Divorce, while difficult, can be navigated with understanding and patience. Let’s delve into the journey of John and Mary, a couple from Utah seeking a divorce, to illustrate the process.
John initiated the process by filing a Petition for Divorce in the district court where he or Mary had resided for at least 90 days preceding the filing. He served Mary with the petition and a summons, which Mary acknowledged by filing an Answer.
With a contested divorce on their hands due to disagreements over property division, child custody, and alimony, John and Mary were required to attend a mandatory mediation session under Utah law. Here, they attempted to resolve their differences with the help of a neutral mediator. However, despite their best efforts, they could not find common ground on all issues.
The next stage was the scheduling conference, where both parties met with a judge to discuss the contested issues. The judge set a timetable for discovery, the fact-finding process in the lawsuit, and future hearings.
During discovery, John and Mary had heated debates over the value of their marital assets, which comprised a family home and several investments. They each hired experts who conducted appraisals and gave differing estimates. Eventually, they reached a compromise, splitting their assets equitably but not equally, in line with Utah’s divorce laws.
Child custody was another sticking point. Mary sought sole custody, while John insisted on joint custody. After several hearings, a court-ordered custody evaluator recommended joint custody, highlighting the importance of both parents in the child’s life.
Their final hurdle was alimony. Mary, having been the primary homemaker, sought substantial alimony. John contested the amount. In court, after considering Mary’s needs, John’s ability to pay, and the length of their marriage, the judge ordered John to pay a reasonable amount for a period that was the length of their marriage.
John and Mary’s divorce journey underscores the complexities of divorce. While conflict is inevitable, resolution is possible through negotiation, compromise, and, when necessary, court intervention.