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Common for One Spouse to Initiate Divorce Proceedings

It is rare for a husband and wife to both decide at the same time that they want a divorce. Far more often, one person announces the marriage is over and that he or she wants a divorce. Often, the one requesting the divorce meets resistance from the other spouse. Even if the resistor has been aware of marital problems, the reality of being told his or her partner wants a divorce can be shattering.

The non-initiating person may make suggestions to resolve the marital difficulties, such as going together to marriage counseling. Sometimes, this works. Far more often, these attempts to save the marriage are fruitless. Once one person has decided the marriage is over, counselors say the emotional connection has been broken.

Marriage counselors agree that a troubled marriage where one person has already decided divorce is the only option is a difficult marriage to save. Counselors say it is impossible to save unless both parties commit themselves to resolving the marital problems.

Non-Mutual Divorces in Utah

Although Utah law lists a number of grounds for granting a divorce, there is also a no-fault option. The initiating person simply files for divorce claiming there are "irreconcilable differences."

In Utah, there is a residency requirement. In order to file for a divorce, one of the spouses must have lived in a single Utah county for at least three months. If the couple has children, the state requires, with a few exceptions, that the children have resided in Utah with at least one parent for six months.

Making the decision to end a marriage is emotionally difficult and can be legally complex. Consulting with a knowledgeable family law attorney is the first step in ensuring the spouses' rights are protected.

Source: Huffington Post, "Non-Mutual Divorce: I Do...I Don't," Micki McWade, August 14, 2012.

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