General Information on Divorce in Utah
Divorce, of course, is the process of ending a marriage. Because Utah recognizes no-fault divorces, however, ending the marriage may be the easiest part of a divorce. Either spouse can allege that there are “irreconcilable differences.” Once that allegation is made, the judge will make no further inquiry into the reason for the divorce.
The more difficult issues in a divorce are: 1) custody and parent time, 2) the division of property, 3) the allocation of debts, and 4) whether the judge will award alimony.
Utah Child Custody and Divorce Matters
Custody of any children is probably the most important decision the judge has to make in a divorce action.
Division of Property and Allocation of Debts in Utah Divorce
In Utah, the judge begins with a presumption that each spouse will receive half of the property. The property includes any equity in the home, vehicles, bank and investment accounts, and retirement accounts which accrued during the marriage.
When the judge divides the debts, he or she also begins with the presumption that each party will pay half of the debts. The judge usually makes adjustments, however. In deciding on the final allocation of the debts, the judge considers which spouse has the greatest income and whether one spouse is receiving more of the marital property than the other. In addition, if there is a debt associated with an item of property (such as a mortgage on a house or a car loan), the party which receives the item of property is usually required to pay the debt.
Alimony in Utah Divorce
Alimony in Utah is based on the receiving spouse’s needs and the paying spouse’s ability to pay. If an alimony claim is made, the judge requires each spouse to submit detailed information on his or her income, debts, assets and expenses. Unless there are special circumstances, alimony can only be awarded for a period which is equal to the duration of the marriage. If the spouse receiving alimony remarried or cohabits, alimony ceases.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney in Ogden
If you are contemplating divorce, please contact one of our experienced Utah divorce lawyers at Helgesen, Houtz & Jones located in Ogden, Ut
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