How to Plan for a Divorce in Ogden Utah
Divorce is the legal term for the proceeding that dissolves a marriage and ends all legal relationships between the married parties, with the exception of what relationships are detailed in the divorce decree. There are numerous grounds for filing a divorce petition, including irreconcilable differences. There may be a number of issues that require resolving during a divorce, including:
- Custody of minor children, child support and parental-visitation rights.
- Spousal support or maintenance, often referred to as alimony.
- Division of property, debt, pension and retirement benefits.
In order to be granted a divorce in the State of Utah, one of the parties must have resided in a single county in Utah for a minimum of three months immediately prior to filing the divorce petition.
Generally speaking, Utah Code Section 30-3-1 states that if the custody of a minor child is at issue the child must have lived with at least one parent in Utah for a minimum of six months.
Costs of Divorce
Financial planning for a divorce can be a big concern, as the cost of a divorce can vary widely. Major fees typically include:
• Attorney fees.
• Court fees.
• Online Court Assistance Program, or OCAP, fees.
• Office of Vital Records and Statistics fees.
• Petition- and summons-service fees.
• Custody evaluation, Divorce Education and Divorce Orientation Class fees, if minor children are involved.
The judge may waive the costs of divorce if you are not able to afford the fees. However, you will be required to prove to the court that you cannot afford the costs. This will require a comprehensive accounting of your income, debts and property.
Since April 1, 2012 divorce records are no longer made public in Utah. However, some certain orders and decrees are still public record. An attorney will be able to explain these exceptions to you.
The two main areas you should focus on when planning for a divorce are financial and strategic.
Gather all your financial records and become familiar with your financial situation, as both individuals and as a couple. This can reduce your expenses in the long run and will make the proceedings go more smoothly. The divorce financials you should gather include:
• Tax returns for the last two years.
• A comprehensive list of all property you and your spouse hold jointly and separately.
• Copies of the most recent pay stubs for both you and your spouse.
When divorce planning you should also:
• Review all existing divorce financials, including credit card, bank and retirement accounts and investments.
• Confirm you are an authorized user on any pertinent accounts.
• Check both you and your spouse’s credit reports and review any outstanding debts either of you may hold.
If you aren’t able to collect any of these items on your own your attorney will be able to assist you.
You may also need to plan for child custody, support and visitation. Make sure you are, or remain, actively involved with your children. Know who their friends are, their doctors, teachers, interests, hobbies and activities. Take your children to school, help with homework, make meals, bathe and get them ready for bed.
To prepare for possible custody hearings that may establish temporary or permanent custody rights, collect school-attendance records, report cards, homework and day-care logs.
Your goals in the divorce may be quite different, depending on if you will have a contested or uncontested divorce. The earlier in the process you consult an attorney the more insight you will have on when you should file and if you should file first. Consulting with an attorney at this stage may save you from a large headache in the long run.
Going to Trial
If the parties aren’t able to reach an amicable agreement, in regards to the divorce decree, the only option will be to go to trial.
Child Custody Evaluation
The parties may request or the court may order a professional evaluator to perform a custody evaluation. The cost for this evaluation can be expensive and the fee is often split by the parties.
The court will require both parties to attend a pretrial conference in a final attempt to settle the case out of court before it schedules a trial.
If no resolution is reached during the pretrial conference, the judge will schedule a trial and may elect to hear from both parties before making a final ruling. Preparing and appearing for trial is not a simple matter and you should consult with an attorney before you go to court.
Planning on Getting a Divorce in Ogden? Know Your Options
Even if you are merely considering a divorce, contact our office at 801-752-0499 or online at https://www.knklawfirm.com/ to learn what you need to do to prepare for a divorce or for help with financial planning for a divorce in the State of Utah.