Home Family Utah Family Law

Utah Family Law

Utah Family Law

Utah Family Law: Understanding and Navigating the Legal Landscape


Family law is an extremely complex and emotionally charged arena of law, and is an umbrella term for legal proceedings related to family relationships, such as marriage, divorce, child custody, adoption, and paternity. Utah has its own set of family laws that are designed to protect the interests of all family members involved in these legal proceedings. This article aims to explore Utah family law in depth, providing you with the knowledge and resources you need to navigate this complex and often confusing arena of law.

Divorce in Utah

Divorce is one of the most common legal proceedings in family law. In Utah, a divorce may be granted based on the following grounds:

– Impotence at the time of marriage;

– Adultery;

– Willful desertion;

– Willful neglect;

– Habitual drunkenness;

– Conviction of a felony;

– Cruel treatment;

– Incurable insanity;

– Living apart without cohabitation for three years.

Utah also recognizes no-fault divorce, which means that a divorce may be granted simply because the parties involved no longer wish to be married. In order to obtain a divorce in Utah, one or both of the spouses must have been a resident of Utah for at least three months immediately before filing for divorce.

Child Custody and Support

Child custody and support are often the most contentious and emotionally charged issues in any divorce case. In Utah, child custody is governed by the “best interests of the child” standard. This means that the court will make a custody determination based on what is in the best interests of the child, taking into account various factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s needs, and the ability of each parent to provide for the child’s physical and emotional needs.

Utah has also established guidelines for child support, which are based on the income of both parents and the number of children involved in the case. The custodial parent is generally the parent who receives child support from the non-custodial parent. It is important to note that child support payments can be modified if there is a material change in circumstances, such as a change in income or the needs of the child.


Alimony, also known as spousal support, is financial support paid by one spouse to the other after a divorce. In Utah, the court may order alimony if one spouse has a need for support and the other spouse has the ability to pay. There are several factors that the court will consider when determining whether to award alimony, including the length of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, the earning capacity of each spouse, and the health and age of each spouse.


Adoption is another common legal proceeding in family law. In Utah, adoption is governed by the Utah Adoption Act, which outlines the various requirements that must be met in order for an adoption to be granted. These requirements include a home study, criminal background checks, and termination of the parental rights of the biological parents.


Paternity is the legal establishment of the identity of a child’s father. In Utah, paternity can be established in several ways, including through genetic testing, marriage to the child’s mother, or acknowledgement of paternity by both parents. Once paternity has been established, the father has legal rights and responsibilities to the child, including the obligation to provide financial support.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a serious issue that often arises in the context of family law. In Utah, domestic violence includes physical harm, threat or perceived threat of physical harm, or sexual assault. If you are the victim of domestic violence, it is important to know that there are legal resources available to protect you and your family. The Utah Office for Victims of Crime provides a variety of services to help victims of domestic violence, including crisis hotlines, counseling, and legal assistance.


Navigating the legal landscape of family law can be difficult and emotional. However, with the right knowledge and resources, you can better understand your legal rights and responsibilities, and make informed decisions for yourself and your family. Whether you are facing a divorce, a child custody dispute, or other familial legal issue, Utah family law provides a framework of guidelines and requirements to protect everyone involved.

Quick Guide to Utah Family Laws

Where can I find the majority of Utah Family Laws?

You’ll have to visit the revised code under the Utah State Legislature in order to view a complete list of all updated family laws within the state.  Once you begin searching for Utah family law, you’ll want to reference several different chapters depending on your need.

In this article you’ll find general information about Utah family law about marriage requirements, divorce, adoption, child custody, and other commonly accessed areas of family law.  If you are referencing Utah family laws for legal help, you are highly advised to consult with a family law attorney before proceeding with any settlement process.

Specific Utah Family Laws

Some general information about sections of Utah family law within several different chapters is listed below:

Title 30 Chapter 1

This chapter provides prerequisites for a valid marriage, as well as who cannot marry in the state of Utah.  This chapter also contains information on Utah family laws for licenses and other contracts, as well as who is legally allowed to solemnize a marriage.

Title 30 Chapter 3

This chapter of Utah family law is one of the most frequently accessed chapters under the Utah Legislature.  This specific chapter covers general grounds for divorce (§30-3-1, and other sections cover property division (§30-3-5 to 5.4), methods of payment for spousal support (§30-3-10.5), and much more.  There are multiple other sections of code that may prove helpful in divorce proceedings.

Title 78B Chapter 6

This chapter and specific sections of Utah family law provides general provisions for adoption such as who may adopt a child (§78B-6-115), information about petitions, financial disclosures, investigative procedures from a child-placing agency, and much more.  If you are searching laws for legal advice on adoptions within Utah family law, talk to an attorney right away.

Title 78B Chapter 12

This chapter of Utah family laws provides detailed information about conditions for child support.  The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act is located under 78B-14, and there are many more articles that address conditions for child support and custody—like the Utah Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (78B-13).  For more information about child custody, talk with your family law attorney.

How to Search Utah Family Law

Consider the follow search techniques while researching Utah family laws.  The searchable database also allows you to search using fuzzy searching (close to the same term) and phonic searching (close in sound) apart from the techniques below:

1. Stemming- this technique includes adding suffixes onto your search, such as divorces, divorcing, divorced, or more

2. Wildcards- a wildcard allows you to search multiple words using an asterisk, and adopt* will usually bring you to adopted, adoption, adopting, adoptive, adoptable, and more.

3. Missing variables- you can search for a missing variable with a question mark, and wom?n will bring results associated with woman, women, and more

4. Boolean Operators- you should always consider using and, or, and not to limit your searches as well

To view the searchable Utah code, click on the link below.

To view a table of contents, click the link below.