’s fault.
Legal requirements to file for divorce in Utah
According to Utah family law, one of the spouses must be a resident of Utah for at least 90 days before filing a petition for divorce in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in the state.
In Utah, there is a waiting period of 90 days to get a hearing on a divorce matter. In other words, our best divorce attorneys in Utah explain, the family court will not hold a hearing on a divorce matter for at least 90 days from the date the petition for divorce was filed. However, this requirement can be waived in certain situations.
A divorce decree becomes effective and absolute on the date it is signed by the family court in Salt Lake City, Draper, Ogden, or elsewhere in Utah. In some cases, the judge may extend this date for up to six months either at his/her own decision or after receiving a request from the Petitioner or Respondent.