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Enforce Out of State Divorces in Utah

Enforce Out of State Divorces in Utah

If one spouse fulfills the residency requirements of another state, a divorce obtained in that state is valid regardless of where the other party lives. All states will recognize a divorce that was legally obtained anywhere in the United States.

However, there are certain decisions related to the divorce that might not be valid, unless the court had jurisdiction over the spouse who was not a resident. These decisions could include the division of assets and debt, child custody, child support and alimony. Simply showing up to a court date or signing an affidavit of service may constitute consent to jurisdiction, as can following a court’s rulings.

Things to Know in Your Divorce

All states require a spouse to have been a resident of the state before filing for divorce. In most cases, there are some minimums (six months to a year) associated with these residency requirements. In fact, there are only three states — Alaska, South Dakota and Washington — that allow you to file for divorce so long as you are a resident at the time of your filing.

If you suspect your spouse will file for divorce in another state, it might be worthwhile to file first in your home state. If your spouse files first in another state, you will likely rack up significant travel expenses to get to your court appearances. Plus, any modifications that would occur to the agreement would happen in the state where divorce was originally filed.

Can a Spouse Stop a Divorce Filed for Fault?

There is no way for a single spouse to stop a no-fault divorce. However, the state of Utah does allow for fault-based grounds for divorce, in which a spouse can prevent the divorce from proceeding by convincing the court he or she was not actually at fault for the split.

In addition to proving a lack of fault on your part, there are several other options available to prevent a divorce on fault-based grounds. These include the following:

  • Condonation: The defending spouse argues the approving spouse condoned his or her actions. For example, if a wife does not object to known adultery on the part of her husband, the husband could argue that constitutes condonation on the part of the wife.
  • Connivance: Connivance is similar to entrapment. It involves setting up a situation that encourages the other person to commit some sort of wrongdoing. If, for example, a husband invites a suspected lover to the family home and then leaves for the weekend, the wife might argue he connived (set up) her actions.
  • Collusion: In Utah, there are specific length of time requirements for separation before the couple may file for divorce. In this situation, they might pretend one of them was at fault to be able to file a fault-based divorce. This is a form of collusion, as the two people are working together to mislead the court. One spouse could alert the court to this collusion if he or she decides against going through with the divorce.
  • Provocation: If one spouse provokes the other to act in a certain way, and that resulting action forms the basis of the “fault” in question in the divorce, the spouse supposedly at fault could prevent the divorce by arguing he or she would not have acted in such a way without being provoked.

Free Consultation with a Divorce Lawyer

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 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