Contested Divorce vs. Uncontested Divorce
If you and your spouse can agree on all of the issues in your divorce, you can obtain an "uncontested" divorce in Utah. An uncontested divorce is less expensive, less stressful and less time consuming than a contested divorce. However, if you and your spouse disagree on any issue — whether it is marital property division, child custody, visitation, child support or alimony — your divorce will be considered "contested."
In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse should still be represented by an attorney to ensure that you receive everything you are entitled to under Utah law. One of you (called the petitioner) will need to initiate and serve the other the petition for divorce. The respondent then has 20 days to respond to the petition (or 30 days if the petition was served outside of Utah).
If the respondent agrees to the petition and the terms of the divorce, then the parties can proceed to prepare the appropriate legal documents. The court will still review and could change the documents before granting the divorce decree. If the couple has minor children, the parents must attend a divorce orientation class and a divorce education class.
Utah law requires that there be at least 90 days between the date the divorce petition is filed and the date the decree is signed.
If the respondent does not agree with any of the issues in the divorce petition, he or she can file an answer. In this event, your divorce would be considered contested. All contested divorces in Utah require the couple to attend at least one mediation session before the case can move forward.
If you and your spouse can reach an agreement on all but a few issues, then you would need to litigate only those issues. The vast majority of contested divorces are resolved before they reach a trial. More and more, divorce cases are resolved in mediation.
Our contested and uncontested divorce attorneys are easy to talk to and will listen carefully to you. At Stavros Law, our goal is to resolve your divorce as amicably as possible, while ensuring that your interests are protected. We have significant experience with both contested and uncontested divorce, as well as representing clients in mediation and trial involving family law issues.
For a free initial telephone consultation, please call our at (801) 758-7604 today or contact us online.
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Stavros Law P.C. is a Utah law firm providing legal services to individuals and businesses in Utah, the Mountain West and across the United States, including Salt Lake City, Draper, Sandy, South Jordan, West Jordan, Lehi, Provo, Orem and Spanish Fork. Our lawyers provide civil litigation, trial and appeal work to clients in federal and state courts throughout the United States. We provide litigation and counseling services for clients in the areas of business and commercial law, employment and labor law, health care law and family law.