St. George Divorce Attorneys
Also Serving Clients in Cedar City & the Surrounding Areas
At Park Law Firm, we understand how emotionally difficult a divorce can be. Our compassionate and experienced St. George divorce lawyers are ready to assist you through the entire process.
There are a number of issues to consider when filing for a divorce. They include the following:
Our team can assist you with all aspects of the divorce process. We have over 50 years of combined legal experience and are prepared to help you navigate the legal system. We have offices located in St. George and Cedar City and serve clients throughout Southern Utah.
Contact us online or by phone at (435) 222-5869 to request a free consultation today.
Filing for Divorce in Utah
Once the decision to divorce has been made, the case must be filed with the court. In addition to asking that the marriage is dissolved, the court filing will also request information about what the parties want, such as spousal support, debt and property division, child custody, child support, visitation, restraints on the use of assets, and attorney’s fees. In some cases, there may also be a request for exclusive possession of the marital home or even a restraining order.
If you are not the person filing the divorce papers in court, you may be notified of such actions through documents given to you by a process server. These notices may request temporary spousal or child support until a hearing can be held. You should answer all motions by the required deadline. Failure to do so may cause the court to treat the issues in questions as “admitted,” even if they are false.
Grounds for Divorce in Utah
In Utah, you are able to file for divorce without proving that the other spouse is at-fault. This is known as a no-fault divorce. You only need to claim that there are “irreconcilable differences” between you and your spouse. The other alternative is a fault-based divorce.
The legally recognized grounds for a fault-based divorce can include:
- Extreme cruelty
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Willful neglect to provide for the marriage
- Willful desertion of the marriage for over a year
In a fault-based divorce, you must present evidence for your spouse’s wrongdoing, and be able to testify this in court. A fault-based divorce may play a role in the outcome of a child custody or alimony proceeding, as well. A spouse who has committed infidelity may be considered “at-fault,” and may be required to pay more in alimony (or receive less, depending on the circumstances).
Both sides in a lawsuit engage in a process called discovery. This is a necessary step to establish the facts of the case. This includes answering written questions within a set deadline. Both parties may also be required to produce documents to back up their claims. These include things such as tax returns, pays stubs, bank statements, mortgage details, and credit card information.
During the discovery process, both parties may be required to answer questions under oath. During this period, both attorneys will be laying out the facts of the case. This may include calling in expert witnesses to testify about the value of a house, business, or assets. Expert witnesses are also called to testify about mental and physical health or which parent should have custody of the children and which parent should have visitation.
In the State of Utah, all couples filing for divorce are required to participate in mediation before trial. This occurs after the divorce complaint has been filed with the court. Any contested issues that have not already been resolved can be addressed in mediation.
The purpose of mediation is to encourage both parties to collaborate in solving problems outside of the court. Mediation is often used to address sensitive issues, such as the best care for the children in the marriage. The process of mediation allows the parties to resolve their case more quickly with less expense.
The attorneys for both parties are responsible for hiring an agreed-upon mediator. The cost of this service will be split between the two sides in the case. In some instances, the mediation can be waived, but only if it is approved by the court. In cases where the parties are unable to afford a mediator, they may submit an application requesting financial assistance.
Arbitration is a hearing outside the court in which an agreed-upon arbitrator hears arguments, reviews evidence, rules on motions, and determines awards. As with mediation, an arbitrator is hired by both parties who share the cost of this service. An arbitrator can resolve differences faster than bringing those issues to trial. If the parties engage in non-binding arbitration, the awards can be rejected and thus be brought before the court if necessary.
Hire Experienced Attorneys
Each divorce case is different, which is why Park Law Firm offers individualized counseling. We understand how emotionally challenging a divorce can be. Our St. George divorce lawyers and entire legal staff will work hard to get your case resolved as quickly as possible. With offices in St. George and Cedar City, Park Law Firm is ready to stand by you through the entire process.
Call (435) 222-5869 today to speak with one of our divorce attorneys in St. George, Utah.