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Temporary Separation

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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.


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.


Use OCAP, the Online Court Assistance Program, to prepare the petition for temporary separation and motion for temporary order.

A temporary separation order can include provisions about alimony, property and debt management and division, health care insurance, housing, child support, child custody and parent time.

Related information

The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.

Page Last Modified: 8/16/2017
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