Utah Divorce Mediation

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Process of Utah Divorce Mediation

In this state, after 2nd May 2005, whenever an answer was filed responding to a petition for divorce, the remaining disputed issues were referred to mediation. It is expected that the divorcing parties should take part in minimum one session of mediation and try to overcome the conflict in the issues. The mandatory requirement of participation in mediation may be waived by the Court, the Court qualified mediator or the ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) office. The reasons for such a waiver alter from case to case. Some of them are-

  • One or both parties do not feel secure or capable of completely expressing themselves in the mediation sessions
  • There is high level of conflict between the parties

When the parties are excused from mediation by the Court qualified mediator or the ADR Office, then a notice is dispatched to the Court to permit to continue with the case in the Court. The parties have to submit an application to be excused for a reason.

It is the responsibility of the parties to select and pay a mediator. The expenses of mediation are equally divided amongst the parties, except when a different payment plan is acceded to by both the parties or ordered by the Court. The mediator selected by the parties must be qualified on the ADR Court Roster and must fulfill Section 78-31b-5. The parties may call the Divorce Mediation Help Line to request a written copy of the list of mediators in the region.

Sometimes the parties do not have money to afford a mediator. In such a case, they have to approach the ADR office to submit a Divorce Mediation Program Income Survey. Further, they may be allocated a pro bono mediator or may be considered for economical assistance.

Utah Divorce Mediation for rural regions

Sometimes the parties living in rural regions find it impracticable to attend mediation sessions due to distance restrictions. In such cases, they should approach a mediator who can arrange Conference Call Mediation. This works quite well and is very efficient. Thus, there is no need to leave the idea of mediation if distance is a problem.

The Divorce Decree

After mediation is complete, the mediator produces the "Mediation Agreement" also called as the "Memorandum of Understanding". This document comprises of all the agreements finalized by the divorcing couple during the mediation. The divorcing parties have to put down their signatures on this document and notarize it so that it becomes a legally binding document. However, the Court accepts this document as a divorce only after it is transformed to a Divorce Decree. The mediation agreement is utilized as a template to make the Divorce Decree. All the contents of the mediation agreement are included in the Decree. Frequently, a copy of the mediation agreement is filed as an attachment with the Decree. This Divorce Decree is prepared by either a paralegal or a lawyer or the parties. If the parties think it appropriate, the mediator may be assigned the task of preparing the Decree.

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