In the state of Utah, there are four basic methods of determining property distribution in a divorce process.
If you and your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage, the terms of the agreement will generally be used to determine the separation of property. Even if the distribution is not equitable, it may still stand if the court determines that the agreement was:
- In writing
- Signed when the couple was contemplating marriage
- Signed voluntarily
- Signed after both spouses had disclosed all financial information to the other
In contemplation of your divorce, you and your spouse can come to a mutual agreement about the distribution of property. In this situation, you can itemize all of your property and decide which items and real property that each of you will get. This route allows you the opportunity to make decisions about your property distribution without interference or influence from other parties. A Salt Lake City divorce attorney can help you draft an enforceable agreement.
If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement prior to the filing of divorce, the court may mandate that you both attend mediation. A neutral third party will meet with both of you and your family law attorney in Salt Lake City. The mediator will communicate with the two of you and negotiate a mutually agreeable arrangement. Once it is completed and signed, the agreement is sent to the court for the final review. If the judge signs off on it, the contract becomes legally binding and must be followed by both spouses as a court order.
If a mediated agreement is not met, the judge will determine how the property is distributed. This method requires at least one appearance before the judge and the presentation of evidence regarding what property should be distributed and why you think the court should grant the property to you. The goal of the court is to create a distribution that is equitable to both parties.
When making a determination, the court considers the following factors among other things:
- The origin of the property
- Whether the property is marital or nonmarital
- Spousal support determinations
- Child custody determinations
- Length of marriage
The judge maintains vast discretion when making property distribution determinations. Though they work towards equitable distribution, it is quite common for one or both spouses to be dissatisfied with the decision. This is why a mutually agreed-upon arrangement is the best course of action.
Contact attorney Jill L.Coil of Coil Law, LLC if you are considering divorce in the Salt Lake City area. With vast experience, she can provide you with the comprehensive representation your family deserves. Contact us at 801-804-3056.
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