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Legal Separation FAQs

Each relationship has its rough focuses, yet in the event that you encounter a larger number of downs than ups, it may be an ideal opportunity to converse with your spouse about what steps you should take straightaway. In case you’re thinking about divorce, you’re not the only one. About half of marriages end with one spouse documenting an appeal (ask for) for disintegration of marriage (divorce.) We’ve previously talked about Divorce vs. Legal Separation in Utah here.

Legal Separation FAQs

Even when parties experience communication issues in a relationship, most couples can still work together to negotiate the terms of their divorce. You should speak to your spouse about how to divide your marital property, develop a parenting plan for your minor children, and review financial support. The court will resolve any lingering disputes, and once it does, the judge will issue a final judgment of divorce, terminate your marriage, and declare each spouse an unmarried individual.

Legal separation is a divorce alternative that resolves the same legal issues, but in the end, you’re still legally married to your spouse. In most states, divorce is permanent, but legal separation can be temporary, which gives married couples the added benefit of the possibility for reconciliation later.

If Divorce and Legal Separation are Similar, Why Choose a Legal Separation?

There’s no brilliant line manage for when it’s best to seek after divorce or division. Connections are close to home, and just the couple knows whether there’s a shot for compromise later on. On the off chance that there is still seek after your marriage, yet you require time separated, lawful detachment makes it less demanding to continue wedded life later.

For religious or spiritual couples, divorce might not be an option if you want to continue in your faith. If that’s the case, legal separation will allow both spouses the freedom to live a life apart from each other, but both can continue following the practices of the church.

Other typical examples of why couples choose legal separation instead of divorce include:

  • to preserve health insurance for a spouse (it’s critical to confirm this with the health insurance company first)
  • to protect valuable federal or military benefits, and
  • to ease the family into a dry-run for divorce.

It’s a myth that couples must file for legal separation before divorce. In fact, the legal processes are nearly identical, so if you pursue legal separation but want a divorce later, you may wind up paying legal fees and expenses twice.

Can We Live Apart and Separate Without Filing Anything?

Yes. The law doesn’t expect spouses to live in a similar house or act like a wedded couple. On the off chance that you and your spouse might want some time far from each other, you can take an interest in a preliminary partition, which is the place you live in particular homes, however you don’t approach the court for mediation.

Most couples can agree on the terms of a trial separation, like how long it should last, who should reside in the marital home, and a schedule for visiting with the children. Trial separations often give married couples the time they need to pursue therapy—or if reconciliation isn’t possible—to prepare the family for divorce (or formal separation.) It’s important to note that because the court isn’t involved in trial separations, you have more flexibility with the terms of your agreement. That said, if either spouse decides to stop the trial separation, the only recourse for the other is to file a formal motion for legal separation or divorce.

Does Utah Allow Legal Separation?

Yes, but in Utah, it’s called a “judicial separation. Residents in Utah may file for a judicial separation by demonstrating that they meet the state’s divorce requirements. You’ll need to meet Utah’s residency requirement, meaning at least one spouse has lived in the state for a minimum of 60 days before filing. If you haven’t lived in the state for 60 days, but your wedding took place in Utah, you can file for a legal separation if you can prove that you have lived in the state since the day your wedding took place.

Every spouse must be prepared to provide the court with a legal reason—or, grounds—for the request for a legal separation. Utah is a no-fault divorce state, which means that neither spouse needs to point fingers or place blame for the failure of the relationship. In fact, the court is satisfied when the filing spouse declares that the marriage has suffered irreconcilable differences, or if either spouse is incurably insane and living in a mental institution for at least 2 years.

Utah requires a mandatory waiting period of 20 days from the time you file to when the judge can finalize your case. Couples should use this time to negotiate the terms of the separation, including whether it will have an expiration date. Like divorce, the judge will resolve any lingering disputes between the spouses before granting the separation. If you need immediate court orders, a judge can issue temporary orders as soon as you file.

Do We Have to Put Our Separation Agreement in Writing?

Yes, every legitimate partition ought to have a detachment agreement marked by the two spouses and the judge. Your request should resolve an indistinguishable issues from however it were a divorce. For instance, your contract should dictate who will be the custodial parent and primary caretaker for any minor children and include a detailed visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent. Your order should also address who should pay child support, each spouse’s rights and responsibilities regarding marital property and debt, and which spouse may continue living in (and paying for) the marital home.

The separation agreement does not terminate your marriage like a judgment of divorce, but it offers each spouse protection with a court order on the most crucial issues.

Free Consultation with a Legal Separation Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce or a legal separation 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