You’re ready to be divorced, but you’re dreading the idea of a long, drawn-out battle with your spouse and all the time and expense that will take. It seems like a terrible way to end things, especially when you both just want to move on. Luckily, you have options. If you and your spouse are on the same page and willing to work together, you may be able to settle all the financial and legal details without a fight through an “uncontested” divorce.
An uncontested divorce is basically the opposite of a litigated, or “contested,” divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses work together – usually with the assistance of their attorneys – to resolve all their disputes and hammer out an agreement about their split. Once they’ve come to terms, they merely ask for the agreement to be finalized with the court’s order.
Do you qualify for an uncontested divorce?
Qualifying for an uncontested divorce is easy. As long as you can both agree on all the important issues, including how to divide up the marital debts and assets, what sort of financial support must be paid from one spouse to the other (if any) and what child custody and visitation should look like, the only other requirements are:
- The petitioning spouse needs to have been a resident of Utah for at least three months prior to filing.
- Both spouses must be willing to agree on the “grounds” or reason for the divorce.
For the sake of expediency and to avoid unnecessary conflicts, it’s usually simplest to file for divorce based on “irreconcilable differences.” Regardless of any other issues in the marriage, these particular grounds allow both parties to avoid being seen as the cause of the split. That can make for fewer hard feelings and an easier time during your negotiations.
Utah makes the uncontested divorce process very easy. So long as you and your spouse are able to agree on everything, you can ask the court to enter the final divorce decree without a court hearing. So long as the judge sees no issue with your request or the paperwork, you need not even attend court.
Divorce is uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be messy. Learning more about your legal options to end your marriage can help you find the best path forward.