Listed below is an useful overview of the legal steps and divorce court processes you will encounter in Utah Divorce and Family Law Court. Click to view and print your own copy.
To watch an informative video on the Divorce Process and Timeline, click HERE.
Overview of Divorce Timeline and the Court Process:
- Meet with Attorney, provide information needed to prepare pleadings
- Prepare and File Divorce Complaint
- Service of Process – Service on Respondent within 120 days of the date petition for divorce is filed.
- Respondent must file an answer (within 20 days if in-state, in 30 if days out-of-state) or will be in default.
- If the couple has children, both parties must* attend: 1) the Mandatory educational course for divorcing parents (§30-3-11.3) and 2) the Mandatory orientation course for divorcing parties (§ 30-3-11.4) before a decree of divorce can issue.
- *While it is possible to obtain a waiver from attendance, it almost never happens.
- If no answer filed, seek default
- Default Judgment (cannot have decree entered until court until 90 days shall have elapsed from the filing of the complaint, unless court waives this Answer (may also contain counter petition) filed requirement (§ 30-3-18)
- If Respondent files an Answer
- Answer (may also contain counter petition) filed and served
- If Answer contains counter petition, petitioner has 20 days to file and serve a Reply to Counter Petition (failure to file reply will result in default).
- Temporary Orders (regarding child custody, spousal support, etc.), if requested and granted, apply during pendency of the action
- Mediation can (but is not required to) take place before discovery (unless the director of dispute resolution programs for the courts, the court, or the mediator excuses either party from the requirement to mediate for good cause).
- Attorney Planning Meeting
- Discovery and Case Management Order
- Initial Disclosures
- Discovery process
- Requests for Production of Documents
- Requests for Admission
- Custody Evaluation
- Custody and/or Parent-time evaluation can be requested during discovery period if matters of child custody and parent-time are disputed.
- Medical / Psychological Evaluations
- Occupational Evaluation
- Other discovery techniques
- Mandatory Mediation must take place before trial can take place (unless the director of dispute resolution programs for the courts, the court, or the mediator excuses either party from the requirement to mediate for good cause).
- Certificate of Readiness for Trial/Motion for Trial Setting
- Pre-Trial Settlement Conference with Commissioner.
- If parties do not settle then hold Pre-Trial Settlement Conference with Judge
- Submission of proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and proposed Decree of Divorce
- Issuance of Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law, Decree of Divorce
- Do not remarry until 30 days have elapsed from the date the Decree of Divorce is entered by the court.
This process may seem daunting. We are here to make the process as easy as possible. To help you get started please click the link below to complete our Divorce Preparedness Questionnaire.