It’s finally gotten to that point. Either you or both you and your spouse want to file for divorce. You tried your hardest to make it work but it just wasn’t meant to last. Divorce can be extremely messy. Especially when it involves children or possibly paying alimony. Before even getting to that point you need to know the steps you have to take in order to file for divorce.
In order to file for a divorce in the state of Utah, your first step will be preparing your forms. Utah has a convenient system for this called Online Court Assistance Program (OCAP). The system will show you how to fill out the proper forms that are required. The system will prepare the paperwork for you and everything expect for filing your paperwork.
The next step in filing for divorce is to sign the divorce forms with the presence of a notary. You can find a notary through your bank (it is often a free service provided to customers) or you can find one through private businesses like check-cashing services or at the courthouse.
Next, you will file the divorce forms in the clerk’s office of the court in the county where you live. You will be charged $310 for a filing fee. You can file a motion in order to get this fee waived. But in order to do this, you need to prove that you can’t afford this fee. You would have to provide a detailed description of your expenses, income, debts, and property.
One of the final steps in filing for divorce is serving your spouse. You must do this within 120 days of the initial filing. You must give your spouse a copy of the petition, summons, and other documents. You could also mail these documents using certified mail or use a sheriff or private process serving company. After, you must file proof of the service document.
The next and final step will be the waiting game. Your spouse will have 21 days to file a response to your petition. It will be extended to 30 days if your spouse lives out of the state of Utah. If your spouse doesn’t file an answer within the specified amount of time, then you can ask the court for a default judgment. This means you’ll get everything you asked for and your spouse doesn’t get to present their side. If your spouse does file an answer in the right amount of time, then you’ll both have to disclose to each other a “File Declaration”. This form discloses all income, debt, assets, and expenses. You must also attach a number of financial statements which includes things such as a copy of tax returns.
When you get to the point of filing for divorce it can be stressful. Now you have to be in and out of courts. You need someone who will actually listen to your needs and concerns. You need someone who has experience. Emy A. Cordano has over 20 years of experience in divorce law. Make an appointment for a legal consultation through this contact form or call for a case review at 801-804-5152.