Mandatory divorce mediation
Utah Code Section 30-3-39 requires parties in a divorce to participate in a least one session of mediation if the respondent files an answer. For more information about mandatory mediation, see our page on Divorce Mediation.
Asking to excuse mandatory divorce mediation
Either party may ask to excuse the mediation requirement, but they must show "good cause" to excuse the requirement.
Reasons parties may be excused from mediation vary from case to case and may include one or both parties do not feel safe or able to fully express themselves in a mediation process, and others as determined by the court, the ADR Office or a court qualified mediator.
Who can excuse the mandatory divorce mediation requirement?
Before asking the court to excuse the mandatory divorce mediation requirement, you must first ask the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Office, or a court qualified divorce mediator to excuse you from the requirement.
- If either the ADR Office or a court qualified divorce mediator has excused the requirement, they will notify the court.
- If either the ADR Office or a court qualified divorce mediator will not excuse the requirement, you may file a motion in your case asking the court to waive the requirement. Forms are provided below.
Asking to excuse other mediation
Mediation is required in most civil cases in district court if a "responsive pleading" – such as an answer or counterclaim to a complaint or petition – is filed. The judge can also refer parties to mediation to try to resolve specific issues in a case. Rule of Judicial Administration 4-510.06 lists case types that are exempt from mandatory mediation. Upon its own motion or the motion of a party, the court may excuse the parties from participating in the ADR program if the parties are able to show good cause.
Will your motion be decided by a judge or commissioner?
Motions decided by a judge and motions decided by a commissioner follow different procedures. See our Motions page for information about the differences in procedure.
- In Judicial Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4, a Motion to Excuse Mandatory Divorce Mediation will be decided by a commissioner. Commissioners are assigned to hear most matters in divorce cases and several other types of family law cases.
- In Judicial District 5, 6, 7, or 8, a Motion to Excuse Mandatory Divorce Mediation will be decided by a judge.
- In all judicial districts, in all other case types, a Motion to Excuse Mediation will be heard by a judge.
If you are not sure whether your case is assigned to a judge or commissioner, find out. Call the court, or look at the caption of the complaint or petition. If a commissioner's name has been listed in the caption, the motion likely will be decided by a commissioner.
Motions decided by a judge are governed by URCP 7. Motions decided by a commissioner are governed by URCP 101.
Information about filing documents in existing cases by email
The forms you need depend on your case. What is your case about?