Are you trying to file a divorce on your own in Utah? You are not alone. Over 50 percent of Utahns going through a divorce don’t seek out legal representation and go through their divorces without help.
Unfortunately, without legal representation divorce can be tricky to navigate, especially where children and property or financial assets are involved. Because of this, many people end up with a less than ideal outcome.
Although Utah’s Online Court Assistance Program (OCAP) exists to help pro se individuals (people who represent themselves), it can be confusing and might not meet your specific needs. Here are some ways to help ease some stress when doing your own case.
Make Sure You Understand What Documents You Need
It goes without saying that there are a lot of documents involved in any legal matter. Divorce is no exception. Whether you’re petitioning for the divorce or responding to the petition, it’s important to your case to understand what documents you need.
Going through the OCAP system helps you with this. When you go through the initial interview, you answer some simple questions, and the system creates the documents you need. The upside to this is that creating the documents is free.
However, just filling out the documents isn’t enough – you still have to file the documents with the court, pay the filing fees and send the documents to the other party. When filing the documents, make sure you have all the necessary paperwork – otherwise, you may end up doing extra work and wasting a lot of time.
Communicate with the Court
Legal cases are confusing, and without a lawyer guiding you, they can be even more so. If you have questions about your case or your documents, ask the court. Make sure to keep important dates in mind too. Things such as mediation, divorce education classes, and hearings may be required by the court. Stay on top of these important appointments to represent yourself in the best way possible.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the court has a mandatory 30-day waiting period before your final divorce documents can be submitted to the court for finalization.
Once your divorce is final, you should get a copy of your divorce decree and any other relevant documents from the court. Even though your divorce is over, your decree is enforceable. That means it’s important to make sure you’re adhering to parenting plans, child support and alimony payments, etc.
If your circumstances change for whatever reason, and you need something changed, you need to file the correct paperwork with the court or follow the decree to deal with any changes.
When to Get Legal Help
Some cases are complex, and it’s best to seek out legal help. Even if you don’t want to retain a lawyer, speaking with a Licensed Paralegal Practitioner can help you with the trickiest parts of your case, such as filling out the OCAP documents. Contact Utah Legal Coach today if you need legal advice, coaching, or help with filing or reviewing documents. We offer legal services at a more affordable rate than traditional lawyers and want to help you successfully represent yourself.