Cost of Divorce in Utah
Divorce Costs in Utah
The answer depends on what you want from the divorce. At one end of the scale, you want out of the relationship quickly with no child custody issues to worry about. On the other end of the scale, you have a complicated divorce with children in the home and property to divide. You’ll pick how best to address these issues with the help of a professional and a free consultation with an attorney.
Do it yourself divorce
Many couples handle their own dissolution of the marriage. The only cost of divorce in Utah through this method is the filing fee to the family court, a fee which the Court in your jurisdiction sets. You will have to pay additional fees if you have children. In Utah, the courts require you take a divorce orientation class and a divorce education class. The combined cost of these is $55 per parent. You may petition the court to waive certain fees based on your income.
For a DIY divorce, you’ll have to come to an agreement with your spouse on various issues like division of property, alimony and child custody. Make sure both parties are comfortable with the decisions before putting them on paper and filing them with the court.
Though this option is typically the cheapest, it also is very high risk because there is a chance that proper paperwork and procedure is not followed and you would be forced to hire an attorney anyway. It is always best practice to consult an attorney even if you choose to file for the divorce yourself.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), or mediation, is another method of obtaining a divorce without expensive court costs. There are fees involved; you have to pay the mediator but it is not necessary to pay an attorney. You’ll still have to pay the associated court costs like the filing fee.
The mediator will be an impartial party to the divorce, helping both parties reach an amicable agreement. You’ll sit with your spouse and discuss matters calmly without lawyers present. You’ll never have to see a judge.
Under Utah law, parties are required to resolve some issues left unresolved in the answer to a divorce complaint by mediation. Utah requires the parties to attend at least one session of ADR and to share in the cost of paying the mediator. The mediator must be on the Court’s list of approved mediators. The parties have to go through mediation before the divorce can continue in court.
Participation in mandatory ADR is only triggered if there are contested issues in the divorce. If both parties agree, there is no need for mediation.
Although hiring an attorney is not mandatory, it is of great benefit to parties that use ADR in Utah. They can review final documents before you agree to them and offer advice when you need it.
Financial assistance is available for mediation.
Despite the cost of divorce in Utah, You may still need a lawyer
Hiring an attorney is often the most expensive way to pursue a divorce. You have to pay billable hours and additional costs as well as court fees. Some spouses like to use their attorney like a weapon when divorces get ugly and will hit you in the wallet with constant issues if they think it will hurt you. It may be in your best interest to retain a lawyer despite the cost of divorce in Utah, even if you plan on a DIY divorce or mediation.
Some attorneys may also act as mediators or specialize in assisting couples who seek mediation as a resolution. You can contact them to help walk you through a DIY or mediation process if you have concerns.
If the mediation breaks down, or the spouses can’t come to an agreement between themselves, the divorce will have to be resolved in court. Here it becomes a necessity to have competent legal assistance. The Law Office of David Pedrazas, PLLC, can provide you with the caring and efficient legal service to help you through a difficult divorce. Fill out our form to the right to learn more about the cost of divorce in Utah from our legal experts.