Divorces can take a toll, and many people start the process not knowing what to expect. You can find many articles on how it works, but we wanted to talk about the things that everyone else likes to sweep under the rug. Here are 7 things that no one ever tells you when you are going through a divorce.
There Are Predictors for Divorce in Utah
If you enter into marriage under the age of 20 and/or have an income of less than 25,000, your risk of divorce skyrockets. Throw in a spouse losing their job or a surprise pregnancy, and your marriage may be doomed before it begins. Here in Utah, we have a tendency to marry quite young. The median age of marriage in the United States is 27 for women and 29 for men. Now compare that to the average age of marriage in Utah, which is 24 for women and 26 for men.
Divorce Has Declined Nearly Everywhere Except Utah
Utah’s divorce rates run slightly higher than the national average. Statistics often attribute this to Utah having larger families than the national average, citing more than 5% of families have 7+ family members compared to the 3.25 national average (2013).
Utah Requires Divorcing Couples to Attend a Divorce Education Class
Utah legislators have created a mandatory divorce orientation course that couples must complete. Your divorce cannot be finalized until both you and your significant other have completed the course. You are only required to take the divorce education class if there are minor children involved. The one-time class reviews resources for custody and child support issues, clarifies the divorce process, and consequences of divorce. More information about Utah Divorce class requirements and fees can be found here.
People May Judge You and Ask Why
The news that you are getting divorced has spread through your church, neighborhood, and/or workplace, and we are a curious species. Don’t be surprised when people you barely know ask you why you the nitty-gritty on why you are getting divorced. Insensitive comments such as, “did she leave you for someone younger?” and other flagrant comments are to be expected. For the sake of your children, you may not wish to respond in detail.
While you are preparing your financials for your divorce, be sure to take some time to handle the emotional side as well. People may even tell you that they haven’t liked your ex since before you got married. They are not usually trying to make you feel bad; quite the opposite, they are usually trying to tell you that they agree with your decision and are trying to make you feel better. My point – PREPARE YOURSELF for these comments.
Friends and family members may also take sides or disappear completely. You may be the spouse who was cheated on, and people may still not take your side. Divorce is a distressing topic, and people may want to distance themselves from the perceived drama. Just remember to stay true to yourself, cut out the negative people, and create a foundation of support. Divorce gets easier as time goes on, and surrounding yourself with those that will help you weather the storm helps the process move faster.
You May Feel Terrible About Getting a Divorce – It WILL Pass
There is much guilt and regret present in nearly every divorce. You may easily blame yourself because you run through all the things you could have done differently, because your children blame you, or you may feel guilty simply because you were the one who filed the divorce papers. This is normal!! Make a choice to move forward, and take care of yourself. Throughout the divorce process you will have good days and bad days. Feeling guilty or overwhelmed does not mean that you should give the other spouse everything. Doing so will probably not lessen the grief on either side, and you are still entitled to half of everything.
Additionally, people may want to tell you their divorce horror stories. Please remember that every situation is different, and you shouldn’t let someone else’s negative experience stress you out. When you are feeling stressed, rely on professional advice from your family law attorney, mental health counselor, or financial advisor as they are qualified to give you answers pertaining to your specific situation.
Parenting After Divorce May Become More Difficult
There will be many disagreements – maybe not fair or logical ones. There may be pain when you refer to your ex as “mommy” to your kids, however that is her name to them, and you need to be the adult about it. No matter what age your kids are, please practice HIGH levels of self-control and not bad mouth the other parent in front of your children. You may think with the other spouse out of the picture, that you can make all parenting decisions by yourself. If you’re granted sole legal custody, then you can make major decision about the kid(s) by yourself. Having sole physical custody simply means that you are the parent the kid(s) live with. Make a choice to try to co-parent as best you can. If you can’t get along, you may need to have separate birthdays, and the more times in your kids’ lives you are going to miss out on. Just because you are divorced, doesn’t mean that you have to be enemies.
If the Utah Divorce Decree is Violated, There Can be Serious Consequences.
Once the court has ruled and the papers have been signed, both parties are bound to the terms set forth in the divorce decree. Violating any part of the agreement may put the violator in contempt of court, and your family law attorney can help you file a contempt motion. The most common divorce violations are non-payment of child support, not complying with the visitation schedule, withholding visitation, and non-payment of alimony. If your ex does not bring the kids back at the time set forth in the divorce decree, the police will not help you bring them back unless there is an immediate threat to them. What the police will do is come to your house and make a record of “visitation interference,” which your family law attorney can use as evidence in a contempt hearing. In your court hearing you must be able to state what areas of the decree have been violated, and the burden of proof always lies with the accuser. If you are found in contempt, the violator may be given a period of time to correct the issue or they may face jail time until the matter is resolved.
If you ex is not paying alimony or child support due to unemployment, you can’t make your spouse pay if they do not bring in an income, however, past due child support will accrue. Your family law attorney will likely recommend that you contact the Utah Office of Recovery Services (ORS). The ORS makes sure that Utah parents are responsible for their children’s support, and can help you collect a judgment. Click here for more information on the Office of Recovery Services.
Salt Lake City Divorce Attorney
At Wall & Wall Attorneys at Law, we understand that a Utah Divorce is emotionally exhausting, even outside of the legal realm. We are a family-owned law firm specializing in handling many difficult circumstances when it comes to Salt Lake City family law situations. We specialize on father’s rights in Utah and are equally skilled in representing a mother’s position as well. Whether you are dealing with divorce, separation, alimony, child support, custody, paternity, domestic violence, or visitation issues, Wall & Wall Attorneys at Law can help. We offer legal representation that is cost-efficient and trustworthy. Call 801-441-2388 to take advantage of our free divorce consultation.