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Separate Maintenance Agreement Utah


Separate Maintenance Agreement Utah: What You Need to Know

If you are going through a separation or divorce in Utah, you may have heard the term “Separate Maintenance Agreement” (SMA). This legal agreement is also known as a legal separation, and it lays out the terms of separation between two parties who wish to live apart but not get a divorce.

In Utah, an SMA can be an excellent option for couples who need time apart to work out their issues, but are not ready for a divorce. It can also be a way for couples to maintain certain benefits while living separately, such as health insurance or Social Security benefits.

What is a Separate Maintenance Agreement?

An SMA is a legal contract between two parties who wish to live apart and separate their lives while remaining legally married. This agreement can cover a wide range of topics, including child custody and support, spousal support, division of property, and payment of debts.

Both parties must agree to the terms of the SMA and sign the agreement. Once this is done, the SMA becomes a binding legal document that is enforced by the courts.

Advantages of a Separate Maintenance Agreement

There are several advantages to entering into an SMA instead of getting a divorce. These include:

1. Time to work things out: An SMA provides the couple with time to work on their issues without the pressure of a divorce. It can also give them the space they need to decide if divorce is the right choice.

2. Legal status: With an SMA, the couple remains legally married, which can be beneficial for tax purposes or for maintaining certain benefits (such as Social Security) that may be lost in a divorce.

3. Flexibility: The terms of an SMA can be tailored to meet the needs of the couple, allowing for more flexibility than a divorce decree.

4. Decoupling process: An SMA can provide an easier decoupling process compared to a full-blown divorce, thus reducing the emotional and financial impact.


If you are considering a separation in Utah, a Separate Maintenance Agreement may be a viable option for you. It provides a legal separation without the full dissolution of marriage, giving you time and space to work on your issues while maintaining certain benefits and legal status. Working with a qualified Utah family law attorney can help ensure that your SMA agreement is legally enforceable and meets your specific needs.

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