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Marital Property and Collaborative Divorce

Martial Property and Collaborative Divorce

Divorces are unpleasant. Couples who once loved each other and promised to stand by each other through thick and thin suddenly find themselves fighting over the kids, their property and everything else. The story is the same for families in Utah as it is for families across the country – traditional divorce through the courts is a messy, heartbreaking event.
A new form of working toward divorce is gaining popularity in the legal field. Termed “collaborative divorce,” the new process involves a separating couple working together in a mutually beneficial, civil manner to achieve a peaceful resolution to child custody, support and division of marital property issues. One of the major benefits of collaborative divorce is that it can cost significantly less than traditional divorce, leaving more shared resources left over for each former spouse to retain.

Family law experts caution, however, that collaborative divorce is not for everyone and that not all lawyers who purport to engage in collaborative divorces are actually prepared to manage their clients in a collaborative, non-combative manner. While some couples find success in collaborative divorces, others cannot find resolution working together and must eventually go to court to settle their disagreements.

For those couples who are able to put their differences aside long enough to make responsible, cooperative decisions about their shared wealth, greater satisfaction with marital asset division may be achieved. For example, when couples are able to rationally describe why particular pieces of property or financial accounts should go to a particular person and both agree, there is a chance that fewer problems will result later on after the divorce is finalized.

Though no divorce is easy, collaborative divorce can benefit some couples who are willing to put in the work to make the process as respectful as possible. In terms of money and dividing marital assets, collaborative divorce might be a good way for separating spouses to make peace with what they are losing in light of acknowledging that which they are able to retain.

What Records Should You Keep In Regards to Alimony in Utah?

Though it is not as common as it once was, many people in Utah pay spousal support to their former spouse after divorcing. The reasons for doing so are typically because one spouse made a significantly higher income than the other or because one spouse did not work in order to care for children or maintain a home. Documentation that makes a record of alimony can be important both for the recipient and the payer, should a conflict ever arise.

Because alimony is tax-deductible for those who pay it, and taxable income for the person who receives it, it is very important that accurate records of payments are maintained by both ex-spouses. If an ex-spouse stops paying alimony — or an ex-spouse claims that he or she is no longer receiving payments — proper documentation can help a person prove his or her point. If these records do not exist, or aren’t specific enough, it can be detrimental to both spouses.

For both the payer and recipient, records should be kept for a minimum of three years from the date one files his or her income taxes where the alimony is reported, though it might be a good idea to keep the records indefinitely. Payers should have a list that shows the payment amount, date and check number, as well as carbon copies of each check and receipts for cash payments signed by the recipient. Those who are receiving the alimony will want to keep a list as well, detailing the payment date, amount, check number and bank information. They should also keep copies of the checks and copies of receipts for cash payments.

Alimony can be a significant facet of a divorce in Utah. The specific circumstances of a couple will dictate whether a court makes it part of a settlement. If it is, accurate records can help every party involved if anything happens within the agreement.

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If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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About the Author

People who want a lot of Bull go to a Butcher. People who want results navigating a complex legal field go to a Lawyer that they can trust. That’s where I come in. I am Michael Anderson, an Attorney in the Salt Lake area focusing on the needs of the Average Joe wanting a better life for him and his family. I’m the Lawyer you can trust. I grew up in Utah and love it here. I am a Father to three, a Husband to one, and an Entrepreneur. I understand the feelings of joy each of those roles bring, and I understand the feeling of disappointment, fear, and regret when things go wrong. I attended the University of Utah where I received a B.A. degree in 2010 and a J.D. in 2014. I have focused my practice in Wills, Trusts, Real Estate, and Business Law. I love the thrill of helping clients secure their future, leaving a real legacy to their children. Unfortunately when problems arise with families. I also practice Family Law, with a focus on keeping relationships between the soon to be Ex’s civil for the benefit of their children and allowing both to walk away quickly with their heads held high. Before you worry too much about losing everything that you have worked for, before you permit yourself to be bullied by your soon to be ex, before you shed one more tear in silence, call me. I’m the Lawyer you can trust.