UTAH DIVORCE LAWS:
The Residency Requirement: In Utah, the spouse filing the divorce must have been a resident or Utah or a member of the armed forces stationed in Utah and a resident of the county where the divorce is filed for more than three months immediately prior to the filing.
No Fault: The husband and wife lived separately under a decree of separate maintenance for three consecutive years without cohabitation; Irreconcilable differences.
Fault: Impotency at the time of marriage; Adultery committed subsequent to marriage; Willful desertion for more than one year; Willful refusal to provide the common necessaries of life; Habitual drunkenness; Conviction for a felony; Cruel treatment to the extent of causing bodily injury or great mental distress; Incurable insanity.
Property Division: Utah is an equitable-distribution “hotchpot” state. This means the court can divide any and all property owned by the parties, however and whenever acquired, in an “equitable” manner, i.e., fairly as the circumstances dictate (click the following for an expert's overview and key tips on dividing up property through divorce).
Alimony: Either spouse can be ordered to pay alimony, based on nine factors, including fault and how fair it would be to equalize the parties’ incomes. The court will not, generally, award alimony for a period longer than the marriage.
Child custody and child support: Divorcing parents are required to take a parenting course designed to educate and sensitize them to their children's needs, both during and after the divorce. The courts may exempt certain parents from taking the course, which includes discussions of both parents’ financial responsibilities for their children. As in every state, custody is based on “the best interests of the child.” Past conduct and the moral standards of the parties are considered. The custody statute contains advisory guidelines for visitation schedules, broken down by age of the child (click the following for an expert's overview and a list of articles on child custody and child support).
Utah child-support guidelines use an income-shares model: the total obligation is divided between the mother and father according to their incomes. Generally speaking, for a combined monthly adjusted gross income of:
- $2,000, support for one child is $308; for two children, $571; for three children, $643.
- $4,000, support for one child is $472; for two children, $883; for three children, $1,050.
- $5,000, support for one child is $541; for two children, $1,015; for three children, $1,245.
Utah has an on-line child support calculator that can help you determine child support in your case: http://www.utcourts.gov/childsupport/calculator
Support ends when a child graduates from high school, but the court may require parents to pay support for the child’s college education.
The information supplied above is for "educational purposes only" and is not intended to be used as legal advice.