You and your spouse have decided to end your marriage and move forward with your own lives. The question is, exactly which assets will you and your soon-to-be ex take with you?
Property division remains one of the most complicated aspects of the divorce process in Utah and elsewhere. However, having an applied understanding of the process can help you to confidently tackle it as you proceed with your divorce. Here is a look at how Utah courts handle property division during a marital breakup.
Equitable distribution in Utah
Utah, like most states, falls under the category of equitable distribution states. This means that, if you are getting divorced in Utah, the divorce court handling your case will divide your marital property in a manner that it considers to be fair, or equitable. As a result, you may end up receiving the majority of the assets, or vice versa, depending on the circumstances of your marriage. This is opposite of what happens in a community property state, where two divorcing individuals split their shared property down the middle.
However, if you and your spouse have been married for an extended period of time in Utah, you will likely end up dividing your marital assets 50/50. Meanwhile, if you are in a short-term marriage, the court will likely put you both back to your positions prior to the marriage. For instance, the court may give you what you had before getting married and give you what you made during your marriage.
Your rights during equitable distribution
In Utah, you and your future ex-spouse may opt to create your own property division agreement to avoid further court intrusion. However, a divorce court judge will still need to review your agreement to make sure that it is fair. If the judge does not think it is fair, you will have to create a new agreement with the other party.
In light of this, it is a good idea to consult a family law attorney before embarking on the property division process in Utah. An attorney will outline all of your options and rights so that you avoid inadvertently waiving your right to certain marital assets. The attorney can ultimately help you to seek a fair settlement with the other party while keeping your best interests and rights at the forefront of the divorce proceeding.