Understanding Fault-Based Divorce in Utah

In many states, you can divorce for “irreconcilable differences.” If this is what you claim, it is considered a no-fault divorce. 

In fact, there are many areas where fault-based divorces have been eliminated completely. However, this is not the case in Utah. 

If you have legally-recognized grounds for a divorce, you can file for a fault-based divorce in the state. 

Recognized grounds for a fault-based divorce in Utah

There are several legal and recognized grounds for filing a fault-based divorce. Some of these include:

  • Felony conviction: If your spouse is convicted of a felony, you can claim this as the reason for your divorce. 
  • Willful neglect or desertion: If your spouse willfully neglects you or if they willfully leave you for over 12 months, you can file for an at-fault divorce. 
  • Adultery: Any unfaithfulness by your spouse is a reason to file for divorce and have it granted. 

There are other reasons to file an at-fault divorce, too. For example, if your spouse is impotent, abusive or a drunkard, you can claim this as the reason for filing. 

How does an at-fault divorce differ from a no-fault divorce in Utah?

You must still meet the state’s residential requirements to file an at-fault divorce. The main difference between at-fault and no-fault divorces is that the court may take into consideration the circumstances of the split when dividing up the marital debts and assets.

Your rights when filing an at-fault divorce

Knowing your rights and options is essential if you decide to divorce in Utah. This will help you make the right decisions regarding how to proceed and what assets to request in the process.