What Will Happen?
First, we need to talk about the issues that are involved in a typical divorce so that we can get our head wrapped around what needs to be done.
Is the divorce contested or uncontested?
Sometimes the two spouses can work out all of the details of separation amicably and have a fairly smooth, uncontested divorce. However, even in an uncontested divorce, you should have an attorney review everything. Also, if your spouse has an attorney, you need an attorney.
For both a contested and uncontested divorce, all of the following needs to be worked out:
Property and asset distribution: In Utah, we work towards equitable distribution. This does not always mean that assets will be split 50-50, but that they should be split as fairly as possible. This includes all joint property, most property obtained during marriage, and the marital home.
Debt splitting: Yes, even debts acquired during the marriage need to be split between the parties.
Alimony payments: One spouse may be required to make payments to the other in order to allow the other party to maintain a lifestyle they were used to during the marriage.
Child custody: The courts would like to see both parents remain a part of their children’s lives. Both legal and physical custody need to be determined for any children involved. Visitation rights need to be figured out for a non-custodial parent.
Child support: Both parents are required to continue care for their children after separation. The court will look at many factors when determining child support payments.
Please note that if there are accusations of substance or physical abuse by one or both parties, the divorce process can become harder, especially when children are involved.