The short answer is ‘Yes.’
But, as your family practice attorney will tell you, a divorce can still be a wise financial investment. Depending on your grounds for your divorce and the terms of your divorce decree, getting a divorce may be one of the best financial moves you’ve ever made.
What are the grounds for divorce in Utah?
There are 10 statutory grounds for divorce in Utah. Hold up: What is statutory? What are grounds? And, why do they matter to you?
● “Grounds” refers to the reasons for something. However, in a legal sense, grounds are more than simply reasons for the court to be involved. Grounds are the reasons specified by the law “that will serve as a basis for demanding relief.”
That means that the grounds for your divorce are the reasons why the court must, by law, come to your aid and offer justice and relief.
● “Statutory” refers to “statutes” or “laws.” Statutory means that your appeal fits into the statutes or laws of your state.
Thus, the ten statutory grounds for divorce in Utah are the ten reasons for divorce that are seen as legitimate and cause for the legal action of divorce. Deciding the statutory grounds for your divorce will determine many financial consequences and affect visitation rights, alimony, and child custody.
The following are the ten statutory grounds for divorce in Utah:
Adultery committed after the marriage is considered grounds for divorce. Adultery is legally defined as a voluntary act of sexual intercourse between a married person and someone outside the marriage.
The willful or deliberate desertion of one spouse by the other for more than a year is considered grounds for divorce.
3. Neglect to Provide
The willful or deliberate decision of one spouse to fail to provide the common necessities of life for the other spouse is considered neglect. The common necessities of life refer to shelter, food, water, and clothing. Although this statute was adopted initially to protect women who were reliant on male support for the common necessities of life, the statute may be used in a broader sense when applied in modern times.
4. Impotency at the Time of Marriage
Impotency at the time of marriage means that some impediment (a physical or mental condition) existed at the time of marriage, making it impossible for the marriage to be consummated. Consummation is defined as sexual intercourse between married partners. Interestingly, sex is part of the legal and historical contract of marriage, not just a common assumption about marriage.
The habitual drunkenness of one spouse is grounds for the other spouse to file for divorce. Frequent and troublesome intoxication (alcohol or drugs) can make a marriage burdensome for the non-indulgent partner. Drunkenness is grounds for an at-fault divorce.
6. Felony Conviction
Grounds for divorce exist immediately upon the felony conviction of a spouse. Common felonies include drug abuse convictions, disorderly conduct, assault, violent crimes, supplying alcohol to minors, weapons crimes, computer crimes, fraud, domestic violence, theft (including insider trading, identity theft, and corporate theft), counterfeiting, and forging legal documents including immigration records.
7. Mental or Physical Cruelty
Causing bodily harm or great mental distress is considered abuse and grounds for divorce. Common forms of abuse include physical, sexual, financial, and emotional.
8. Legal Separation (Three Years)
Living separate and apart under a decree of separate maintenance (issued by a court) is grounds for divorce. A decree of separate maintenance does not end a marriage but is often used as a protected trial period before any final decisions about divorce are made. Consult with a family practice attorney if you feel this might be a good option in your situation.
Permanent and incurable insanity, as legal grounds for divorce, must be established by a medical professional.
10. Irreconcilable Difference
Although most divorces in Utah are grounded on irreconcilable differences, this is a relatively modern development. Irreconcilable differences were added to statutory divorce law in 1987 to allow for a “no-fault” divorce in which neither partner needs to accuse the other of explicit wrong-doing. Since 1987, irreconcilable differences have been the most common grounds for divorce in Utah.
Although a no-fault, uncontested divorce based on irreconcilable differences is the fastest, most private divorce method, you will benefit financially if you involve a family attorney.
Do I have to hire a divorce specialist lawyer to get a divorce?
You didn’t have to hire a lawyer to get married, right? So why do you need one to get divorced?
This article is not a substitute for an attorney; neither does this article give legal advice or counsel. If you are considering legal action, or if your spouse has involved you in legal action (such as divorce), we recommend that you seek the professional advice of a family divorce lawyer near you.
An initial consultation, usually offered for no cost, will give you a feeling for the issues involved with a divorce, especially one that involves child custody, parental rights, alimony, and a division of financial assets and responsibilities.