Utah Legal Separation and Utah Divorce: How Do they Compare?

Everyone knows what a Utah divorce is.

Divorce ends a marriage. After a divorce, you’ve split everything, and you’re done as a couple.

Not everyone knows what a Utah legal separation is.

A legal separation doesn’t end a marriage. Think of it as something that puts a marriage on hold temporarily.

A legal separation deals with all the same issues as a divorce: child custody, alimony, child support, what to do with the home, etc.

What is doesn’t do is deal with those issues permanently.

This is because a Utah legal separations only last 1 year. That means if you want the separation to last longer, you need to go back to the court and ask that it be extended.


Here are a few questions people ask us when deciding on a divorce or legal separation:

  1. What is the benefit of getting a legal separation?

Maybe you have hope you’ll get back together and you don’t want to end things just yet. Maybe you need to stay on your spouse’s insurance, and if you get divorced, the insurance company will kick you off the policy.

In those types of situations, it may make sense to stay married but live apart, which is what a Utah legal separation allows you to do.

  1. Who files for legal separation?

Usually, those who file for legal separation are: (1) people whose culture doesn’t allow divorce, (2) people whose religion doesn’t allow divorce, (3) people who want to stay on their spouse’s insurance.

  1. How often do people file for legal separation?

Almost never.

When people compare Utah legal separation with Utah divorce, and they realize the restriction on legal separation, they almost always choose to file for divorce.

Utah Legal Separation Law

If you would like to read the Utah law that governs legal separations (Utah Code, Section 30-3-4.5), here it is:

(1) A petitioner may file an action for a temporary separation order without filing a petition for divorce by filing a petition for temporary separation and motion for temporary orders if:

(a) the petitioner is lawfully married to the respondent; and


(b) both parties are residents of the state for at least 90 days prior to the date of filing.


(2) The temporary orders are valid for one year from the date of the hearing, or until one of the following occurs:

(a) a petition for divorce is filed and consolidated with the petition for temporary separation; or


(b) the case is dismissed.


(3) If a petition for divorce is filed and consolidated with the petition for temporary separation, orders entered in the temporary separation shall continue in the consolidated case.


(4) Both parties shall attend the divorce orientation course described in Section 30-3-11.4 within 60 days of the filing of the petition, for petitioner, and within 45 days of being served, for respondent.


(5) Service shall be made upon respondent, together with a 20-day summons, in accordance with the rules of civil procedure.


(6) The fee for filing the petition for temporary separation orders is $35. If either party files a petition for divorce within one year from the date of filing the petition for temporary separation, the separation filing fee shall be credited towards the filing fee for the divorce.

Call Brown Family Law

If you find yourself facing a Utah divorce, please call 801.685.9999 for a legal in-person consultation, or use our online scheduling tool.

Protect Your Money And Your Family

We remove fear associated with divorce, protect your money & maximize time with your kids!

We're here to help. Let's determine your best options.

Call Us 24//7 at 801-685-9999 to Speak with a Live Representative

Utah Divorce FAQs
Top 100 Divorce Blog
What Clients Are Saying…
Brown Family Law
Based on 803 reviews
They handled my case with the highest degree of professionalism and integrity and made every effort to be efficient and transparent with me throughout the whole process. I was told that they were the best as far as family law is concerned and I believe that praise was fully justified.
Amber McFee is always professional and great to work with. Being opposing counsel by nature is adversarial, but Amber is professional in approach while effectively advocating for her clients. She will treat you right!
Response from the owner: Thank you, Jonathan.
Overall from start to finish the best experience to have dealing with a time that is difficult.Andrew Christensen is very professional and out going to make this situation the best it could be and worked hard to make sure the divorce was fair for me.Over all, this firm really cares and treats you as a family or friend and just not a client, down to Marco Brown taking time to see how I was doing and offer to help in any way possible during my divorce while I was there for my first initial meeting.I would highly recommend anyone that has to go through a divorce to really reach out to the Brown Family Law firm and see for your self the experience I was able to receive from a top notch law firm.
Response from the owner: Devin, thank you for the kind words. Andrew appreciated the opportunity to help you with your situation.
Sophie was very helpful and explains the process and fees. Thank you!
Response from the owner: Corey, thank you for the kind words. Glad we could help.
Dani always kept me updated and has great communication skills.
Response from the owner: Thank you, Sofia.
Dani was extremely helpful and always responsive.
Response from the owner: Glad Dani did well for you.
My experience with Brown Family Law is a positive one. I highly recommend them. This firm has very good communication with their clients. Attorney Paul Waldron represents me and I’m very happy with the experience. My questions and concerns are always answered quickly and respectfully. I’m grateful to have Mr. Waldron and Brown Family Law in my corner during this difficult time for my family.
Response from the owner: Jodie, glad we were able to communicate with you so effectively and quickly. Thank you for your kind words.
I recently used Clay in a divorce case and could not have been happier. He was efficient, knowledgeable, and made me feel like I was his only client. The process was easy and he was always there to reassure me or help me with decisions. I would highly recommend Brown Family Law.
Response from the owner: Thank you, Mendi.
Dani excelled as a paralegal, providing crucial support with exceptional skills!
Response from the owner: Glad Dani did such a good job for you.
Thank you So much
Response from the owner: You're welcome. Thank you for choosing us to help you.