Divorce is difficult enough, even between the most amicable of individuals. The idea of bringing your personal business before a judge and jury, on top of everything else, can be overwhelming.
The good news is that a reasonable amount of cooperation between you and your spouse could help you avoid the courtroom altogether.
Agreeing on the division of property can be challenging, especially when emotions are already running high. However, in the absence of a property settlement that both parties can agree to, the next step is mediation. This is an attempt to resolve the remaining issues to avoid taking them to a judge.
If you have minor children, you will have to agree on a custody arrangement. Again, if you can arrive at a satisfactory agreement without going to court, you and your spouse can retain control of the decision-making. If it goes to the judge, he will decide for you, and his decision will be final.
Mediation may be your last opportunity to settle your divorce outside the courtroom. A mediator is an unbiased third party who will help facilitate discussions, offer alternative suggestions, and ensure that tempers remain in check. Utah requires divorcing couples to participate in at least one mediation session to minimize the number of contested items that need resolution if a court trial is necessary.
When all else fails, your case will go to court, and a judge will make the necessary settlement decisions. However, with some effort and cooperation, it is possible to obtain a divorce without ever stepping into a courtroom.