You should meet with an attorney to figure out what exactly a divorce entails and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that no financial harm is done to you and that your marital estate isn’t suddenly dissipated by the other party. While the damage can generally be undone, it takes a long time to turn back the clock. To undo it, you need to have accurate and complete records, so that you can historically reconstruct what things looked like at any given time. To prevent that situation from happening, some protective measures to take are to cancel joint credit cards and formally separate from your spouse.
Setting a separation date sooner rather than later can have a big impact on the eventual outcome of your case. Oftentimes, if one party starts being erratic and dissipating assets, the court will go back to the separation date to sort that out. Always seek legal advice. Having those issues explained to you is the first step to take because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. You want to understand the implications of your potential actions, so that you can choose the right strategic decision for you.
Is There Any Benefit To Filing For Divorce Before Your Spouse In Utah?
There is no inherent benefit to being the Petitioner or the Respondent in your divorce case. If you are the Petitioner, some of your deadlines will be set before the equivalent deadlines for the Respondent. While there may be a mental or emotional advantage, from a legal perspective, the difference is only sentimental.
What Options Do Couples Have When Proceeding With A Divorce In Utah?
There are two general types of divorces: contested and uncontested. A contested divorce means there are certain things that you do not agree on and you are going to have to have a judge decide instead of deciding together. Very few cases that start as contested divorces continue to trial, which means at some point, the contested divorce becomes an uncontested divorce and the parties bring a joint proposal to the court for its approval. In certain cases, that agreement already exists at the beginning of the divorce. The parties both agree on how they should divide their marital assets and untangle their lives from each other and they are able to submit that to the court in a way that does not require any additional determination.
Whenever you file a petition with the court, you are filing a wish list. You are telling the court what it is you would like. In a contested divorce, you can do that without any concern about the other party. They are going to be able to file an answer to it and they are going to be able to tell the court what they would rather have. In an uncontested divorce, one person still has to file and they can file their wishes but at this point, they have drafted a petition that both parties agree on and are comfortable with. The Respondent, rather than filing an answer and challenging the petition, can simply file an acceptance, consent, and waiver and allow the divorce to proceed according to the terms that are in the petition.
Alternatively, a couple can file a temporary separation in Utah where they can have orders that would govern alimony, personal property, custody, and child support. That order expires after one year. At any time during that year, either party can roll the separation case into a divorce case.
For more information on Protecting Your Interests Prior To Divorce, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 923-6565 today.