How Can I Waive the 90 Day Waiting Period?

You probably will not be able to shorten the waiting period. Before you tell me I am wrong and try calling another attorney, let me explain.

I would estimate that 20% of the divorce clients we have had ask about this requirement. Most of them are under the impression that the 90 day waiting period can be easily waived. THAT IS BECAUSE IT USED TO BE EASILY WAIVED. However, in the 2012 legislative session, the Utah Legislature changed the law:

44 (1) Unless the court[, for good cause shown and set forth in the findings,] finds that
45  extraordinary circumstances exist and otherwise orders, no hearing for decree of divorce [shall] 46  may be held by the court until 90 days [shall have] has elapsed from the filing of the complaint,
47 but the court may make interim orders as [may be] it considers just and equitable.

Notice that the requirement used to be “good cause”. That meant that the 90-day period would be waived in cases where both parties had taken the appropriate classes, been separated for a while, and were better served by moving on quickly. The new requirement is that there be “extraordinary circumstance” courts have been holding that extraordinary circumstances generally requires that there be some form of abuse.

I am not saying that we should not ask the court for a 90-day waiver. We make it part of our practice to almost always request the waiver. It saves the client time and puts pressure on the other side. But any attorney who tells you that you can waive the 90-day waiting period without a problem has not stayed current with the law.

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