Talk to an attorney
The information on this page is not a substitute for legal advice. You are not required to hire an attorney, but legal matters can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options.
See our Finding Legal Help page for information about ways to get legal help. One way to talk to an attorney is to visit a free legal clinic. Clinics provide general legal information and give brief legal advice. You might also hire an attorney for just part of your case or to do one particular thing, rather than represent you for the whole case. Legal help is also available at discounted rates for people with modest incomes.
Temporary separation is an optional step spouses may take before filing for divorce, especially if they are not sure they want to divorce, but they need court orders to establish temporary provisions concerning alimony, property and debt management and division, health care insurance, housing, child support, child custody and parent time. If either party files a petition for divorce within one year after the date of filing the petition for temporary separation, the amount of the temporary separation filing fee is credited towards the divorce filing fee. Utah Code Section 30-3-4.5 governs temporary separation orders.
Either spouse can petition the district court for a temporary separation order if:
- the spouses are lawfully married; and
- both spouses have resided in Utah for at least 90 days.
Duration of order
A temporary separation order is valid for one year from the date of the hearing, unless the case is dismissed earlier. If one of the spouses files a petition for divorce while the temporary separation order is in effect, the temporary separation order will continue until the divorce is completed.
After a petition for temporary separation has been filed and served, both spouses must attend a divorce orientation course if there are minor children from the marriage. The petitioner must attend the course within 60 days after filing the petition and the respondent must attend the course within 45 days after being served. For more information about course locations and schedules and for information and forms for waiving the requirement, see our page on Mandatory Education in Divorce and Temporary Separation.
You can use OCAP, the Online Court Assistance Program, to prepare the petition and order for temporary separation as well as the related motion for temporary orders. A decree of temporary separation can include provisions about alimony, property and debt management and division, health care insurance, housing, child support, child custody and parent time.
- Answering a Complaint or Petition
- Child Custody and Parent Time
- Child Support
- Debt Division
- Default Judgments
- Divorce Mediation
- Fee Waiver
- Filing Procedures
- Finding Legal Help
- Going to Court
- How to get a Temporary Order
- Informal Trial of Support, Custody and Parent-Time
- Judicial Recognition of a Relationship as a Marriage
- Mandatory Education in Divorce and Temporary Separation
- Modifying Child Custody
- Modifying Child Support
- Modifying Parent-time
- Motion to Enforce Domestic Order (Order to Show Cause)
- Ninety-Day Waiting Period in Divorce Cases
- Online Court Assistance Program (OCAP)
- Parenting Plans
- Property Division
- Public and Non-public Records
- Separate Maintenance
- Serving Papers
- Temporary Separation
- Utah Statutes, Title 30, Husband and Wife
- Utah Statutes, Title 78B, Chapter 12, Utah Child Support Act
- Utah Statutes, Title 78B, Chapter 13, Utah Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
- Utah Statutes, Title 78B, Chapter 14, Uniform Interstate Family Support Act