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5 AN ACT RELATING TO HUSBAND AND WIFE; PROVIDING THAT BOTH PARTIES
6 MUST AGREE TO IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES EXISTING BEFORE DIVORCE
7 ON GROUNDS OF IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES MAY BE GRANTED; AND
8 REMOVING THE EXEMPTION TO THE WAITING PERIOD AFTER FILING FOR
10 This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
12 30-3-1, as last amended by Chapter 106, Laws of Utah 1987
13 30-3-18, as last amended by Chapter 180, Laws of Utah 1993
14 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
15 Section 1. Section 30-3-1 is amended to read:
16 30-3-1. Procedure -- Residence -- Grounds.
17 (1) Proceedings in divorce are commenced and conducted as provided by law for
18 proceedings in civil causes, except as provided in this chapter.
19 (2) The court may decree a dissolution of the marriage contract between the plaintiff and
20 defendant on the grounds specified in Subsection (3) in all cases where the plaintiff or defendant
21 has been an actual and bona fide resident of this state and of the county where the action is
22 brought, or if members of the armed forces of the United States who are not legal residents of this
23 state, where the plaintiff has been stationed in this state under military orders, for three months
24 next prior to the commencement of the action.
25 (3) Grounds for divorce:
26 (a) impotency of the defendant at the time of marriage;
27 (b) adultery committed by the defendant subsequent to marriage;
1 (c) willful desertion of the plaintiff by the defendant for more than one year;
2 (d) willful neglect of the defendant to provide for the plaintiff the common necessaries of
4 (e) habitual drunkenness of the defendant;
5 (f) conviction of the defendant for a felony;
6 (g) cruel treatment of the plaintiff by the defendant to the extent of causing bodily injury
7 or great mental distress to the plaintiff;
8 (h) irreconcilable differences of the marriage;
9 (i) incurable insanity; or
10 (j) when the husband and wife have lived separately under a decree of separate
11 maintenance of any state for three consecutive years without cohabitation.
12 (4) A decree of divorce granted under Subsection (3)(j) does not affect the liability of
13 either party under any provision for separate maintenance previously granted.
14 (5) (a) A divorce may not be granted on the grounds of insanity unless:
15 (i) the defendant has been adjudged insane by the appropriate authorities of this or another
16 state prior to the commencement of the action; and
17 (ii) the court finds by the testimony of competent witnesses that the insanity of the
18 defendant is incurable.
19 (b) The court shall appoint for the defendant a guardian ad litem[
20 interests of the defendant. A copy of the summons and complaint shall be served on the defendant
21 in person or by publication, as provided by the laws of this state in other actions for divorce, or
22 upon his guardian ad litem, and upon the county attorney for the county where the action is
24 (c) The county attorney shall investigate the merits of the case and if the defendant resides
25 out of this state, take depositions as necessary, attend the proceedings, and make a defense as is
26 just to protect the rights of the defendant and the interests of the state.
27 (d) In all actions the court and judge have jurisdiction over the payment of alimony, the
28 distribution of property, and the custody and maintenance of minor children, as the courts and
29 judges possess in other actions for divorce.
30 (e) The plaintiff or defendant may, if the defendant resides in this state, upon notice, have
31 the defendant brought into the court at trial, or have an examination of the defendant by two or
1 more competent physicians, to determine the mental condition of the defendant. For this purpose
2 either party may have leave from the court to enter any asylum or institution where the defendant
3 may be confined. The costs of court in this action shall be apportioned by the court.
4 (6) A divorce may not be granted on the grounds of irreconcilable differences unless both
5 parties agree to the divorce.
6 Section 2. Section 30-3-18 is amended to read:
7 30-3-18. Waiting period for hearing after filing for divorce -- Exemption -- Use of
8 counseling and education services not to be construed as condonation or promotion.
9 (1) Unless the court, for good cause shown and set forth in the findings, otherwise orders,
10 no hearing for decree of divorce shall be held by the court until 90 days shall have elapsed from
11 the filing of the complaint, provided the court may make such interim orders as may be just and
17 chapter may not be construed as condoning the acts that may constitute grounds for divorce on the
18 part of either spouse nor of promoting divorce.
Legislative Review Note
as of 1-2-97 2:14 PM
A limited legal review of this bill raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel
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