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Divorce Terms to Know

Divorce Terms to Know

As you go through a divorce, there’s a good chance you will come across some legal terminology with which you’re unfamiliar. The following are a few common examples:

  • Alternative dispute resolution (ADR): A settlement process that occurs out of court, whether it’s through negotiations, mediation or arbitration. It is typically used to help divorcing couples avoid a full trial.
  • Annulment: A legal judgment that the “marriage” was never actually valid for specific circumstances in your relationship.
  • COBRA: The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act allows people to continue being covered under their ex’s health insurance even after they are divorced.
  • Cohabitation: Unmarried partners living together as though they are married.
  • Discovery: The process in which each party gathers information to use to their advantage during divorce proceedings.
  • Divorce decree: The final judgment or document that contains your legally binding divorce agreement.
  • Equitable: An “equitable” distribution of property is all about what’s fair, not necessary what’s equal.
  • Joint property: Property you and your spouse accrued during the course of your marriage. This property is subject to the asset division process.
  • Prenuptial agreement: A written contract entered into before marriage that could have an impact on all of the divorce processes affecting your case.

How Long Must I Pay Child Support?

In Utah State, generally, a child must be supported until the age of 21. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule. When a child has not reached 21, but is supporting himself or herself, or is in the military or has married, the obligation to pay child support ends. Another situation that may merit the cessation of child support involves children between 17 and 21 who are on their own and not under the control of parents.

Once child support is ordered, the paying parent must continue to make payments for as long as the order is in effect. It is important to note that any agreement that the spouses come to either increasing or decreasing the amount of support without the approval of the court is not enforceable. This means that if you and your spouse verbally decide to lower the amount you pay, and at some point your spouse decides to file for the amount originally ordered, the court can order you to pay the original amount ordered, in spite of your verbal agreement to pay less.

Similarly, if you voluntarily decide to pay more, and then drop back to the original support amount, your spouse needs to seek court approval of the increased amount to guarantee receipt of that amount. Support orders can be modified due to changes in circumstances so do not hesitate to seek out the advice of a lawyer.

Some Tips to Help You Deal with the Emotional Aspects of Divorce

Divorce isn’t easy on anyone, and you may be feeling many different emotions as you work through the process. There will be good days and bad, and sometimes it may feel like it will be impossible for you to move on.

However, if you take some time to reflect, you will likely find you are indeed capable of starting a new life and having a positive future. Here are a few tips to help manage the emotions of getting divorced:

  • Don’t rush into a new relationship: It’s natural to want to try to find someone new who you can take comfort in after your marriage ends. But you need to take some time to yourself so that you can fully understand what you need, rather than leaning on a replacement or a rebound.
  • Take time to grieve: Despite what you may think, it is difficult to lose the person who you had once trusted with everything — even if your relationship wasn’t always good. It can feel like you are suddenly without a confidant. It is natural and necessary to let yourself grieve for the loss of this relationship. Being honest about it and embracing your emotions is an important step to take.
  • Get therapy if needed: You might come out of a divorce feeling like you’ll never be able to trust anyone again. If this is the case, consider visiting with a therapist or support group. This will allow you the opportunity to talk about your feelings and find some inner peace.
  • Do what you need to for your happiness: Take up new (or old) hobbies. Indulge yourself every now and then. Simply put, do what makes you happy. You deserve a chance to feel good. This isn’t to say you should just abandon responsibilities and live an irresponsible, but you shouldn’t feel guilty about treating yourself every once in a while.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will fight for you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506