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Utah Court Records

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The Difference Between a Divorce and an Annulment in Utah

Utah recognizes and solemnizes marriage between consenting and legally competent adults. Nonetheless, a couple can petition the judiciary to abrogate the bonds of matrimony by filing for divorce or annulment. Court officials maintain records of these filings as well as the ensuing proceedings and judgment per the Utah Government Record Access and Management Act (GRAMA). Interested members of the public can request, inspect, and copy records of annulment and divorce unless restricted by a court order or statute.

What is a Utah Divorce Decree?

A decree of divorce in Utah is a document signed by the presiding judge that effectively dissolves a marriage (Section 30–3–1).. Consequently, with a divorce decree, the divorcees revert to the social and legal status ascribed to unmarried persons, and they may remarry once the divorce decree is absolute (Section 30–3–8).

The records contained in documents related to family court include both marriage and divorce records. Both types of records contain information that is considered very personal to the parties involved, and it is recommended that those parties maintain these records with care to make changes in the future. The personal nature of these records results in both being considerably more difficult to find and obtain when compared to other types of public records. In many cases, these records are not available through either government sources or third party public record websites.

What is an Annulment in Utah?

Annulment refers to the legal dissolution of a marriage that is void from the beginning, regardless of its legitimacy (Section 30–1–16).. Utah prohibits incestuous and consanguineous marriage (Section 30–1–1),, a marriage where either spouse is underage (Section 30–1–2),, and marriage where either spouse has not received an absolute decree of divorce. Annulment also extends to a union solemnized under duress, by compulsion, threat, or force. Likewise, the laws of Utah allow the annulment of a marriage that is void and voidable under the common law (Section 30–1–17).. Annulment action begins when the petitioner completes and submits an annulment complaint at the District Court. Upon the adjudication of an annulment complaint, the court records are available to the public unless the court removed access to the record.

Annulment vs. Divorce in Utah

The evident similarities are that both complaints are civil suits that follow the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure; also, favorable adjudication of either petition frees both parties from the bonds of matrimony. 

Still, both complaints are different as a marriage contract is valid pending when the court issues a decree of absolute divorce. Conversely, with annulment, the marriage is void from the start: the marriage contract was never valid. Furthermore, anyone can initiate a divorce suit at any time, but one can only file for annulment if the marriage is void or voidable.

Is an Annulment Cheaper Than Divorce In Utah?

Not necessarily. A couple can file for divorce and settle out of court without accruing high legal fees. However, an out-of-court settlement does not apply to annulment. The cost of annulment is significantly higher as the petitioner must pay the investigative medical and legal fees accrued in establishing that a marriage is void or voidable. The associated costs also increase with the billable fees from the representing attorney.

What is an Uncontested Divorce in Utah?

An uncontested divorce is one that was filed based on irreconcilable differences, and the couple has reached a settlement agreement regarding child support, parental time, alimony, and the division of financial assets. It may also refer to a divorce where both spouses agree on the statutory grounds for divorce enumerated in Section 30–1–3(2).  

Where to Get an Uncontested Divorce Form in Utah

An intending divorcee can get the divorce form and other documents filed in an uncontested divorce at the office of the clerk. Utah judiciary does not provide divorce forms online. Since April 2012, divorce records in Utah have become private records (Section 30–3–4).. Consequently, only the divorcees and their attorneys, who are named on the record, may access the divorce record. Other persons must provide a court order granting access to the divorce record. Nevertheless, the clerk will redact sensitive data before allowing the inspection and copying of the divorce record. Meanwhile, orders and decrees issued in a divorce proceeding are available to interested members of the public.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching for records simpler, as geographic locations do not limit their activities. Thus, the search engines on third-party sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or persons involved in the case. These include information such as the city, county, or state of residence or accusation.

Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not government-sponsored. Consequently, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How Do I Get a Copy of my Divorce Decree in Utah?

First, use the court directory to find the address and contact information of the clerk of the district court where the case was adjudicated. The clerk will request certain information to retrieve the divorce decree, e.g., the names of the divorcees, the date of the decree. Upon successful retrieval, the requester must pay the applicable fees to search, copy, certify, and exemplify the divorce decree.

Divorce and marriage records may be available through government sources and organizations, though their availability is not guaranteed. Similarly, their availability through third-party websites and companies is not guaranteed, as these organizations are not government-sponsored, and record availability may vary. Finally, marriage and divorce records are considered extremely private due to the information they contain and are often sealed. Bearing these factors in mind, record availability for these types of records is not guaranteed.

How Do I Get a Utah Divorce Decree Online?

Utah judiciary does not process online requests for divorce decrees. Thus, an interested person must visit the office of the clerk of court in person and during business hours to get a divorce decree. 

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