Do You Need a Reason to File for Divorce in Utah?

Marriage is usually a lifetime commitment, and the state government expects married couples to take that commitment seriously. It is typically easier and faster to get permission to marry in the first place than it is to secure a divorce after making a legal commitment to someone else.

Divorce will likely mean splitting up your property and possibly working out shared custody arrangements, which can be stressful for the entire family. Before you start negotiating with your spouse about how you want to divide parenting time during summer vacation or what you want to do with the home where you lived together, you need to know if you qualify to file for divorce at all.

What are the reasons you can file for divorce in Utah?

Utah allows no-fault and fault-based divorces

Couples in Utah don’t have to prove that something specific went wrong with their marriages to get a divorce. They can file a request for a no-fault divorce based on claims of irreconcilable differences. If the two of you have grown apart over the years or one of you recently changed political or religious affiliation, claiming irreconcilable differences is the most straightforward way to obtain a divorce.

For some people, including those who are religious, a no-fault divorce may make them uncomfortable. They may want to establish that their ex is the one to blame for the dissolution of the marriage, even if they made the choice to file. The state also recognizes fault-based divorces, which some states no longer allow. The grounds for divorce in Utah include:

  • adultery
  • impotency
  • desertion/abandonment
  • neglect
  • habitual drunkenness/substance abuse
  • felony convictions
  • cruel treatment causing mental distress or bodily injury
  • incurable insanity
  • three years of separation

In a fault-based divorce, you will typically need evidence to support your claims, while those divorcing on grounds of irreconcilable differences have no evidence required of them.

Why are no-fault divorces so common?

Needing to prove that your ex was abusive or cheated on you can significantly increase how long it takes for you to get a divorce. The more time you have to spend in court building a case and presenting evidence, the more it will cost you to end your marriage.

Many people choose no-fault divorces because the no-fault process reduces the tension between them and their ex and will keep the proceedings as short and cost-effective as possible. Knowing the rules that apply to Utah divorces can help you plan to move on from your unhappy marriage.