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Home / Grounds for Divorce in Utah

Grounds for Divorce in Utah

Utah provides both no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce, offering flexibility for couples based on their unique circumstances.

No-Fault Grounds for Divorce

  • Irreconcilable Differences: The most common no-fault ground in Utah, meaning that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and there is no possibility of reconciliation.
  • Living Apart: The spouses have lived separately under a decree of separate maintenance for three consecutive years without cohabitation.

Fault-Based Grounds for Divorce

  • Adultery: One spouse engages in voluntary sexual intercourse with someone other than their spouse.
  • Cruel Treatment: One spouse subjects the other to cruel treatment that endangers their life or health, making cohabitation unsafe.
  • Willful Desertion: One spouse willfully deserts or abandons the other for at least one year.
  • Willful Neglect: One spouse willfully neglects the other, refusing to provide for their needs while being able to do so.
  • Habitual Drunkenness: One spouse habitually abuses alcohol or drugs.
  • Felony Conviction: One spouse is convicted of a felony.
  • Incurable Insanity: One spouse is incurably insane, and the insane spouse has been institutionalized for at least three years.

Key Points

  • Irreconcilable Differences as a Common Ground: Most divorces in Utah are filed under this ground because it simplifies the process and avoids the need to prove fault.
  • Impact of Fault on Divorce Proceedings: Citing fault-based grounds can influence the division of marital property, spousal support, and child custody arrangements.
  • Residency Requirements: To file for divorce in Utah, either spouse must meet the state’s residency requirements, which include living in the state for at least three months before filing.


Understanding the grounds for divorce in Utah is crucial for anyone considering ending their marriage in the state. Whether opting for a no-fault divorce based on irreconcilable differences or citing specific fault-based grounds, it's important to consider how the grounds might affect the divorce process, including financial settlements and child custody decisions.

Consulting with a legal professional can provide guidance tailored to an individual's specific situation.

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