In Utah there is a ninety day waiting period before decree of divorce may be signed by a judge.

This ninety day waiting period begins the day the complaint (or petition) for divorce is filed with the court.

To determine when your ninety day waiting period will end, count the calendar days (including business days, weekends and holidays) with “day one” being the day immediately after the date you filed the complaint (or petition) for divorce.

For example if you filed the complaint (or petition) for divorce on Monday, then “day one” will be Tuesday.

There are several explanations as to why the ninety day waiting period was initially adopted in Utah.  The most popular explanation is this period provides the parties time to think about their decision to divorce, any possibility of reconciliation, and what is in the best interests of any minor children that may be involved in the divorce.

Another explanation is this period is used to make sure the wife is not pregnant with another child as a result of the marriage.

The ninety day requirement is found in Utah Code section 30-3-18, the text of which is included at the end of this blog entry.  You may Motion the Court to waive this waiting period, but it will not be granted automatically, as you need to prove there are “extraordinary circumstances.”

Since the change in this statute to include “extraordinary circumstances” it has been very difficult for parties to convince the court to waive the ninety day waiting period.

Evidence that may weigh in favor of extraordinary circumstances and persuade the court to waive the ninety day waiting period could include, having reached a full and final agreement as to all terms of the divorce, financial distress, abuse or the threat of immediate harm, child related problems or issues, the certainty that there will be no further children born as a result of the marriage, and including that both parties have attended the divorce orientation and education courses if there are minor children to the divorce.  However, including any of the above information does not guarantee the ninety days will be waived, the determination is made on a case by case basis by the assigned judge.

30-3-18.   Waiting period for hearing after filing for divorce — Exemption — Use of counseling and education services not to be construed as condonation or promotion.

(1) Unless the court finds that extraordinary circumstances exist and otherwise orders, no hearing for decree of divorce may be held by the court until 90 days has elapsed from the filing of the complaint, but the court may make interim orders as it considers just and equitable.

(2) The use of counseling, mediation, and education services provided under this chapter may not be construed as condoning the acts that may constitute grounds for divorce on the part of either spouse nor of promoting divorce.