5 Ways to File for Divorce Online in Utah | Things to Know
Filing for divorce in Utah requires that you know what it entails and the best ways to go about it. Just like in other states, divorce over the internet in Utah is governed by specific laws. Being well informed about what internet divorce is in Utah makes the divorce process a lot faster and easier for you. In this guide, we will examine five ways to file a divorce in Utah. However, before we get to that, let’s quickly look at a salient issue regarding the divorce, which is the grounds of divorce.
Grounds for Divorce in Utah
Grounds for divorce generally refer to the basis upon which divorce is initiated because, as a cardinal principle of the law, you can’t build a case on nothing. For divorce over the internet to be valid in Utah, it must come under any of the following grounds:
- Impotence: If either of the parties to the marriage is impotent, it can be a basis for divorce. For this ground to avail, you have to make sure it is detected when the marriage took place.
- Adultery from any of the parties: Adultery in Utah is a ground for divorce. If either of the parties in a marriage is found guilty of adultery, the other party can file a petition seeking divorce against the adulterer.
- Wilful desertion: Where any of the parties wilfully deserts the other for one year or more, the affected party can file for divorce. For a divorce to succeed under the grounds of wilful desertion, the respondent must have been away without any reasonable cause.
- Failure to provide the necessities of life: Where in marriage, the respondent fails to provide the necessities of life, the affected party can apply for divorce under this ground. Necessities of life exclude luxury that does not suit the living conditions of couples and their family. Failure to provide for a luxury item will not in any way be a ground for a valid divorce.
- Conviction: When one party is charged, found guilty, and convicted of a crime, it can be used as a ground for divorce since the respondent will no longer be able to perform his/her marital duties.
- Illness: For an illness to be a valid ground of divorce in Utah, it has to be one that is incurable and hinders them from performing their marital duties.
Utah also recognizes no-fault grounds for divorce, which is an excellent option for couples that want to stay out of the courtroom. The parties can just tell the court that their marriage has suffered irreconcilable differences. Judges don’t usually question the motives behind a no-fault divorce, so if you are willing to testify, under oath, that you and your spouse can’t work things out, a judge will grant your divorce. If you can’t prove irreconcilable differences to the court, you can also apply for a no-fault divorce if you and your spouse have lived separate and apart from each other for a minimum of three years.
Having looked at the divorce grounds in Utah, let us quickly examine five ways to file a divorce online in Utah. To file a divorce in Utah, at least one of the spouses must have stayed in a single county in the state of Utah for no less than three months. In this period, there must not have been a break preceding the divorce. When child support or custody is in question, the child is to reside in Utah with the parents for at least six months.
After meeting the requirement above, here are five things you must know when getting a divorce in Utah.
1. The Petitioner Is to Prepare the Divorce Petition
The first way to file a divorce in Utah is for the aggrieved person (the petitioner) to prepare the divorce petition. The individual preparing the petition (whether you or an attorney) can go through the state’s Online Court Assistance Program (OCAP) to get all the necessary divorce papers. This system has been programmed in such a way that anyone can make use of it. The instructions are very flexible, and they can be easily understood. The challenge with this process is that the system does not accept documents that are obtained from elsewhere.
Divorce papers that are tendered to this online court system must be documents that have been obtained and verified in Utah. To ensure your documents are complete for a successful application for an online divorce, you can speak to a lawyer. This will help you eliminate any uncertainty regarding the necessary documents and how to go about filing them.
Couples that don’t want the hassle of doing paperwork on their own or the expense of going through an attorney can go with an online divorce service. These services will collect and fill out the forms for you. They are affordable and fast, plus you can be sure the paperwork will be completed correctly. However, it is important to note that online divorce is only available for an uncontested divorce – where both couples agree.
2. Documents Should Be Delivered to the County’s Clerk Office
Every document must be filed with the county’s clerk office. There are two ways to go about this delivery in Utah. The first is to do the delivery in-person at the clerk’s office. If this is impossible, you are allowed to mail the completed documents to the office. If you are working with any of online divorce companies one of whom is utahonlinedivorce.com, you do not have to worry about this, as many of them offer to handle the filing process for you.
3. The Petitioner Serves the Respondent
With the documents completed and delivered to the county’s clerk office, the next step is to serve the other spouse, the respondent, with the papers. Documents to be served to the respondent include summons, petition for divorce, and proof of grounds for divorce. All these documents and others attached are to be served to the respondent within 120 days of filing the online divorce process.
When the respondent receives the documents, they must sign the Acceptance of Service, proving that the documents were received. The Acceptance of Service is to be given to the petitioner, who, in turn, has to file it with the court. Respondents living in Utah have 21 days to respond to the petitioner while those outside Utah have 30 days.
4. Financial Declarations in a Divorce
Other than preparing documents and service of processes, another important thing to note when filing for divorce in Utah is financial declarations. Financial declarations require disclosing all income, assets, expenses, and debts during the subsistence of the marriage. Based on Utah’s divorce laws, you have to make financial declarations by preparing the necessary documents, including financial statements and real estate value verification.
The financial statements provided must back the claims of income earned and assets gathered while the marriage subsisted. It must also outline expenses and debts as contained in the Financial Declaration Document. The documents that verify real estate should include tax valuation and appraisal documents. Additional documents that are needed to make Financial Declarations in Utah divorce case include:
- Tax documents showing two years payment
- 12 months of evidence of income
- Copies of loan applications
- Financial statements of retirement accounts
5. Filing of Certificate of Service
Where a financial declaration has been made, both parties are expected to file a certificate of service. This certificate of service is what connects the documents filed with a hearing. Before a certificate of service is filed, the financial declaration must have been served on the other party. When the other party verifies this declaration, both parties then proceed to the court to file the certificate of service. It is always best to seek the court’s guidance where you are not clear about any attachment.
Other Issues to Be Considered When Filing for Divorce Online in Utah
There are a few other crucial issues when getting a divorce in Utah, and the most important of them all is child support and parenting time. Parents are always advised to seek the help of a professional evaluator to determine child custody. Divorce can have a lot of devastating effects on children if the issue of child custody is not adequately considered.
Another issue that is to be considered is the issue of property division. The law governing property division in Utah regarding divorce only covers property obtained during the subsistence of the marriage. Personal properties of the divorcing spouse are not usually divided. Debt division and the cost of divorce should also be considered.
Divorce in Utah can be contested or uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, the judge signs the divorce decree, allowing both parties to go their separate ways. If it is a contested divorce, it goes to trial, starting with a pre-trial conference before trial scheduling. To ensure you are going through the uncontested divorce process the right way, you can work with an online divorce service. Not only will the process be quick, but you get the opportunity to do it yourself.
Working with any of the top online divorce sites helps you know the requirements, how you can meet them, and make sure your kids don’t suffer from decisions you make. Getting a web divorce in Utah is fast and inexpensive if you hold on to these five things listed above. With that, you can divorce in Utah even without an attorney.
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