It is the most common question asked of divorce attorneys throughout Salt Lake City. How long does it take to finalize a divorce? It may seem like an easy question. But the answer is hardly simple. The truth is no two divorces are the same. Each case and the parties involved have their own unique set of characteristics and circumstances. However, the question does become easier to answer once several factors are taken into consideration.
Factors Determining the Length of Divorce in Utah
Although divorce may seem complex, it can be narrowed down to two categories—contested and uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorce cases are generally the easiest marriages to terminate. Both parties are able to come to mutual agreements on important issues, such as alimony, child support and the division of marital assets. But when it comes contested divorce, the situation becomes more complicated. Here are some important factors that will ultimately decide the length of your divorce.
- Are you willing to waive minimum waiting period?
- Does your spouse plan to file an appeal after divorce?
- Are you able to obtain a default judgement?
- Are there any children involved?
Facts about the Minimum Waiting Period
In most Utah divorce cases, there is a 90 day minimum waiting period before a divorce can be finalized. However, it can be waived if either party can prove if there are relevant circumstances that are needed to be addressed by the court. To waive the waiting period, a divorce attorney from either party will have to file a petition with the court. Although 90 days is the minimum requirement to terminate a marriage in Utah, some contested divorces can take several years to resolve.
What If My Spouse Does Not Respond to a Divorce Request?
Contested divorce can often get messy from the beginning. In some instances, one spouse may refuse to sign divorce papers. The recipient spouse has 21 days to respond to a divorce request initiated by the petitioner. Should the respondent spouse fail to respond to a divorce request, the petitioner may be awarded a default judgment from the court.
How Children Affect the Divorce Process
When it comes to divorce in Utah, children are an extremely important factor. The ultimate goal of Utah family courts is to decide what is in the best interest of the children. If both parties have children under 18 years of age, they will be required to attend a divorce orientation and education classes.
Don’t Forget the Appeal Process
Divorce does not end with a decree from the court. Although a settlement may initially signify a finalized divorce, both parties have the opportunity to file for an appeal. Keep in mind, all appeals must be filed within 30 days of the court’s divorce decree.