Utah Court Records
What are Utah Divorce Records?
Utah divorce records are documents and other media forms that contain information about divorces in the state. The information available on divorce records include the names of the divorced parties, location and date of the divorce, pleadings, motions, settlement terms, and several other details about the proceedings. According to the United States Census Bureau, Utah ranked 12th for divorce rates in 2018, with 9.3 divorces per 1,000 women above the age of 15.
Utah allows both no-fault and fault procedures. For a no-fault divorce, the requesting parties only have to prove that there are irreconcilable differences between them, without any specifics. The Utah Code also provides statutory grounds for a divorce, including the following:
- Impotence at the time of marriage
- Willful neglect to provide common necessities of life
- Habitual drunkenness
- Willful desertion for over one year
- Incurable Insanity
- Cruel treatment to the extent of bodily injury or great mental distress
- Both parties have lived apart for at least three consecutive years under a decree of separate maintenance
- Conviction of a felony
Utah marriages may end either by divorce or annulment. A divorce seeks to end a marriage legally, and completely remove all marital obligations between the couple. After a divorce is granted, the couple only needs to fulfill obligations to each other as contained in the divorce settlement terms. Utah requires that one of the parties must be resident in the county where the divorce is filed, for at least 3 months. Also, even though the court has the power to do so, no divorce may be finalized within 90 days from the date of filing.
An annulment is different from a dissolution of marriage as it states that the marriage was not valid at the time it was solemnized. The annulment not only dissolves the marriage, but assumes that it never took place. Unlike the dissolution of marriage, annulments are only granted for one or more of the following reasons:
- One party had a prior marriage that hadn’t ended
- The marriage was solemnized for a fraudulent reason
- The parties more closely related than second cousins
- One party was unable to have sexual relations
- One or both parties were under 18 years old and did not receive parental consent, for a marriage solemnized after May 14, 2019
Although an annulment and a dissolution of marriage are different, a court may still impose settlement terms between the partners.
A divorce is finalized when the judge makes a final judgment, and issues a divorce decree. The divorce decree is then filed with the district court in the county.
Utah divorces take at least 90 days before finalization. In an uncontested divorce, where both parties agree on terms, the process does not extend much longer. However, in a contested divorce case, a divorce decree may not be issued for years.
Are Divorce Records Public in Utah?
Under the Utah Government Records Access and Management Act, divorce records are private documents that are inaccessible by the general public. However, limited parts of these records may be available to the public, as court records. Utah divorce records eventually become public information after 75 years from the divorce date.
What are the types of Divorce Records available in Utah?
The two types of divorce records available in Utah are the divorce decree and divorce certificate.
A divorce decree is a comprehensive court document that is issued and filed when the divorce is over. The divorce decree contains exhaustive information about the divorce, including the names of the divorced parties and terms of the divorce as ordered by the judge. These settlements may include property sharing, debt distribution, child visitation, child custody, child support, and alimony payments. The divorce decree is filed with the district court in the county of divorce.
Unlike a divorce decree, a divorce certificate is not a court record. It contains limited information about a divorce, including the names of the parties, the date of the divorce, and where it took place. A divorce certificate is used as legal proof that the persons named on the record are no longer married, and may be tendered anywhere this proof is required.
How Do I Get Divorce Records in Utah?
The steps required to obtain a Utah divorce record depends on the type of record. A divorce decree is only accessible from the district court that handled the divorce. To find the location and contact details of a district court, use the Utah State Court Directory. Divorce decrees are available as certified copies, exemplified copies, or by apostille.
A certified copy of a divorce decree is signed, stamped, and dated by the Clerk of Court, certifying that it is a true copy of the court record. Each certified copy costs $4 per document and 50 cents per page.
An exemplified copy is an authenticated certified copy. The judge certifies that the court issuing the copy is a court of record, and also certifies that the Clerk of Court’s signature on the record is original. The Clerk of Court, in turn, certifies that the judge is a real judge with authority over the record. The Clerk of Court also certifies that the judge’s signature on the decree is authentic. Exemplified copies of a divorce decree might be required outside of Utah. Each record costs $6 per document and 50 cents per page.
Records authenticated by apostille might be required by foreign countries. The Utah Lieutenant Governor authenticates records by apostille, fixing the state seal on the record. Each record costs $20 per document and takes up to 5 business days for processing. Next Business Day Service is available for pickup after 12 pm on the following business day and costs $55 per document. Same Day Service costs $95 per document and takes 10 minutes to 2 hours for processing.
To request for a divorce decree authenticated by APostille, download and complete a Document Authentication Request Form with credit card information. Enclose the completed form with a self-addressed and stamped envelope. Mail the request to:
350 North State Street
PO Box 142325
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Alternatively, visit the Office of the Lieutenant Governor at the following address:
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
350 North State Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84103
Divorce Certificates are available from the Utah Department of Health, through its Office of Vital Records and Statistics. Divorce certificates are only available for divorces finalized from 1978 to 2010. Divorce certificates for all other years are only available at the Office of the County Clerk in the county of divorce. Requests for these certificates are possible online, by mail, and in person. Each record costs $18 for the first copy, and $10 for each additional copy ordered on the same day as the first copy. Copies are certified and are only available to eligible persons.
To order a divorce certificate by mail, download and complete an Application to Request a Marriage or Divorce Certificate, or write a request letter containing the required information on the application. Enclose the document with a valid government-issued ID. Mail the request to:
PO Box 141012
Salt Lake City, UT 84114–1012
To obtain a divorce certificate in person, visit the following address with the completed application and a valid government-issued ID:
Office of Vital Records and Statistics
288 North 1460 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84116
Alternatively, visit the nearest Utah Local Health Department.
While divorce and marriage records may be searched through government sources and organizations, the availability of these documents cannot be guaranteed. This is also true of their availability through third-party websites and companies, as these entities are not government-sponsored therefore, record availability may vary further. Also, note that marriage and divorce records are considered extremely private due to the information the records contain, and are often sealed. Hence, bear in mind that these factors determine the availability of any type of marriage or divorce record.
Who Can Obtain Divorce Records in Utah?
Utah divorce records are only available to the persons named on the record, immediate family members, legal representatives, and legal guardians. However, divorce records are open to the public, after 75 years.
Are Utah Divorce Records Available Online?
Utah does not have a central portal to search divorce records. However, Utah allows online access to case information via its XChange Case Search. Access is subscription-based and costs a $25 signup fee and a monthly $30 fee for up to 200 searches. Any additional search in a month costs 10 cents per search. Viewing records from the search results costs 50 cents per document. Fees are in accordance with UCJA Rule 4–202.08.
How Do I Seal My Divorce Records in Utah?
Since divorce records are not accessible to the general public until after 75 years, many couples do not bother to seal records. However, since limited information may be available as a court record, parties may request the court for their records to be sealed. If the judge is convinced that the need to seal the record is more important than the public’s right to view the record, a judge may grant the seal request.
Sealing a record begins with filing a request with the court that granted the divorce. The court may hold a hearing if other parties to the record oppose the request. All records must be perpetually sealed until a judge overturns the seal order.