When you think of common reasons for divorce in Utah, USA, what comes to mind? Infidelity? Money problems? Family conflicts? A loss of attraction from one or both partners? When it comes to the top reason for divorce, the answer may surprise you. While the dissolution of a marriage is usually a complicated situation, the top reason is related to most other problems that arise. If you’re concerned about the state of your relationship, knowing the most common reasons for divorce can allow you to identify areas that you and your spouse may need to work on.
The Number One Reason For Divorce
According to recent research, ongoing communication difficulties are the number one reason that couples divorce in the United States. According to one study, 67.5% of marriages that ended did so primarily due to communication problems. Communication is the foundation of a successful relationship. It allows for a strong bond that encourages the growth of your bond over time. If your communication is impaired, it can severely stunt that growth and cause unnecessary arguments, resentment, and hostility. While the early days of a relationship can feel like magic, once the butterflies disappear, a mature relationship takes work. This is especially true when you hit a rough patch. Instead of arguing and taking sides against each other, both of you need to view each other as partners instead of enemies. Communication problems usually persist for a long time before the marriage ends. If you and your spouse are always arguing, even over small matters, or constantly disagreeing with one another, or have a tendency not to speak to each other at all out of fear of conflict, it’s crucial to recognize the problem and proactively find better ways to communicate. Research has supported the theory that each of us develops an attachment style shaped by the way our primary caregiver raised us. The four types of attachment styles are secure, anxious-preoccupied, dismissive-avoidant, and fearful-avoidant. People with a secure style are more likely to communicate healthily with their spouse. Those with an anxious-preoccupied style are hyperaware of signs of rejection and need validation often. An offhand comment may activate a person with anxious-preoccupied attachment to worry that the relationship is in jeopardy. Those with dismissive-avoidant or fearful-avoidant attachment styles may be less comfortable talking about their feelings and may avoid conflict whenever possible. This often leads to the tendency to ignore their partner’s complaints and bids for attention. This can become a vicious cycle that eventually tears the couple apart. A lack of empathy simply causes many communication problems and not taking the time to listen to one another. This can be due to defensiveness or “mind-reading,” where we interpret what another person is saying through the lens of our feelings and beliefs.
Communication Warning Signs
Usually, there are many warning signs before marriage falls apart. Reasons to get a divorce normally don’t just pop up overnight. Unfortunately, you or your partner may not realize these ongoing problems unless you step back and evaluate your relationship and ways of communicating with each other. It can be uncomfortable to acknowledge marital difficulties, leading many couples to stay in denial. However, that only leads to deeper cracks in the marriage over time. The first step is, to be honest with each other and admit that there is a real problem. Read over this list of common communication problems and see if you recognize any at play in your relationship:
• Blaming instead of working on a solution together.
• Looking down on the other person.
• Constantly criticizing the other person.
• A lack of positive feedback, praise, or appreciation.
• Refusing to discuss issues, “the silent treatment.”
• Mind-reading (assuming you know what your partner thinks without asking).
Preventing Communication Breakdown Before Divorce
Couples that regularly make time to talk to one another, not just about trivial matters but about their feelings, dreams, and hardships, are more likely to have a successful marriage. Those who let other matters get in the way will likely drift apart over time. It’s vital that you truly listen to your partner when they’re speaking and focus on what they’re saying, not on crafting your reply in your head. This may sound simple, but many people don’t take the time to listen to one another truly. This can quickly lead to conflict when people feel misunderstood or unheard. It’s also crucial that there’s give-and-take in your communication. If one partner tends to only talk about their struggles or achievements, without expressing interest in what their partner is experiencing, that can make the other partner feel.
Process Of Filing For Divorce In Utah
Step One: Filing the Divorce Petition
• Whether both spouses agree to the divorce or not, before any couple can begin the divorce process, one spouse must file a legal petition asking the court to terminate the marriage. The filing spouse must include the following information:
a statement which informs the court that at least one spouse meets the state’s residency requirements for divorce
a legal reason—or grounds—for the divorce, and
any other statutory information that your state requires.
• Residency requirements vary depending on where you live. States usually require at least one spouse to live in the state anywhere from 3 months to 12 months, and in the county where the spouse files at least 10 days to 6 months before filing the petition. Divorcing spouses must meet the state’s residency requirement before the court can accept the case
• Grounds for divorce vary from state-to-state. However, all states offer divorcing couples the option to file a no-fault divorce. No-fault divorce is a streamlined process that allows spouses to file a divorce petition without listing a specific reason or placing blame on either spouse. If your spouse committed marital misconduct or caused the breakup, some states allow parties to claim “fault” for the divorce, like adultery or neglect. If you’re unsure whether you should file a no-fault or fault divorce, contact an experienced family law attorney in your state for guidance.
Step Two: Asking for Temporary Orders
Courts understand that the waiting period for divorce may not be possible for all couples. For example, if you are a stay-at-home parent that is raising your children and dependent on your spouse for financial support, waiting for 6-months for the judge to finalize your divorce probably seems impossible. When you file for divorce, the court allows you to ask the court for temporary court orders for child custody, child support, and spousal support. If you request a temporary order, the court will hold a hearing and request information from each spouse before deciding how to rule on the application. The judge will usually grant the temporary order quickly, and it will remain valid until the court orders otherwise or until the judge finalizes the divorce. Other temporary orders may include a request for status quo payments or temporary property restraining orders. Status quo orders typically require the breadwinner to continue paying marital debts throughout the divorce process. Temporary property restraining orders protect the marital estate from either spouse selling, giving away, or otherwise disposing of marital property during the divorce process. Restraining orders are usually mutual, meaning both spouses must follow it or risk being penalized by the court. If you need a temporary order but didn’t file your request at the time you filed for divorce, you’ll need to apply for temporary orders as quickly as possible. When you file for divorce, the court allows you to ask the court for temporary court orders for child custody, child support, and spousal support.
Step Three: Serve Your Spouse and Wait for a Response
After you file the petition for divorce and request for temporary orders, you need to provide a copy of the paperwork to your spouse and file proof of service with the court. Proof of service is a document that tells the court that you met the statutory requirements for giving a copy of the petition to your spouse. If you don’t properly serve your spouse, or if you neglect to file a proof of service with the court, the judge will be unable to proceed with your divorce case. Service of process can be easy, especially if your spouse agrees with the divorce and is willing to sign an acknowledgment of service. However, some spouses, especially ones that want to stay married or make the process complicated, can be evasive or try anything to frustrate the process. The easiest way to ensure proper service is for the filing spouse to hire a professional who is licensed and experienced in delivering legal documents to difficult parties. The cost is usually minimal and can help prevent a delay in your case. If your spouse retained an attorney, you could arrange to have the paperwork delivered to the attorney’s office.
The party who receives the paperwork (usually titled “defendant” or “respondent”) must file an answer or reply to the divorce petition within a prescribed amount of time. Failure to respond could result in a “default” judgment against the non-responding spouse, which can be complicated and expensive to reverse. The responding party has the option to dispute the grounds for divorce (if a fault divorce), the allegations in the petition, or assert any disagreements as to property, support, custody, or any other divorce-related issues.
Step Four: Negotiate a Settlement
In cases where the parties have differing opinions on important topics, like child custody, support, or property division, both spouses will need to work together to reach an agreement. Sometimes the court will schedule a settlement conference, which is where the parties and their attorneys will meet to discuss the status of the case. The court may schedule mediation, which is where a neutral third-party will help facilitate discussion between the spouses in hopes to resolve lingering issues. Some states require participation in mediation, while others do not. However, mediation often saves significant time and money during the divorce process, so it’s often a good route for many divorcing couples.
Step Five: Divorce Trial
Sometimes negotiations fail despite each spouse’s best efforts. If there are still issues that remain unresolved after mediation and other talks, the parties will need to ask the court for help, which means going to trial. A divorce trial is costly and time-consuming, plus it takes all the power away from the spouses and puts it in the hands of the judge. Negotiations and mediation sessions allow the couple to maintain control and have more predictable results than a divorce trial, so it’s best to avoid a trial if possible.
Step Six: Finalizing the Judgment
Whether you and your spouse negotiated throughout the divorce process, or a judge decided the significant issues for you, the final step of divorce comes when the judge signs the judgment of divorce. The judgment of divorce (or “order of dissolution”) ends the marriage and spells out the specifics about how the couple will allocate custodial responsibility and parenting time, child and spousal support, and how the couple will divide assets and debts. If the parties negotiated a settlement, the filing spouse’s attorney typically drafts the judgment. However, if the couple went through a divorce trial, the judge will issue the final order.
Uncontested Divorce in Utah
Divorce can be devastating; however, uncontested divorces are often less devastating to your finances and sanity than contested ones. Your divorce does not have to become a soap opera. Instead, Utah’s uncontested divorce process allows spouses to reach an agreement on their own and avoid the stress and anxiety associated with attending a trial before a judge. The uncontested process can be relatively quick, and certainly less expensive than taking a divorce to trial. Uncontested divorces are an option available to divorcing Utah couples with or without children. These types of divorces are generally less expensive and faster than traditional divorces because you avoid the expense of attorneys, custody evaluations and hiring experts for trial. If you and your spouse are able to agree on all issues regarding your divorce, including child custody, visitation and support, then an uncontested divorce is a real option. However, if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on any issue in your divorce, then your divorce becomes contested and you will be required to attend a trial where a judge will decide the remaining issues in your divorce case.
The following is a list of some of the major issues that must be resolved between you and your spouse before filing an uncontested divorce action in Utah:
• division of real estate and personal property
• division of debts and assets
• child custody and visitation if you and your spouse have minor children
• child support, health and insurance coverage
• alimony or spousal support, and
• any other issues related to your marriage.
#1 Cause of Divorce Lawyer
When you need a lawyer to help you with divorce in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506
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