Utah Property Division Factors
In Utah, the property and debt issues are typically settled between the parties by a signed Marital Settlement Agreement or the property award is actually order and decreed by the District Court within the Decree of Divorce.
Utah is referred to as an "equitable distribution" state. When the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the District Court will take the following approach to dividing the assets; First, it will go through a discovery process to classify which property and debt is to be considered marital. Next, it will assign a monetary value on the marital property and debt. Last, it will distribute the marital assets between the two parties in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather what is deemed by the District Court to be fair.
Marital property is divided equitably upon divorce. The court will examine each case on an individual basis and determined an appropriate property award based on what is fair to each spouse.
The spouses are not personally liable for the separate debts, obligations, or liabilities of the other: (1) contracted or incurred before marriage; (2) contracted or incurred during marriage, except family expenses; (3) contracted or incurred after divorce or an order for separate maintenance under this title, except the spouse is personally liable for that portion of the expenses incurred on behalf of a minor child for reasonable and necessary medical and dental expenses, and other similar necessities. (Utah Code - Sections: 30-3-5, 30-3-12)
Since Utah is an "Equitable Distribution" state, all marital property will be divided in an equitable fashion according to the court unless agreed to otherwise by the divorcing spouses. What does "equitable" mean? Equitable can be defined as "what is fair, not necessarily equal." To automatically believe the marital property would be divided 50-50 would be a wrong assumption in any equitable distribution state. You can also read more about Utah property division in the Utah state statutes located at: http://www.le.state.ut.us/.
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