THE AURIT CENTER

How Much Does Divorce Cost in Utah?

As the Beehive State has the 11th highest divorce rate in the U.S., many spouses find themselves wondering about the costs if they choose to go down that road.

Understanding the financial implications of divorce is essential for both spouses. While the cost of divorce is different in each case, having a sense of what to expect can help you prepare.

In this article, we will:

  • discuss the cost of divorce in Utah;
  • look at the various associated expenses; and
  • compare the cost of litigation, from attorney fees to court costs, with the cost of the simpler flat-fee approach of mediation.

This will help you understand your options so that you can navigate the financial landscape of divorce with confidence.

What are the court fees for divorce in Utah?

Utah State Courts mandate require court costs to file for divorce. If you’re unable to cover this amount, you have the option to prove your financial inability to pay and request that the judge waive the filing fees.

If you have any minor children, both spouses are required to undergo a mandatory divorce orientation and a parental education class. The orientation offers information on divorce and alternatives. The education classes, on the other hand, focus on understanding children’s reactions to divorce so parents can help them adjust.

Find out the prices of the orientation and the parental education class here.

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Once a petition for divorce is “answered” with a court filing, unresolved issues are addressed in mandated mediation. The divorce case will not progress further in the legal system until this step is completed — unless specific exemptions apply.

The spouses choose a mediator approved by the Utah State Courts and typically share the costs unless a different arrangement is made. Spouses can skip mediation mandated by the court and have the freedom to choose any private mediator when they choose mediation rather than filing for divorce on their own or with attorneys.

Factors that affect the cost of divorce in Utah

Here are some of the factors that influence the cost of divorce in Utah:

Type of divorce

The type of divorce — meaning contested or uncontested — can significantly affect the complexity of the divorce proceedings.

An uncontested divorce in court, where both spouses agree on all matters, is generally the more cost-effective option. It usually requires less time in court and fewer legal resources.

On the other hand, a contested divorce, in which the spouses disagree on at least some matters of the divorce, can lead to prolonged court battles, increasing the financial strain on both spouses.

Mediating an uncontested or contested divorce can help provide guidance to both spouses, ensuring they reach solutions regarding their disagreements. This can mean significant savings for both spouses.

Child custody evaluations

If there are disagreements about child custody, Utah courts may order a child custody evaluation to be conducted by a third party to assess the best interests of the child(ren).

This evaluation can be costly, emotionally harmful to children, and take control away from parents, adding to the overall stress of the divorce process.

In mediation, however, the co-parents discuss the child(ren)’s best interests and stay in control of all agreements. Mediation prioritizes children’s needs every step of the way.

Property division

In court, high-value assets, such as homes, businesses, and investments, often require professional appraisals to determine their current market value. This valuation process, which is required in the division of property, can be time-consuming and costly.

Each party may seek an independent evaluation, but this can lead to discrepancies in financial paperwork and further disputes.

In mediation, both spouses agree to a valuation process. This can save a great deal of time and money. Their mediator will guide a conversation that helps them reach agreements on all asset division issues.

Divorce attorney fees

Divorce attorney fees can vary depending on many factors, including the lawyer’s experience and the case’s complexity. Typical attorney fees you can expect:

  • The average rate for US divorce lawyers is $300 to $500 per hour;
  • The average cost of litigation with divorce attorneys is $15,000 to $20,000 per spouse; and
  • In higher conflict cases, costs can reach more than $100,000.

The average cost of divorce mediation is $2,500 to $4,000 per spouse. Mediation offers a simpler and more economical approach.

How to reduce the cost of divorce in Utah

Here are a few ways you and your spouse can reduce the cost of divorce in Utah:

Take advantage of divorce mediation

Choosing to hire a private divorce mediator from the beginning is the most cost-effective way to handle the process.

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This allows spouses to avoid all court appearances, motions, and hearings required in a litigated divorce that lead to substantial attorney fees and court costs.

In mediation, spouses save time and money without ever having to go to court. Additionally, many mediators offer a single flat fee for the entire mediation process, making it easier for spouses to budget and plan for any other expenses.

Divorce mediation vs. a DIY divorce

A DIY divorce refers to a divorce without the direct assistance of an attorney. Instead, the spouses handle the divorce papers and procedures on their own. Divorce paperwork can be challenging, and mistakes can lead to increased conflict and unfavorable outcomes, such as extended litigation.

Mediation offers a healthier approach that saves you money and guides you every step of the way. Stay in control of your agreements and ensure documents are prepared correctly by working with an Aurit Center Certified Mediator.

Opt for an uncontested divorce, if possible

Expenses are significantly reduced without the need for extended legal representation or court hearings, particularly when spouses choose to complete their divorce in mediation. Less conflict means the legal process can move forward with fewer delays than a litigated divorce.

Whether your Utah divorce is contested or uncontested, you can avoid court altogether with mediation. Mediation offers numerous advantages and helps you establish a foundation for healthy co-parenting.

Mediation: the healthier, most affordable option

Mediation is more collaborative, less confrontational, and more cost-effective than other divorce options. Overall, parents who used mediation were almost twice as likely to rate their relationship highly following the divorce. Parents who are on good terms have healthier co-parenting relationships and better relationships with their children. This is especially important for spouses who will continue to co-parent for years to come.

Litigated divorce proceedings usually require each spouse to hire their own attorney. This can lead to higher expenses.

In contrast, an expert mediator supports both spouses during mediation. This reduces overall expenses and fosters productive communication.

Aurit Center Certified Mediators provide a complimentary one-hour online consultation for spouses considering or looking to begin divorce mediation. We offer a flat fee for our services, which includes the entire mediation process from start to finish.

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Your path to cost-effective Utah divorce

As you consider your next steps, keep in mind there’s a compassionate and professional approach to divorce: mediation. Mediation not only helps to preserve co-parenting relationships but also offers significant savings in both time and money.

Your Aurit Center Certified Mediator is ready to guide you as you move forward. During your free one-hour online consultation, your mediator will explain the mediation process, assess your needs, and provide a personalized, all-inclusive flat-fee quote.

Mediation fees are 80–90% lower than the average total cost of divorce litigation and lower than the average lawyer retainer for one spouse. A healthy divorce begins here. Schedule a consultation now and get the guidance you need without unexpected fees.

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