Utah Family Law

Utah laws are created and revised by the actions of lawmakers and the courts, as in other states. Click on the links below to learn more information.

1.State statute Utah Title 30 Chapter 3 - Divorce
2. Fault or no-fault (typically when a state allows fault based and no-fault divorce, fault based divorces require no separation period. Fault based and no-fault
3. Equitable distribution or community property Equitable Distribution
a. Methods of apportionment An equitable distribution relating to the children, property, debts or obligations, and parties [30-3-5(1)]
i. Periera and Van Camp in CA Not applicable
b. Property distribution factors Broad discretion of the court [30-3-5(1)]
4. Legal separation? Yes, called Separate Maintenance for any cause of divorce [30-4-2]
a. Waiting period/Separation period 1 year [30-3-1(3)(c)]
5. Is mediation required Yes, if there are remaining contested issues after filing the complaint for divorce [30-3-39]
6. Forms used Utah Divorce Forms (Online Account)
7. Alimony guidelines and factors General Guidelines [30-3-5(8)(a)]
Alimony formula Guidelines for determination [30-3-5(8)(a)]
a. Types Temporary unless extenuating circumstances [30-3-5(8)(j)]
b. Term Limits At the discretion of the court; however, not typically longer than the duration of marriage [30-3-5(8)(h), (j)]
Cohabitation Can be terminated, but obilgor of payment must prove obligee has a supportive relationship [30-3-5(10)]
c. Imputing income Automatic modification - The court shall consider recipient's earning capacity and ability of payor [30-3-5(8)(a)]
d. Change in circumstances Substantial and material change in circumstances not forseeable at time of divorce [30-3-5(8)(i)]
e. Ceases on retirement At the discretion of the court; however, not typically longer than the duration of marriage [30-3-5(8)(h), (j)]
Impute income on early retirement  
Early retirement for health reasons is involuntary "Cox v. Cox, 877 P.2d 1262 (Utah Ct. App. 1994) (husband’s
disability and age made his retirement non-voluntary)"
f. Definition of income Broad definition for alimony [30-3-5-(8)]
8. Child support factors and guidelines General guidelines and related information [78B-12]
9. Child support calculator Utah Dept. of Human Services - Child Support Services
10. Lump Sum  Support allowed? Yes. Beals v. Beals, 682 P. 2d 862 - Utah: Supreme Court 1984.
11. Valuation  
a. Valuation date Divorce
b. Goodwill divisibility Personal goodwill is not divisible.  Enterprise goodwill is divisible. - Sorenson v. Sorenson, 839 P.2d 774 (Utah. Supr. Ct. 1992)
c. Standard of value Fair Market Value - Sorenson v. Sorenson, 839P.2d 774 (Utah App.1992)
d. Discounts

Discounts for lack of control and lack of marketability. Robinson v. Robinson, 2008 UT App 365 - Utah: Court of Appeals 2008.

e. Shareholder/partner agreements Agreements bear special consideration in valuation. Morgan v. Morgan, 795 P. 2d 684 - Utah: Court of Appeals 1990. Morgan v. Morgan, 854 P. 2d 559 - Utah: Court of Appeals 1993
 12. Double dip  Impermissable double dip, not issue because personal goodwill not divisible
 a. Stock options  
 b. Retirement accounts  Not allowed.  Retirement plan income can have a direct effect on support calculations based on ED. Motes v. Motes, 786 P. 2d 232 - Utah: Court of Appeals 1989
 c. Child support

A noncustodial parent's child-support obligation is calculated using each parent's adjusted gross income.  The trial court in a divorce action is permitted considerable discretion in adjusting the financial and property interests of the parties, and its actions are entitled to a presumption of validity.  Utah Code Ann. § 78B-12-207. Ouk v. Ouk, 2015 UT App 104 - Utah: Court of Appeals 2015

 13. Key cases  
 14. Premarital agreements  Enforced, with exceptions of: (1) not executed voluntarily or (2) unconscionable when executed with financial disclosure issues [30-8-6]
 15. Common law  Yes, referred to as Judicial Recognition; Title 30 Chapter 1 Section 4.5


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