Cottonwood Heights Utah Divorce Attorney
Cottonwood Heights is a city located in Salt Lake County, Utah, United States, along the east bench of the Salt Lake Valley. It lies south of the cities of Holladay and Murray, east of Midvale, and north of Sandy within the Salt Lake City, Utah Metropolitan Statistical Area. Following a successful incorporation referendum in May 2004, the city was incorporated on January 14, 2005. Cottonwood Heights had been a Census-designated place (CDP) before incorporation. The population as of the 2010 census was 33,433. This is a significant increase over the CDP’s 2000 census count of 27,569. As the city’s name suggests, its geography is dominated by a high ridge separating the valleys of the Big and Little Cottonwood Creeks. At the eastern edge of the city, these valleys narrow into the Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons within the Wasatch Mountains, respectively; this is reflected by the city’s official nickname, “City between the canyons”.
The ridge is covered in suburban housing, but most commercial development has been restricted to the lower-lying areas north of the ridge (along Fort Union Boulevard, in Fort Union itself, and near Big Cottonwood Creek and the “Old Mill” in the northeast corner of the city). State Route 190 and State Route 210 run near the eastern edge of the city and provide access to the canyons; they are the only state routes that enter the city. Interstate 215 runs along the northern border of the city and State Route 152 touches the city at a point. The city is building a multi-use trail along the full length of Big Cottonwood Creek within its borders.
Many divorce attorneys argue that there really is no advantage to filing for dissolution (divorce) first, however, we believe that it depends on your individual circumstances. In general, there are certain financial and legal benefits to being the first to file for divorce.
The advantages of filing for divorce first can include:
• More Planning: You get to plan in advance and take your time selecting a lawyer, rather than having to scramble to find a lawyer to meet with you and file a Response within 30 days of being served.
• Emotional Preparation: You have time to be mentally and emotionally prepared for the financial cost of divorce.
• Choice of Court: You have the first choice of which court will hear your case. Depending on where you live, having your case heard in one courthouse over another could be a significant advantage, especially if one spouse lives in a state with favorable laws regarding asset division or spousal support laws.
• Timing: You are in control of the time frames and when to file for divorce by choosing a timing that works for you.
• First at Trial: As the petitioner, you get the first argument at trial, and the ability to reply to the defendant’s response providing you with the final word as well.
• Asset Protection: By initiating the divorce process, you have the opportunity to start protecting community assets, and to see if your spouse may be hiding marital assets.
• Prevent Stalling: It prevents possible stalling by the other party.
One of the biggest advantages to filing for divorce first is you are given adequate opportunity to consult with various attorneys before choosing one. You are basically putting yourself in an offensive position instead of a defensive position. Ideally, you and your spouse will conduct the process of physically separating and pursing dissolution proceedings in an organized, amicable, planned, and orderly fashion. If you anticipate any conflict about child custody or property division, then the sooner you seek legal counsel, the better prepared you will be to navigate any issues that arise.
Filing For Divorce In Cottonwood Heights, Utah
Cottonwood Heights is a “no-fault” divorce city. This means that the only reason you need to file for divorce is “irreconcilable differences.” You must live in Cottonwood Heights to file for a divorce there, and the divorce must be filed in the county in which you or your spouse lives.
Once the divorce is finalized, the divorce judgment will determine:
• The date the marriage ends.
• Who will get custody of the children and when the other parent will see them.
• Who will pay child support and how much.
• Who will pay the children’s health insurance and medical expenses.
• Who will pay the couple’s debts.
• How the couple’s property will be divided.
• Whether one spouse will pay spousal support (alimony).
There are countless reasons a spouse might try to delay divorce proceedings, such as:
• Unhappiness about the divorce
• Desire to make the divorce process as long and difficult as possible
• Revenge or punishment
• Fear about losing support
• Fears about custody arrangements
• Hope of a financial gain
When your former partner attempts to delay the divorce out of spite, what he or she is really doing is attempting to gain power over you. This could be because he or she feels powerless or anxious about the future or it could be a way of causing you pain.
Common Divorce Delay Tactics
A spouse who does not want to cooperate with a divorce proceeding has many options at their disposal to delay progress. Some of the more common ways to stall handling their participation in the process include:
• Rescheduling at the last minute due to health issues
• Avoiding service of process
• Failure to respond to discovery requests
• Failing to sign documents
• Refusal to return emails, phone calls or text messages
• Filing frivolous motions
• Changing lawyers
• Cancelling mediation sessions at the last minute
If your spouse fails to participate in the divorce process, you have options. You are not required to remain married to someone if it is your desire to be divorced. At some point, he or she will have run down the clock and respond. If this takes too long, you can request that the judge issue a default judgment so that you can finalize the divorce. The court would first issue an order of default, which essentially says that the plaintiff has prevailed because the defendant failed to participate in the case. The judge can see what your spouse is doing. If your spouse is simply trying to obstruct the process, the judge has the option to order that he or she pay additional attorney fees and court costs associated with the delays. A judge can compel participation in depositions or mediation conferences, and the judge can impose additional sanctions to ensure compliance with the court’s orders. This is a situation where having a strong advocate for a divorce attorney will help to shield you from your spouse’s vengeful attempts to deny you the right to divorce, if that is your intention. Not every former spouse receives alimony, which is also called spousal support or maintenance. Alimony will be awarded only when a former spouse is unable to meet their needs without financial assistance from a spouse who can afford to pay it. Spousal support may be temporary, such as when a former spouse needs time to get back into the job market, brush up on skills, complete an educational program, or raise the children; or permanent, such as when a spouse may never become self-supporting due to age or disability.
Hiring a Cottonwood Heights Divorce Attorney
Individuals who have decided to proceed with getting a divorce often wonder whether it’s necessary to hire an attorney. There are certainly pros and cons to both options that should be considered before making a final decision.
There are benefits to hiring a divorce attorney, including:
• A divorce attorney knows divorce law and stays up to date on changes in divorce law in your state. They also know how divorce is handled in your jurisdiction. You state has divorce laws, your particular jurisdiction has rules and regulations on how divorce is handled in your location.
• A divorce attorney knows how and when to file petitions and motions with the court. There is a lot of paperwork involved in starting the divorce process and throughout the process. A divorce attorney knows what to file, what to request and when.
• A divorce attorney has experience negotiating such issues as property division, spousal support and child custody. They can also guide you based on your state’s laws pertaining to these divorce issues.
• A divorce attorney knows local judges and attorneys and is familiar with local court procedure. An attorney will have been in and out of divorce court in your area for years. Their familiarity with local judges and other local attorneys can be a valuable tool when gauging how your case will proceed.
• A divorce attorney is an impartial 3rd party. Since they have no emotional investment in the case they have a clearer head when it comes to the legal issues. You don’t have to worry about a divorce attorney making decisions about your case based on emotions. With an attorney, it’s all strictly business.
• Having a divorce attorney advocate for you in Family Court will lessen your level of stress. If you have a good attorney it will lessen your level of stress. Do your due diligence when hiring an attorney because, although there are benefits to having an attorney, nothing can work more against you than a bad attorney.
There are also benefits to going through a divorce without an attorney.
• By going Pro Se during your divorce you save the cost of hiring a divorce attorney.
• You retain more control over the direction your case goes in if you are willing to do the research needed to learn your state’s divorce laws and how divorce is handled in your jurisdiction.
• You are aware of everything filed with the courts and have one on one contact with your spouse’s divorce attorney and court personnel who will be handling your paperwork.
• You don’t run the danger of contracting with an attorney who is more interested in prolonging the legal issues than settling your case. An adversarial divorce attorney can take a simple divorce case and turn it into years of conflict and litigation.
Grounds For Divorce In Cottonwood Heights, Utah
Utah formerly followed the “fault” concept in divorce proceedings; this meant that to establish grounds for a divorce, one spouse blamed the other or found fault with the other spouse. In 1987 Utah passed a law that allows divorce when there are irreconcilable differences such as when the parties can no longer pursue the legitimate purposes of the marriage. Under this law one party doesn’t have to blame the other but may simply tell the court that the marriage is no longer working. This is what is called a “no fault” divorce provision. The law previously held that the offending spouse who caused the divorce, lost rights and property in a divorce proceeding, but as a practical matter and by statute this is no longer the case. The person that begins the divorce action is called the “Petitioner”; the person against whom the divorce is filed is called the “Respondent.”
The following are the statutory grounds for divorce in Cottonwood Heights Utah:
1. Irreconcilable differences of the parties.
2. Impotency at the time of marriage.
3. Adultery committed subsequent to marriage.
4. Willful desertion of the other spouse for more than one year.
5. Willful neglect to provide the common necessities of life.
6. Habitual drunkenness.
7. Conviction of a felony.
8. Cruel treatment to the extent of causing bodily injury or great mental distress mental or physical cruelty.
9. The spouses have lived separate and apart under a decree of separate maintenance for a period of three consecutive years three years under separate maintenance decree.
10. Permanent and incurable insanity (must be established by competent medical testimony).
Reason To Get Divorced
Utah requires a reason to get divorced. The easiest and most used ground for divorce is irreconcilable differences. However, there are other grounds such as impotency at the time of the marriage; adultery; abandonment for a period over one year; willful failure to provide the common necessities of life; chronic drunkenness; conviction of a felony offense; cruel treatment (to the extent of causing bodily injury or great mental distress and suffering); the parties living apart under a decree of separate maintenance for three consecutive years without living together; and incurable insanity.
Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506