Helping clients through the stress of a difficult separation
Utah is a no-fault state, so petitioners for a divorce do not have to establish any grounds for dissolving their marriage. One spouse’s determination that the marriage cannot be saved is completely sufficient to end it. Divorces become “contested” when the spouses cannot agree on the terms for their marital dissolution and seek the courts help in deciding issues such as child custody, child support, alimony and the division of property. Contested divorces are adversarial proceedings, so each spouse should retains his or her own attorney. Costs can quickly escalate in a contested divorce, so parties must make sure their attorneys are honestly concerned with their needs, and not just happy to run up legal fees. Our team at Intermountain Legal has handled divorce proceedings ranging from simple and cooperative to complex and contentious. While we are prepared to litigate contentious issues whenever necessary, we strive to resolve your divorce in the most expedient and beneficial manner possible.
The contested divorce process in Utah
When your spouse serves you with divorce papers, you have 20 days to file an answer or face default. It’s important to retain an attorney as quickly as possible to provide enough lead-time to compose a meaningful answer that addresses your concerns. Your answer may even contain counterclaims on points with which you take issue. You may include a proposed order for temporary child custody and support. If the court accepts, that proposed order (or any modification the court comes up with) goes into effect immediately. Next begins the process of discovery, during which each side demands answers from the other on a variety of issues from parenting to financial disclosures, to create a sworn record they can present as evidence to the court. Each party must undergo a series of evaluations to judge custodial, medical, psychological, and occupational fitness. By law, the couple must partake in mediation to try to resolve their divorce issues before the court will schedule a trial. After mandatory mediation, if the couple still has not agreed on the terms of their divorce, the case receives a certificate of readiness for trial. The couple attends a pre-trial settlement conference with a commissioner, and if they still don’t reach agreement, they meet at another pre-trial settlement conference with a judge. Whatever issues the couple has not settled at that point are held over for trial.
Understanding counsel giving straight-forward advice
At Intermountain Legal, our Salt Lake City attorneys are fully acquainted with the contested divorce process. We stand with you every step of the way, as we strive to resolve your divorce with minimal delay, expense and emotional impact. We fully appreciate that litigation is sometimes necessary and we’re ready to help you through the most contentious proceedings. We can even assist you in the future when warranted as Salt Lake City divorce decree modification lawyers.
Call the firm for a free consultation with a contested divorce Attorney
A contested divorce attorney from Intermountain Legal provides support and advice throughout the divorce process. Call our office today at 801-990-4200 or contact us online to schedule a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your family law matter.
Intermountain Legal is located in Salt Lake City, UT and serves clients throughout all of Northern and Central Utah including Salt Lake City, Midvale, Sandy, West Jordan, North Salt Lake, Bountiful, South Jordan, Clearfield, Woods Cross, Draper, Farmington, Centerville, Layton, Ogden, Lehi, Provo, Orem, Park City and Davis, Salt Lake, Weber, Utah, Tooele and Summit counties.