Part I – The Waiting.
Divorce in Utah Divorce in Utah Takes a Long Time.
To the extent you can save a marriage, you should probably save that marriage. If you can’t save your marriage and you have a chance to come to the table with your spouse and work together to separate with little or no bitterness or acrimony, settlement should be your priority. Once the chance for settlement has flown the coup, you are in for a long and painful journey. Atticus Legal Group, Divorce Lawyer Salt Lake City can help you at any stage.
Anyone who tries to tell you that divorce isn’t all that bad is lying to you, as is anyone who tells you that you can get through a contested divorce in Utah ‘quick like a bandaid’ is not helping you to face reality. Utah Code § 30-3-18bars a court from entering a decree of divorce for at least 90 days after the case has been filed, aside from a very specific set of extraordinary circumstances. This ‘cooling off’ period mandated by the legislature just in case parties weren’t all that serious about splitting up in the first place, doesn’t have a great track record for changing the hearts and minds of parties who have decided they want to end their marriage, but unless and until the law is changed, 90 days is the (almost) absolute minimum.
That said, if you get your divorce decree finalized 90 days after filing a contested divorce, you will probably set several land speed records. A normal divorce takes about a year.
You will be required to submit a set of disclosures to your spouse, including your paystubs and W-2s and other financial documents under Utah Rules of Civil Procedure 26.1. After these preliminary disclosures are done, you’re facing a six month formal discovery period where you just might be lucky enough to sit through a 7 hour deposition. After discovery is closed and the evidence has been collected, you are at the mercy of the court’s calendar to get a date for trial, and it’s not uncommon for that to take a month at least.
The bottom line is that divorce takes a long time, and throughout the process you’re going to have the chance and the incentive to settle. It’s up to you to work closely with your attorney to stay strong through the drudgery and think long term. Many cases end in settlement, a trend encouraged by Utah’s requirement that divorcing couples attend at least one session of mediation. It’s also an unfortunate trend that many clients seek legal representation after signing a bad agreement and giving away too much at the negotiating table. Take the long view, stay strong, and hang in there.
Stay Tuned for part II of Atticus Legal Group, Divorce Lawyers Salt lake City | "Dealing with the challenges of going through a divorce".