From a legal standpoint, getting married is easy; divorce is a tad more complicated. One of the biggest sticking points in most divorces is the division of property. In the state of Utah, the courts typically look for a fair and reasonable division of property, and it is helpful if the parties come to an agreement on who gets what. This doesn’t always happen, however, and if the parties are not agreeable to property division, then it is up to the court presiding over the divorce to divide up the couple’s marital assets.
Under Utah law, an equitable division of property obtained during the marriage is desired. And while equitable means fair, it does not always mean that each party in the marriage will receive equal amounts of the property when the marriage is dissolved. Once an order is made in a divorce proceeding, it cannot be revisited under Utah law except under specific and very limited circumstances.
There are no hard and fast rules for the division of property in divorce proceedings in Utah. Judges presiding over divorce cases have the discretion to factor in any special circumstances when deciding who should get what. The judge is the total authority when it comes to deciding what is fair. Usually, he or she makes that decision based on how long the marriage lasted and how the property in question was acquired. The judge also looks at things such as the conditions each spouse will face on their own post-divorce and costs such as medical and child care. The earning potential of each spouse and their level of education is also taken into account. These are just some of the factors judges often use when determining how to divide up property in the absence of an agreement between the two parties.
It is not always an equitable 50/50 split when it comes to the division of property, although in long-term marriages this is often the outcome. Sometimes a judge may decide that the most reasonable thing to do is to give one party specific assets or more than 50% of the marital property. If the marriage did not last a long time, the judge may look to restore the economic positions of both spouses prior to marriage.
As far as marital debts, judges have the authority to determine who is responsible for the disposition of the debt. A judge may decide that one spouse should be responsible for all of the debts incurred during the course of the marriage. Inversely, a judge may decide that a specific debt has a particular owner, or he may ask that the parties split the responsibility of marital debt equally.
Our divorce lawyer in Salt Lake City at Emy A. Cordano, Attorney at Law, knows how important it is that you get a fair shake it comes to marital property. Our team works tirelessly to ensure that you retain the assets that you are looking to keep after your divorce and offers aggressive representation to help make it happen. Call us at 801-804-5152 or click here to speak with our caring and knowledgeable team now.