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Utah marital property – the basics

Getting divorced is often a complicated process that involves heightened emotions. Unfortunately, this causes many people to make rash decisions when it comes time to negotiate a settlement.

Imagine ending a marriage that lasted for more than ten years. You and your husband have finally decided that it is time to call it quits. No matter how fast you want to get through the process and get on with the rest of your life, it is important to take the time to make decisions that will benefit you in the future. Specifically, you need to focus on what you want when it comes to dividing the marital property.

When going through a divorce, some people rush through the process and give up more than they should while dividing marital property. Expediting the process is not worth risking a future financial bind because you did not fight for what you need to maintain a home for you and your children. For example, should you keep your South Jordan home or sell it and split the proceeds? How should you divide the retirement accounts, who gets the furniture, and how will you handle the debt? Part of negotiating a fair divorce settlement is understanding the marital property laws in Utah.

Equitable distribution

While some states use community property laws to dictate property division in a divorce, Utah is an equitable division state. This means that you will not necessarily split your marital property equally. These laws simply require that you and your husband divide your property in a way that is fair to each of you. If the two of you cannot come an agreement, the court will divide the property for you.

In general, the court will come close to a 50 percent split for couples that have been married for many years. However, for those with shorter marriages, the court will attempt to return each of you to the financial position you had before your marriage. If you and your husband are able to come to a settlement that you both agree on, the court will still review it to make sure it is a fair arrangement.

Separate property

Usually, couples have some property that is separate from the marital property. This typically includes anything you owned before your marriage as well as gifts or inheritances you received while you were married. Separate property is not subject to division unless it is indistinguishable from marital property.

If you are considering divorce, it is important to understand the property laws in Utah so that you can prepare to negotiate for what you want in the settlement.

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