Marriage: The Leading Cause of Divorce

Nuts and Bolts of Divorce Law

  1. Complaint. Rule 3 sets forth that all actions are started by filing a complaint. Utah Code section 78A-2-207 says in domestic relations matters the parties are called Petitioner and Respondent.
    1. Jurisdiction. Residents of the State for three months prior to filing complaint. County of residence is venue.
    2. Subject matter jurisdiction. Must be married.
    3. Irreconcilable differences.
    4. Child custody jurisdiction. 78B-13-101 known as Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

                  i.  Residency requirements

                 ii.  If not, then issue of inconvenient forum or declining jurisdiction due to conduct.

             E.  Include language regarding adding state and whether other persons claim custody:

There are no proceedings for custody of the minor children filed or pending in the juvenile court of Utah or any other state.  Petitioner is unaware of any person not a party to this action who has physical custody of the minor children or who claims rights to them.

Utah is the home state of the minor children as defined by Utah Code section 78B-13-102(7), in that the children have resided in the State of Utah for more than six months, and no other state has assumed jurisdiction over the minor children consistent with the provisions of Utah Code section 78B-13-101 et. seq.

Neither Petitioner nor Respondent is or has been receiving public assistance as defined by Utah Code section 62A-11-303(3) and hence the State of Utah, Department of Social Services Office of Recovery Services need not be joined in this action as set forth in Utah Code section 78B-12-113.

Neither Petitioner nor Respondent is under any court-ordered obligation for the support of any other person.

             F.   Utah Code section 78B-13-209, include the child’s present address and where child has lived for the past five years and with whom the child has resided.

            G.  Summons 20 day in state and 30 day out of state.

2.  Custody.

             A.  Legal custody. Joint legal or sole legal. Statute now presumes joint legal.

             B.  Physical custody. Physical custody is defined by overnights: more than 110 equals joint physical custody.

             C.  Parenting plan

3.  Child support. 78B-12-201.

             A.  Gross income

                    i.      Sources

             B.  Imputed income

                   i.      Two prongs: voluntary underemployment or unemployment. If underemployed or unemployed then how much to impute. If no recent work history then minimum wage. If work history then best evidence.

            C.  Child support obligation worksheets:

                   i.      Sole custody

                  ii.      Joint physical custody

                 iii.      Web site address

            D.  Modification:

                  i.      Within three years

                 ii.      Outside of three years

4.  Alimony

           A.  Jones v. Jones

           B.  Section 30-3-5

           C.  Fault

5.  Property division

6.  Rule 26.1 and initial disclosures

            A.  Financial declaration

7.  Temporary Orders—Rule 101 applies, not Rule 7

           A.  Necessary documents

           B.  House possession

           C.  Custody/parent-time

           D.  Temporary alimony and child support

           E.  Payment of debts

            F.  Attorney fees

                   i.      Rule 102

                             a.  Affidavit of party

                             b.  Affidavit of attorney

                 ii.      Enforcement

8.  Custody evaluations

9.  Certificate of Readiness for trial

10.  Pre-trial conference

11.  Trial