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Temporary Separation


Talk to an attorney

You are not required to hire an attorney, but requesting a temporary separation can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options. One way to talk to an attorney is to visit a free legal clinic. Clinics provide general legal information and give brief legal advice. You might also hire an attorney for just part of your case or to do one particular thing, rather than represent you for the whole case. For more information, see our page on Finding Legal Help.


Introduction

Temporary separation is an optional step spouses may take before filing for divorce, especially if they are not sure they want to divorce, but they need court orders to establish temporary provisions concerning alimony, property and debt management and division, health care insurance, housing, child support, child custody and parent time. If either party files a petition for divorce within one year after the date of filing the petition for temporary separation, the amount of the temporary separation filing fee is credited towards the divorce filing fee. Utah Code Section 30-3-4.5 governs temporary separation orders.


Requirements

Either spouse can petition the district court for a temporary separation order if:

  • the spouses are lawfully married; and
  • both spouses have resided in Utah for at least 90 days.

Duration of order

A temporary separation order is valid for one year from the date of the hearing, unless the case is dismissed earlier. If one of the spouses files a petition for divorce while the temporary separation order is in effect, the temporary separation order will continue until the divorce is completed.


Divorce education

After a petition for temporary separation has been filed and served, both spouses must attend a divorce orientation course if there are minor children from the marriage. The petitioner must attend the course within 60 days after filing the petition and the respondent must attend the course within 45 days after being served. For more information about course locations and schedules and for information and forms for waiving the requirement, see our page on Mandatory Education in Divorce and Temporary Separation.


Temporary separation — Temporary orders

There are no forms on this website for a petition and order for temporary separation, but a decree of temporary separation will include provisions concerning alimony, property and debt management and division, health care insurance, housing, child support, child custody and parent time. Together with a petition for temporary separation, you may file a motion for temporary orders governing these topics. For more information and forms, see our page on How to get a Temporary Order.


Related information



Page Last Modified: 2/15/2012
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