Educate Yourself Before a Divorce


What are terms and conditions of a divorce?

The terms of a divorce refers to the agreement made for alimony, child support, and child custody, as well as various other circumstances that have to be addressed with legal proceedings.  Conditions are stipulations on how the terms must be met and carried out.   For example, a term is: the amount of alimony to be paid.  How the amount is altered based on the receiving spouse’s income changes is a condition.

What is no fault divorce?

When a spouse is asking for a no fault divorce, that simply means that they do not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong.  The spouse requesting the divorce only has to state a reason recognized by the state.  “Irreconcilable differences” is probably the most common reason given in Utah.  No fault divorces are allowed in every state.

What are my divorce rights?

Legal rights will vary by state, so it’s best to consult a lawyer in Salt Lake City for specific questions.  You are, however, also protected by common laws.  You have the right not to be physically abused, intimidated, harassed, or threatened.  Your spouse also is not allowed to damage any property, move children out of the court's jurisdiction, and use credit accounts that are in your name.

How does mediation work in divorce?

A mediator is an unbiased third party that will try and help both spouses work through their differences.  By having a neutral person helping, spouses can mutually agree more easily on terms and conditions for the divorce.  This can be especially beneficial when children are involved.  Mediation can help save on legal fees and time spent in Utah courts, as well as eliminate a lot of the acrimony that can be found in divorces.

How is alimony calculated?

Alimony calculations vary by state and use some combination of length of the marriage, income (and potential income) of each spouse, age of each spouse, the marital standard of living, and the value of all assets after being divided.  Usually the Utah courts will try to keep each person's marital standard of living before the divorce as close as possible.  After ten years of marriage, it becomes far more likely that alimony will have to be paid.  Many high-profile marriages end just shy of their ten-year anniversary for this reason, allegedly including Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

How much alimony is fair?

Since there are so many factors that determine alimony and it varies from state to state, there isn’t a single number or percentage. Judges usually will try to use calculate what will allow each spouse to stay as close to their marital style of living and base it off that.