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Utah Marital Settlement (Divorce) Agreement

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Utah Marital Settlement (Divorce) Agreement

Updated February 08, 2024

A Utah marital settlement agreement is a written contract that relays the relationship between spouses following an uncontested divorce. The legally binding document will usually contain terms detailing the division of property and debt, and the payment of child support and alimony. Visitation and child custody, if applicable, can be entered into the form as well. The parties will be required to go over the provisions together, coming to an agreement on all terms before signing at the bottom of the document. It is wise to have legal representation go over the form before the signatures are inscribed. While it is not a legally required document, the settlement agreement can help by serving as a blueprint for the Divorce Decree, enabling the parties to control how their property and responsibilities will be distributed instead of leaving it up to the court.

Table of Contents

Divorce Laws

Statutes – Title 30, Chapter 3 (Divorce)

Alimony (§ 30-3-5(10)(a)) – In determining the amount and duration of alimony payments, the court will take into account the following:

  • Current needs and financial situation of the recipient
  • Earning capacity of the recipient
  • The impact on the recipient’s earning capacity if made primary child caregiver
  • The payor’s ability to support recipient
  • The marriage’s length
  • Whether recipient has custody of a child requiring support
  • Whether recipient worked for the payor
  • Whether recipient contributed to the payor’s ability to earn money

The court will also factor in the “fault” of either party in determining alimony (§ 30-3-5(10)(b)). “Fault” means any wrongful conduct that contributed to the breakdown of the marriage (§ 30-3-5(1)(b)).

Alimony Calculatordivorceutah.com

Child Support (§ 78B-12) – The court will use this table to determine the amount of child support both parents are required to supply. The calculation is based on the combined gross monthly income of both parents, and the obligation of each individual will be based on the percentage that they contribute to the total amount.

Child Support Calculatorstaceyschmidtlawfirm.com or orscsc.dhs.utah.gov

Division of Property (§ 30-3-5(2) and § 30-3-5(3)) – In Utah, the court divides the marital property as they deem fair, not necessarily equal. This is because the state follows the principles of equitable distribution as opposed to community property law.

Grounds for Divorce (§ 30-3-1(3)) – In Utah, the following constitutes grounds for divorce:

  • Impotency
  • Adultery
  • Willful desertion of over one (1) year
  • Willful neglect
  • Continual alcohol abuse
  • Conviction of a felony
  • Abuse affecting mental or physical health
  • Irreconcilable differences of the marriage
  • Incurable insanity
  • Parties have lived apart under a decree of separate maintenance for three (3) consecutive years without cohabitation

Interim Support (§ 30-3-3(3)) – During the course of the divorce process, the court may have one (1) of the parties supply the other with temporary alimony (maintenance) or child support as is necessary to preserve a sufficient quality of life until a ruling is made.

Residency (§ 30-3-1(2)) – A couple may divorce if either party has been a resident of Utah and of the county they’re filing in for at least three (3) months.

Divorce Forms

Uncontested Divorce with No Children:

Uncontested Divorce With Children:

  • Divorce Decree (available at courthouse)

The below instructions are for an uncontested, stipulated divorce case. This type of case means that all parties agree to all aspects of the divorce going into the filing and legal process. The steps required are different from those of a contested divorce, or a divorce by default (see Utah guide here).

How to File for Divorce in Utah (7 steps)

  1. Petition for Divorce
  2. Stipulation and Marital Settlement Agreement
  3. Parenting Plan
  4. Parenting Classes
  5. Waiting Period
  6. Final Forms and Divorce Decree
  7. Name Change

1. Petition for Divorce

woman reading a divorce documentTo start the divorce case, one (1) spouse (the petitioner) will need to file the Petition for Divorce with the District Court in the jurisdiction in which they or the other spouse has resided for at least three (3) months. The petition can only be completed online, using the Online Court Assistance Program (OCAP). Users will have to create an account, log in, and go through the series of questions to complete the petition. The form can then be printed, signed, and filed at the courthouse where the petitioner will pay the $325 filing fee. The petitioner can attempt to waive the fee, if they are unable to afford it, by filing a Motion to Waive Fees and Statement Supporting Motion. Along with the petition, the filer will need to submit the Certificate of Divorce, Dissolution of Marriage, or Annulment for the Utah Department of Health.

The court, once the petition is filed, will automatically issue a Domestic Relations Injunction that will be effective on the petitioner upon filing, and on the respondent (the other spouse) once it’s delivered to them.

2. Stipulation and Marital Settlement Agreement

Because the case is a stipulated divorce, the parties need not go through the service process that would have the petitioner serving a summons and copy of the filed petition on the respondent. Instead, they can use the OCAP to create a Stipulation that conveys that the respondent agrees to all the information on the petition and in the Divorce Decree. This stipulation should be reviewed thoroughly, printed, and signed by the parties before it is filed with the court.All matters related to the division of property, child support payments, and alimony payments can be drafted in a Marital Settlement Agreement. The drafting of this document can be accomplished at any point leading up to the final hearing. The agreement will be reviewed by the judge, and the provisions therein will be altered if necessary and inscribed in the final Divorce Decree. This is not a required document, but can be a useful organization tool and may include provisions not entered into the stipulation.

3. Parenting Plan

Young child playing on swing setThe spouses, if they plan on having joint custody of their children, will be required to create a Parenting Plan. This is another form that can be completed through the OCAP. The form goes into detail as to how parenting time will be divided between spouses. In divorces that aren’t stipulated, the parties would file their respective plans and the judge would decide what they deem is the best arrangement. However, since all parties agree in this case, the document should be drafted jointly and filed with the court once verification is signed by both parties.

4. Parenting Classes

If the couple has minor children together, they are legally required to attend divorce orientation class ($30) and divorce education class ($35). The petitioner must inform the respondent of this requirement through a Notice of Education Requirements. The respondent has thirty (30) days to take the course after the filing of the petition, while the petitioner has sixty (60). They can choose to take these courses in-person or online. Alternatively, parents can attempt to waive the education requirements by filing the Motion to Waive Education Requirements (can be created through the OCAP).

5. Waiting Period

calendar depicting 30 day waitIn Utah, there is a thirty-day (30) waiting period between the filing of the petition and the final hearing. The couple can attempt to waive this period through a Motion to Waive 30-day Divorce Waiting Period. The court will only allow for a reduced duration in extenuating circumstances.

6. Final Forms and Divorce Decree

After the thirty (30) days, the couple will be able to file the final forms and have their case reviewed by a judge. If they have minor children, they will need to complete and file the Income Verification and Compliance with Child Support Guidelines. They will also need to file the Certificates of Completion of Divorce Education Courses if they didn’t get a waiver. The judge will review all documents filed, ensure that the agreed-upon terms are reasonable, and they’ll sign the final Divorce Decree rendering the divorce final. If either spouse wishes to receive a copy of the decree, they can contact the court that handled their case to pay for a copy.

7. Name Change

If either party wishes to change their name during the process, they can do so through the petition for divorce. The decree with the proof of name change can then be used to update accounts, identification, and the like. More information on changing one’s name through the divorce process or thereafter can be found here.