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Centerville Utah Divorce Attorney

Centerville Utah Divorce Attorney

Centerville is a city in southeastern Davis County, Utah, United States. It is part of the Ogden-Clearfield Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 15,335 at the 2010 census. It is located adjacent to the easternmost part of the Great Salt Lake. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.0 square miles (15.6 km2), all of it land.


A marriage may only be ended through the Courts. There are different ways to end a marriage either temporarily or permanently, such as a legal separation, an annulment or a divorce. Although there are some minor differences, the process for ending a marriage is very similar. There is no way to prevent a divorce in Centerville Utah if one spouse wants it even if the other doesn’t.

Legal Separation, An Annulment, And A Divorce

• A legal separation, called separate maintenance in Utah, does not end your marriage. You remain legally married, but intend to live apart from each other. Since you are no longer living together, you may ask the court to enter an order for custody, visitation, child support, property division, debt payment, and other issues.
• An annulment is an order from the court not only ending the marriage, but basically stating that the marriage never happened. Like a legal separation, the judge may enter an order as to custody, visitation, child support, property division, debt payment, and other issues. An annulment may be difficult to prove unless the marriage is clearly void under Utah law (such as where your spouse was already married to someone else when you married). In most cases, you must prove that your spouse purposely kept information from you or told you a lie to get you to marry, and that had you known the truth, you would never have married.
• A divorce simply ends the marriage. Again, the court may enter an order as to custody, visitation, child support, property division, pensions, alimony, and other issues.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Centerville Utah?

The answer to this question depends upon the circumstances. Some ideas follow:
• Uncontested divorce with or without children: Utah law imposes a 90-day waiting period after filing for a divorce before it may be granted, so even if you and your spouse agree on all the issues, it would take at least 90 days. However, you may try to waive the waiting period. Divorcing parents must to take two (2) classes: the Divorce Orientation class and the Divorce Education for Parents Class.

• Contested divorce: If you and your spouse cannot agree on the terms of the divorce, then it could take months or even years.
After filling out and filing the paperwork, your spouse must be served meaning they must get a copy of the paperwork and any notice of hearing for temporary orders signed so they know what you are asking. “Service” can be done by the sheriff’s office and/or a constable, or a person over the age of 18. Your spouse will have 21 days to respond if they are served within the state of Utah. If they are served outside of Utah, they will have 30 days to respond.
There is no one way that property, debts, and other issues are divided. You may do it any way that makes sense in your situation. However, here are some general guidelines:

Debt In Divorce

The general rule is that if there is a debt on the property, the person who keeps the property will also have to pay the debt. However, when the person getting the property has no money or is disabled and the other party makes lots of money, then the person with money might have to pay the debt. Also, a spouse is usually not responsible for the other’s debt unless they have signed a loan agreeing to pay for their spouse’s debt or if the debt was for a family purpose (i.e., kids’ clothes, kitchen appliances, or anything that benefits the whole family).

Personal Property

Personal property is property that is considered to be moveable. This includes items like cars, furniture, dishes, etc. The general rule for property division is to divide it equally allowing each person to set up a separate home. However, as with debts, a person gets to keep personal property he or she brought into the marriage, or property that was a gift to one person, or that was inherited by one person. Unless that property has been combined with other marital property or is used in a way that it takes on the legal status of marital property. In dividing personal property, it is best to sit down with your spouse and agree on who gets what. Each should then take the property as agreed, remembering to change titles and names on accounts as necessary. It may be helpful to include the Vehicle Identification Numbers and/or any existing serial numbers for any property in your divorce decree. However, remember that it is a public document, so consider any confidentiality/identity issues that may exist, such as social security numbers. If you cannot decide on your own how to divide the personal property, the Judge might have one party make two lists and allow the other party to choose which list they want.

Real Property

Real property is land and anything permanently attached to land, such as a house or buildings. Generally, you will get to keep any real property you brought it into the marriage, if it was a gift, or if it was inherited. Unless you have commingled it with marital property or otherwise changed the nature of your real property so that it takes on the legal status of marital property. If the home was purchased during the marriage, it will be considered marital property even if only one name is on the deed. Often the real property is sold and the money from the sale is divided equally between the parties. However, one person may “buy out” the other by giving them what they would have gotten had the property been sold. The person giving up the house should sign a Quit Claim Deed to the other person once the divorce is final. It may be helpful to include a property description in the decree itself, so that you may record the order at the County Recorder’s Office or otherwise use the order to prove change of title to lenders, purchasers, title insurance companies and the like. If you do not agree on who should get the house, the Court will do its best to enter a fair order. The Court may award the home to one party and award to the other party other marital assets of equal value. The Court could order the home sold and the equity split. If you have kids, the home might go to the party with custody of the children until the children move out of the house. At that time the house will be sold and the party who did not live in the home will get half of the equity as of the time of the divorce. Or the party awarded the home may have to buy out the other party by paying the cost of half the equity calculated at the time of the divorce. However, remember to calculate the equity of the home during the divorce process and include the amount of equity owing in the final order.

Alimony In Divorce

The Court looks at the needs of the parties and their ability to support themself against the ability of the other spouse to pay. In addition, alimony will generally be awarded for the same time as the length of the marriage (i.e., if the marriage was 10 years long, then alimony would only be awarded for 10 years). However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

Retirement/Pension Plans

If both parties have retirement plans, each will likely be awarded their own account. However, each spouse is likely entitled to half of any retirement benefits that were earned during the marriage. If you are not the person putting money into the plan, but you are awarded some of the benefits, you must get a Qualified Domestic Relations Order or QDRO. Until a QDRO is signed and approved by the pension/retirement plan, it will not be split. In fact, if you do not successfully complete the QDRO, your share of the pension may not be available when you need it for your retirement, and indeed, may be lost entirely. You may change your name as part of your divorce. The party wishing to change his or her name needs to include a paragraph stating that their name is being changed. If you feel that the other party is harassing you, you may ask the court to enter a restraining order and say what you want the other party to be restrained from doing. Unlike the protective order, violation of a restraining order is not a crime. It is contempt of court and must be enforced by the Court. If you disagree with the Judge’s order on one or more issues in your divorce, you have the right to appeal. This means having a higher court review your case. You must file your appeal within 30 days of the final entry of the decree of divorce. Appealing a case is a complex and technical process and you should consider hiring an attorney to help you. Once the court enters a divorce decree, it may be modified only if the parties can show that there has been a substantial and material change in circumstances since the divorce was entered. For example, this might mean a large change in one party’s income, or the fact that one party moves from the state. Once the court finds that there is a substantial and material change in circumstances, then it needs to decide what the order should be. When reviewing a custody or visitation order, the court will always base its decision on the best interest of the children. In the event of a substantial change, a petition is filed with the court asking that the decree be changed.

Steps to Getting a Divorce in Centerville, Utah

If you are navigating a divorce, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and, at times, lost. There are so many tasks to check off and details to address. The divorce process is often so complex, knowing what your next move should be is not always clear. A divorce begins when a petitioner files a petition for divorce. Then, papers will be served. Proof of service is filed with 120 days of serving. Though, a Stipulation will be filed if both parties agree.

If Parties Disagree In Divorce

Once papers have been served, the respondent will need to reply. The summons will state how many days the defendant has to respond. In most cases, if they are served in Utah, they must file their response within 21 days of being served. If they are served outside of Centerville Utah, the defendant has 30 days after service. If the defendant does not reply or reply within the allotted timeframe, the plaintiff can ask the court to enter a default judgment (the plaintiff wins, and the defendant loses the chance to tell their side). Parties will then exchange financial declaration and initial disclosures. Each party must reveal their income, any assets, and debts and expenses to the other party to determine child support, alimony, and division of debt and property. Parties also need to disclose any information, documents, and witnesses that help prove or defend their case. Both parties must complete at least one session of mediation in an attempt to resolve any disputed issues. If mediation does not resolve disputed issues, a trial will be necessary. In a trial, a judge will determine the case and tells parties to prepare and file final documents. If at any point, before the trial, either party can file a motion for a temporary order. A temporary order will determine child custody, parent time, alimony, attorney fees, and other matters. Both parties must file this temporary order until it changes or until the final ruling.
If Parties Agree
If both parties agree, a Stipulation will be filed. Parties must wait 30 days from the date petition was filed. Final documents will be filed next.
Final documents are filed. If there are children involved, proof of income for both parties will need to be submitted. Additionally, both parties must attend a mandatory education class from an approved provider. Online or in-person courses are available. This education course can be waived by filing a motion. Certificates of completion of this education course must be presented.
Case is finished
After final documents have been filed, a judge will review documents and sign the divorce decree.

Divorce Modification Attorneys in Centerville, Utah

Don’t let anyone tell you that Modifying Divorce Decrees is impossible. It is hard, but when it is the right thing to do, the Courts will review a requested change. As time passes, an Order of the Court may no longer accurately reflect your current situation. Changes such as getting remarried, moving to a new home, or losing a job (to name just a few) can make the terms of your Order incompatible with your day-to-day reality.
Court Orders can be modified in Centerville, Utah
The good news is that divorce decrees or other orders of the court can be modified where there is good cause, supported by a material and substantial change in circumstances. For example, a person may ask the court to increase child support payments because their ex-spouse is now making a much greater income than at the time of divorce.

Divorce Modification Process

Generally, if you want to modify some aspect of your Decree of Divorce or other Order, you will need to file a Petition to Modify with the same court that issued it. Keep in mind that the Court is looking for a “material and substantial change in circumstances.” In other words, the change must not be minimal, and not of a temporary nature. Simply wishing to alter your custody arrangement because you no longer like it does not qualify. Similarly, the court will probably not lessen your alimony payments merely because you have come to regret agreeing to pay them. Note that there is an additional requirement if you are requesting a change that affects a minor child, such as custody, parent-time schedules, and certain aspects of your parenting plan. After demonstrating that your situation has changed meaningfully and permanently, you must also show the court that the proposed change is in the child’s best interest. When performing this analysis, the Court is guided by specific factors found in the applicable statutes. If your situation meets the material and substantial requirement, then your Petition to Modify will proceed through the court process in much the same way that the original case did. Answers, discovery of evidence, mediation, temporary orders, and court hearings are all done in similar fashion. In essence, you are re-litigating your case, but this time, with a narrower focus on just the issues that have been affected by your changed circumstances.

Divorce Lawyer In Centerville, Utah

When you need to get divorced or need help with child custody in Centerville, Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

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