The Ultimate Utah Divorce Checklist
- Why a checklist is helpful
- Personal information
- Marital property
- Legal documents and forms
- Special circumstances
While rarely easy, divorcing in Utah can be made simpler by carefully consulting a list of tasks you may need to complete and addressing them on a step-by-step basis.
What should you think about when preparing for divorce in Utah? One of the first considerations is whether you expect the divorce to be amicable, meaning the two of you will peacefully talk and negotiate your divorce so you can reach a mutually agreed-upon settlement.
An amicable divorce is much cheaper and easier than one where spouses are combative. Why? Because lawyers may not need to be involved if the two of you agree on things like property division, child support, and alimony.
Even if there is disagreement, you may be able to avoid court by going through mediation. This is a process where a neutral mediator helps you work out any disagreements about your settlement by finding a fair compromise.
If divorcing parties cannot reach a settlement they both find fair, the divorce will likely progress to a court battle. In this scenario, a judge can make the final decision on any issues in question, such as custody, the division of assets, or support payments. Lawyers significantly raise the expense of a divorce, but they are sometimes necessary for complex cases.
Download our free Utah Divorce Forms list here.
Why is a Utah divorce checklist so important?
A checklist can help you make sure you don’t miss any important steps in the divorce process.
There are lots of details to juggle when getting a divorce. Going through a list of what you will need, such as the one provided below, can ease the oft-anxious process of divorcing. It can help you feel more prepared and quickly identify any details you may have overlooked.
Personal information needed
In Utah, divorcing parties will need to provide various pieces of personal information, much of which isn’t made public but still needs to be disclosed, to the court and the opposite party. This includes the following:
- Name, date of birth, and Social Security number
- Assets and debts
- Details pertaining to any biological and/or adopted children
Marital property and divorce in Utah
In a divorce, marital property is generally split between the divorcing parties. Broadly, marital property is any property acquired during the marriage.
According to Utah divorce law, marital property is required to be split in an equitable manner – equitable meaning fair. This doesn’t mean the property will be split 50/50.
Some factors that are considered when the court evaluates how property should be split include the following:
- Income of the divorcing parties
- Length of the marriage
- Health and age of the divorcing parties
- General finances of both parties
Even if both people agree on how property should be divided, a judge still reviews the agreement and makes sure it’s equitable.
What legal documents and forms are needed?
A variety of legal documents and forms are potentially needed for divorce in Utah, including the following:
- Petition for Divorce: This is generally the first document filled out as part of the divorce process. It outlines the intention to divorce and the reasons for the divorce. The other party has a chance to respond or challenge items in the petition.
- (1020GEJ) Proof of Completed Service and (1021GEJ) Certificate of Service: These forms are used to prove that a summons and petition were properly served to the other party.
- (1022GEJ) Acceptance of Service: This form can be signed by a respondent (the one who would normally be served a summons and petition) if they consent to receive the documents directly from the petitioner or another party in person by mail or email. It is largely a courtesy that can allow the petitioner to save money that they would otherwise have to spend on formal service.
- (1025GEJ) Ex Parte Motion for Alternative Service and (1028GEJ) Proof of Alternative Service: These are special documents one can file if a spouse cannot be located by personal service or registered mail. These forms may be used if the spouse cannot be served in the standard way.
- (1015GEJ) Summons, within Utah and (1016GEJ) Summons, outside of Utah: These documents are used to formally inform the other person you have started the divorce process. It lets them know about the specific window of time they have to respond.
- (1011GEJ) Answer: The Answer can be filed to express one's agreement, disagreement, or neither regarding the items listed on a petition for divorce.
- (1012GEJ) Counterclaim: This form may be filed to raise issues that were not listed in a petition for divorce.
- (1352FAJ) Financial Declaration, (1351FAJ) Notice of Disclosure Requirements in Domestic Relations Cases, and (1353FAJ) Certificate of Service of Financial Declaration: These various disclosure forms are used to provide important financial information to the other spouse and to prove to the court that the required information was disclosed.
- (1200GEJ) Initial Disclosures and (1201GEJ) Certificate of Service of Initial Disclosures: These forms are used to disclose information to the other party without a formal request, such as a list of witnesses who may be called to support one’s case.
- (1250GEJ) Certificate of Readiness for Trial and (1261GEJ) Trial Issues: These forms are used to signal readiness for trial and to inform the court of the issues that will be decided in the trial.
- (1101FAJ) Motion for Temporary Order and (1105GEJ) Stipulation to Motion: These forms are used to make requests for temporary court orders, such as those dealing with spousal support (alimony) and to accept such motions when in complete agreement with the motion.
- (1104GEJ) Memorandum Opposing Motion and (1106GEJ) Reply Memorandum Supporting Motion: These forms are used to oppose a motion for temporary orders and to respond to such opposition if a new matter was brought up that was not addressed in the original motion.
Note that if your spouse has signed a stipulation and your divorce is uncontested, you don’t need to serve them any forms. If you want to prepare court documents yourself rather than through an attorney, Utah offers an Online Court Assistance Program (OCAP) designed to help identify which forms you are likely to need and organize them in an easy-to-use fashion. At Hello Divorce, we also offer online divorce plans for Utah residents which you can read about here.
Which documents and forms will you need if children are involved?
Divorce cases involving children are more complex. Additional documents and forms may be required, including the following:
- (1004FAJ) Declaration of Other Parent's Earnings: This form is used to declare what one believes the other party’s earnings are in order to potentially affect decisions related to child support.
- (1202FAJ) Motion to Waive Education Requirements: This is a rarely used form for when the attendance of mandatory divorce education/divorce orientation sessions is either not possible or not in the filer’s best interest. This form asks for the requirement to be waived.
- (1051GEJ) Non-Public Information – Parent Identification and Location, (1052GEJ) Non-Public Information – Minors, and (1053GEJ) Non-Public Information – Safeguarded Contact Information: These forms are used to safeguard certain personal information.
- (1020FAJ) Child Support Obligation Worksheet for Joint Physical Custody, (1021FAJ) Child Support Obligation Worksheet for Sole Custody and Paternity, (1022FAJ) Child Support Obligation Worksheet for Split Custody, (1023FAJ) Worksheet to Determine Father's Obligation to Children in His Present Home, and (1024FAJ) Worksheet to Determine Mother's Obligation to Children in Her Present Home: These various forms are used to help determine child support payment responsibilities in different situations.
If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork involved, Hello Divorce can help. Schedule a free 15-minute call with an account coordinator to learn about the various levels of service we offer. Your account coordinator can help you find a Hello Divorce plan or a la carte service that offers the type and amount of assistance you need.
The importance of getting your finances in order
If you intend to get divorced (or have no choice in the matter), it’s important to organize your finances. You should know exactly how much money you make, how you're currently spending your money, and what adjustments you will need to make to your spending in your transition from married life to divorced life.
This is especially important if your ex primarily handled your finances. You will need to understand how to start supporting yourself.
It’s also worth noting that during the divorce process, you will need to report a great deal about your finances and any assets you have. Misreporting this information, even accidentally, could lead to serious consequences. The more thoroughly you document your financial situation, the easier the divorce process will be.
Start the process of separating your life from your ex
Once you’ve decided you want to get a divorce, even before the divorce is finalized, you should start thinking about how you will conduct your life as a single person. Try to answer these questions:
- How will you financially support yourself?
- Where will you live?
- How will you get health insurance?
- What mode of transportation will you be using?
- Where will you keep important documents, such as your Social Security card?
In divorce, you gain significant independence. But you also lose a system of support that you may have relied on. Reflect on the changes your future holds, and plan carefully.
The information provided in this checklist is aimed at helping with the most common types of divorce. But some situations are a bit more complex. Divorces for the following groups may require special consideration:
- Military officers
- Business owners
- Same-sex spouses
For example, you’ll likely need legal assistance if your Utah divorce involves splitting up a business. And if you're part of a same-sex marriage, you will want to understand your rights. Divorce for same-sex couples generally proceeds the same as it does for heterosexual couples. But if you were together long before your marriage occurred, a huge may need to take those years into consideration in determining your settlement agreement.
ReferencesProperty Division. Utah State Courts.
Online Court Assistance Program (OCAP). Utah State Courts.
Alimony. Utah State Courts.
Divorce. Utah State Courts.