If you’re considering divorce, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure about what your next step looks like. Undoubtedly, you’re struggling with complex feelings and conflicting thoughts — and you could benefit from direction in determining what to do next. Below, we cover the elements you should consider before pursuing divorce as a final option for dissolving your marriage in Utah.
What elements should you consider before divorcing in Utah?
The state of Utah has fairly lenient laws when it comes to divorce. However, divorce is never a decision that should be made lightly. Before pursuing the legal option of divorce to dissolve your marriage, it is crucial to consider all elements and possible ways that it can impact your life. Once a divorce is finalized, you must go through a separate court process to contest the divorce. Because of this, we want to encourage you to go through the elements of consideration on this list to determine if divorce is the correct option for you.
1. Finances and assets
In the case of any divorce, your finances and assets will be divided in such a way that the court deems fair and necessary so that both partners can move forward with minimal disruption to their lifestyle. However, just because the court determines that it is fair doesn’t mean that you or your partner will feel the same way. We urge you to speak to a financier or attorney before continuing your process if you’re considering divorce. They can help you financially prepare for the ramifications of your divorce and protect your interests as much as possible throughout the process. There are many elements of the asset division process, which can be made more intensive with inclusions such as:
- Investment or retirement accounts
- Real estate assets
- Other high-value personal assets
2. Children’s experience
While divorce may be necessary for your situation, it’s essential to consider what any children you may have might experience. Depending on the nature of your relationship and the age of the children at the time of your divorce, they may need extra support to navigate this challenging time. Mandated processes, such as court hearings and interviews may also strain them. You may also be under stress as well, primarily due to the nature of custody hearings in the event of a separation. Often, both partners will fight intensely to be able to have either full or controlling custody of the children.
There are two types of custody that are primarily considered in the event of a hearing: physical and legal custody. Physical custody resides with the parent who maintains the living space for the children. The parent who has legal custody of the children is allowed to make parental decisions for the children in regards to healthcare, legal matters, and more. At times, there may be two parents who hold separate physical and legal custody, which can lead to intense discussions and disagreements down the line.
The children may also experience stress going between parents or if they feel like they have to select a preferred parent. The court’s goal is to streamline the negotiation experience as much as possible and provide as much stability as they can to the agreement. Because of this, they will review a wide variety of factors prior to determining custody. These include financial earnings statements, testimonies from friends and family, and other types of personal documents to ensure that the children will be in a safe and secure home.
3. Spousal support
In the process of divorce, you may be required to pay spousal support to your partner. In the state of Utah, your spouse may request these payments at any time. However, they must be approved and dictated by a court of law in order to be legally binding. To determine eligibility for spousal support, as well as the total payment amount during the set period, the court will look at a variety of factors. Utah has simplified the determination process down to the “Jones Factors.” These include:
- The ability of the other spouse to earn a liveable income
- The current financial situation of the spouse who would receive the spousal support
- The financial ability of the paying spouse to offer spousal support
Ultimately, the court will weigh these factors in the context of the separation and work to determine the most equitable route for everyone.
Ascent Law is here to help you navigate divorce in Utah
Divorce is a complex issue, requiring an experienced and nuanced hand to assist you through the process in confidence. The team at Ascent Law is here to support you if you’re considering divorce for your situation. For more information and to book your free consultation today, please visit our website.