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Read Law

October 11, 2021

A Guide to Divorce Decrees in Utah

Here, we have put together a guide to help you understand more about divorce decrees in Utah. As always, we are happy to answer any questions you have. Please contact us today to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about our legal services. 

What is a Divorce Decree?

Once a divorce is finalized, the court will issue a divorce decree. A divorce decree is a legal document stating that the divorce has been finalized. It will also have information about the court’s decision that the couple will need in the future. In Utah, a divorce decree is a final, enforceable court order that you and your spouse are legally required to follow. A divorce decree resolves the issues that were part of your divorce. In short, a divorce decree is a binding court order that sets forth what you and your spouse need to do moving forward after the divorce.

 

How Do I Get a Copy of My Divorce Decree in Utah?

If you would like to get a copy of your divorce decree, you must contact the court that handled your divorce case. Every Utah court offers copies of its records for a fee. There are some cases in which you need the court to provide you with a certified or exemplified copy of your divorce decree, which carries additional fees. 

A certified copy of a divorce decree is a dated, signed, and stamped copy by the court clerk that certifies the copy is a true copy of the original court record. An exemplified copy is an authentic copy of a certified copy. The judge must certify that the court is the court of record and that the clerk’s signature is original. 

The Clerk of Court must certify that the judge had control over the court records. They must also state that the judge’s signature is genuine. An exemplified record may be required to record a judgment or decree in another state. Finally, some foreign countries may require a copy of your divorce decree to be authenticated by Apostille. The Lieutenant Governor is Responsible for providing this type of authentication. 

 

​​Can I Get a Copy of My Divorce Decree Online in Utah?

Yes, you can apply to obtain a copy of your divorce decree through the State of Utah’s online request portal. Your record request will then be routed through your local or county health department. You can also request a divorce decree copy in person or through the mail.

 

How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce Decree in Utah?

Even under the best conditions, and typically takes at least 90 days after filing a Utah petition for divorce to obtain the final divorce order. If the divorce is contested or all of the papers have been filed, the divorce may take longer. Many information sheets, affidavits, and other documents need to be filed with the court before a Utah judge will enter the decree of divorce.

In a contested divorce case where the spouses disagree on essential matters, the process will take longer. Additionally, suppose the couple has significant high-value assets. In that case, it will take them longer to complete all of their information sheets and other documents that need to be filed with the court before the judge enters the Decree of Divorce. For couples with children, the court may retain a Guardian Ad Litem attorney to interview the children. They may decide to retain a psychologist to interview the children to complete a thorough custody evaluation before deciding on which parent should have custody.

 

When is a Divorce Final?

A divorce is final when the court signs the divorce decree. You will typically receive the divorce decree a few days later because it will be sent to your attorney, who will send you a copy. You are legally divorced on the date that the divorce decree is signed. You will become a single person on that date because your marriage will be legally over. The divorce decree is issued after all of the issues in the divorce have been resolved. 

In some cases, the couple can agree on all of the significant issues in the divorce. This is called an uncontested divorce. An attorney will draft an agreement between the spouses that the court will use to enter a divorce decree.

In an uncontested divorce, the process can drag out for months or even years in extreme cases. After the trial, during which both spouses can present witnesses and evidence, the judge will consider all the evidence and testimony and decide on the divorce. The decision will include an order regarding child custody, alimony, child support, and property division. All of these issues will be written down in the divorce decree.

 

What is a Divorce Certificate?

A divorce certificate is different from a divorce decree. A divorce decree is the complete court order that legally ends your marriage. Divorce decrees include all the details about the division of property, child custody matters, and child support. It will also state the grounds upon which the marriage has been divorced. A divorce certificate is not a court document. Instead, it is a document issued by your state for record-keeping purposes. It includes the parties’ names and States when and where the divorce was granted.

Here, we have put together a guide to help you understand more about divorce decrees in Utah. As always, we

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