Utah Divorce Attorney Reviews

Utah Divorce Attorney Reviews

At Ascent Law we’ve received a lot of reviews. You can read out testimonials here. But now let’s talk about you. You’ve decided you’re ready to get divorced, but what do you need to do next? You need to learn how the process works. While divorce is generally an adversarial action, pitting spouse against spouse, the following articles and legal resources are tailored toward helping individuals navigate the process as smoothly as possible.

Legal Requirements to Divorce

You first need to consider where to file for divorce. Typically, this is the county and state where one or both of you live. First, determine if you meet the state’s residency requirements. If you or your spouses are in the military, you may file where currently stationed. However, there are rules to protect active duty service members from civil lawsuits. For more, read the articles on residency, eligibility for divorce, and military divorces here.

Completing and Filing Divorce Petitions

To complete the divorce petition, first consider whether you want a “no fault” or “fault” divorce. Fault divorces are for things such as abuse or adultery, read more in the articles below. If you don’t have any kids or many assets, you could get a “summary” divorce. With children, there’s child custody and child support papers to complete. Find articles explaining the types of divorces, the typical timeline, and even how to change your name in this section. You can complete divorce forms on your own, at a self-help legal clinic, or with a lawyer. As you don’t want to unnecessarily waive your marital property, spousal support, or other rights, seeking legal advice is a good idea, especially if you have many assets.

Serving Divorce Papers

Once you’ve filed your divorce papers at court, you have to serve them on your spouse. Generally, this means another adult must physically give the papers to your spouse. You can use professional servers or save money by having a friend serve the papers for you. If domestic violence is involved, the police in some counties will serve the papers, without charging the usual fee.

Answering a Divorce Petition

Maybe your spouse just served you with dissolution papers. You still have the opportunity to tell the court what you do and don’t want in the divorce. Take care to answer within the deadline set by state law. In responding, you can fill out the court forms yourself, at a legal clinic, or with the help of an experienced divorce lawyer. If there are disagreements about what to do with children or property, considering hiring an attorney.

Mediation and Settling a Divorce Case

Many divorces settle with an agreement both parties can live with. Many states require mediation to help reach a property settlement and a parenting plan everyone can follow. Even without a formal program, you and your spouse can use a “collaborative” divorce process from the beginning or can use an “alternative dispute resolution” specialist to help you settle your divorce, read more by clicking the links below.

Trial and Appeals

If your case goes to trial, you’ll need to present evidence, possibly including testimony from witnesses, so the judge can decide a property settlement for you. It will be easier if you’re represented by an attorney at trial. It’s also possible you want to appeal or modify a divorce judgment. This section provides articles on these topics as well.

Divorce Process

Divorce doesn’t happen overnight. In most states, there is a series of steps you must take to dissolve your marriage. Read on to learn what to expect during the divorce process.

Separation

Every marriage has its ups and downs. If you and your spouse feel like you need a break from each other, but reconciliation is still a possibility, you can choose to live apart during a trial separation. Some couples will attend therapy during the trial separation to try and resolve their marital problems. Court’s don’t get involved with trial separations, so typically both spouses have to be on board with the decision to separate. Generally speaking, during a short trial separation, your state’s marital property laws still apply meaning anything you or your spouse acquire during this trial period will still be considered marital property and belong to both spouses. If the trial separation is going to last for more than a month, couples may want to put the terms of the separation into an informal agreement, so there’s no confusion and the expectations are spelled out clearly. For example, you can state the amount of time you plan to be apart, how you’ll manage parental responsibilities, who will pay the bills, when each parent will see the children (if any), whether you’ll continue sharing a bank account, how you’ll manage the family home, and anything else that’s important to you.

Legal Separation

In some states, couples who can’t reconcile, but don’t want to file for divorce can ask the court for a legal separation. Legal separation may be appropriate in marriages where the couple’s religion prohibits divorce, where a couple needs to stay married for health care or tax purposes, or, in some cases, to share Social Security benefits. Not all states offer legal separation, but in the states that do, the process is very similar to traditional divorce, except that in the end, you’re still legally married. Both spouses must agree to file for a separation. If either spouse asks for a divorce, the court will proceed with a traditional divorce. If your state doesn’t offer legal separation, you may still be able to permanently separate by entering into a formal, written settlement agreement with your spouse that covers how you will handle any and all marital issues that apply to your case, such as:
• child custody and support,
• alimony (spousal support), and
• property and debt division.
If you’re unsure whether your state offers legal separation or whether it’s the right approach for you case, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney near you.

Filing a Divorce Petition

If you’ve decided that divorce is the right choice for you, you’ll need to initiate the legal process to get your divorce case started. Before you file any paperwork, check with the court to determine if your state requires you and your spouse to live separately before filing. If you file too early, you risk the court rejecting your case, and you’ll have to start over. The spouse requesting the divorce must a file divorce petition (sometimes called a complaint for dissolution of marriage) with the local court in order to start the divorce case. Typically, the petition will include the following:
• each spouse’s personal information (name, address, social security number)
• whether the couple has minor children, and if so, each child’s information
• the legal grounds for the divorce, and
• the filing spouse’s requests for property division, child custody, child support, and/or alimony.

Once you have the petition completed, you’ll need to bring it to your local court, along with any other required documents, and pay the filing fee. If you can’t afford to pay, you can complete a fee waiver request. If the judge approves your request, you won’t have to pay the court’s filing fee.

Utah Grounds for Divorce

There are two types of divorce: no-fault and fault-based. No-fault divorce means that the filing spouse asks for a divorce without alleging that the other spouse did something wrong. Instead, the spouse tells the court that the marriage is irretrievably broken, or that the couple suffers irreconcilable differences. In some states, you can request a divorce based on separation for a certain period of time. While this is no the classic “no-fault” ground, it is similar in that it doesn’t require either spouse to allege the other is at fault for the divorce. All states offer a no-fault divorce (or divorce based on separation). No-fault divorces are less expensive and time-consuming than fault divorces. Some states still allow spouses to file for fault-based divorce. In a fault divorce, a spouse will alleges in the divorce complaint that the other spouse’s misconduct caused the breakup. Some spouses ask for a fault divorce to feel vindicated for the other spouse’s wrongdoing. Others ask for a fault divorce to try and influence the judge’s property and spousal support decisions. In the states that permit fault divorce, the most common grounds are adultery, alcohol or drug abuse, abandonment, and physical abuse. Fault divorces require the filing spouse to prove the allegations in court, so the process tends to take much longer and cost more than a no-fault divorce. If you’re considering a fault divorce, you should speak to a local attorney to determine if you qualify and whether the added expense is worth it in your case.

Serving the Divorce Petition

Regardless of the type of divorce you choose, after you file your documents with the court, you must serve (deliver) a copy of the paperwork to your spouse. You can ask your local sheriff’s department to give the documents to your spouse, or you can hire a private process server to do it for a fee. If you can’t find your spouse, you can ask the judge for permission to publish the divorce information in a local newspaper. Service is important because it ensures that both spouses have time to review and respond to the complaint before the court acts. Nearly every state has a “waiting period” that the court must allow to pass before the judge can finalize the divorce which is the state’s way of allowing the couple time to either reconcile or negotiate the terms of the divorce. The filing spouse must complete and provide proof of service to the court before the waiting period begins to run.

Default Divorce

After you deliver the paperwork to your spouse, the law generally allows the responding spouse 21-28 days to answer. If your spouse fails to respond by the deadline, you can ask the court to issue a default judgment in your favor. A default divorce means that the court will award you everything you asked for in your complaint. If there are minor children involved, the judge will ensure that your requests in the complaint are in the children’s best interests before issuing an order. Once the judge signs the final documents and issues a divorce decree, your marriage is over.

Response or filing an Answer

If your spouse responds to the complaint, the court must proceed with the traditional divorce process. The responding spouse (respondent) can submit an “answer” to the complaint, which agrees or disagrees with the filing spouse’s (petitioner’s) allegations, or the respondent can file a counter-complaint, alleging new facts for the judge to consider. Like with the original divorce complaint, the respondent must serve a copy of the answer to the petitioner and then provide proof of service to the court.

A Temporary Hearing

Even in cases where divorcing spouses agree on everything in their case, the process can still take time. Depending on where you live, some states require couples to live separately for up to a year before the court can finalize a divorce. Other states have waiting periods in excess of 6 months. Because of this, the court has the power to hold temporary hearings to resolve any essential issues while the divorce is pending.
Common reasons for temporary hearings may include:
• temporary custody and parenting time arrangements
• child support
• domestic violence restraining orders
• allocation of marital expenses during the divorce process
• restrictions on the sale or use of joint assets, like bank accounts and marital homes, and
• spousal support.

Getting A Divorce Settlement Agreement

If you and your spouse agree on all your divorce-related issues, you should put your terms in a settlement agreement. A divorce settlement agreement is a legally binding contract that outlines how the couple resolved divorce-related issues. The couple will submit the signed settlement agreement to the judge and if it meets the state’s requirements for fairness to both spouses, the judge will sign it and incorporate it into the final divorce judgement.

A settlement agreement allows the couple to maintain control over the most important aspects of their divorce, including:
• child custody and visitation
• child support
• spousal support
• property division and allocation of debts, and
• any other important issues.

Settlement or Trial

Contrary to what you may see in mainstream media, most couples can work through their issues and agree on the divorce terms without a drawn-out trial. Some couples agree on everything right away and hire attorneys just to memorialize the agreement for them to present to the judge. However, if you need a little help communicating and working through unresolved issues with your spouse, you can consider divorce mediation. Mediation is a voluntary (in most cases) process where the couple meets with a neutral third-party, who will facilitate the negotiations between the couple. If the couple agrees on their issues, the mediator will draft the settlement agreement for both spouses to sign. Mediation is also popular because if there are unresolved issues after the session, the couple can ask the court to decide those limited issues, so mediation can be a valuable service even if the couples doesn’t resolve every issue their case. Mediators don’t have the power to make binding decisions, so divorcing couples often feel more powerful after negotiating their settlement together. Settling your divorce may not be easy, but if you go into negotiations understanding that you and your spouse will both need to sacrifice a little to meet in the middle, you will spend significantly less time and money on your divorce than if you go to trial. For some couples, negotiation is impossible, and a divorce trial is necessary. A trial means that there are unresolved issues between the spouses. Typically, the spouses and their lawyers will attend multiple court hearings to present witnesses, evidence, and testimony to the judge, and the judge will decide how to handle the case.

If there’s a custody dispute, a court may require the family to complete a custody evaluation. A custody evaluator will conduct an investigation by interviewing the parents, children, other relatives, teachers, caregivers, and/or therapists in order to prepare a recommendation on how much time the child should live with each parent. This process is expensive, invasive, and can take several months to a year to complete. A divorce trial can cost many thousands of dollars, and you may be unhappy with the end result, so it’s important to think long and hard before you walk away from your settlement negotiations with your spouse.

Utah Divorce Lawyer

When you need legal help with a legal separation or divorce in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to 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

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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How To Find The Right Divorce Attorney

How To Find The Right Divorce Attorney

Although divorce is common throughout the United States, the divorce process varies depending on the couple’s situation. Short-term marriages without children or property typically result in a less complex and time-consuming divorce than long-term marriages with significant property entanglements, marital debt, and minor children. Additionally, divorcing couples who work together to negotiate the terms of the divorce (child custody, child support, property division, debt allocation, and spousal support) will experience a less expensive and less stressful divorce than couples who can’t agree or refuse to work together.

Filing the Divorce Petition

Whether both spouses agree to the divorce or not, before any couple can begin the divorce process, one spouse must file a legal petition asking the court to terminate the marriage. The filing spouse must include the following information:
• a statement which informs the court that at least one spouse meets the state’s residency requirements for divorce
• a legal reason—or grounds—for the divorce, and
• any other statutory information that your state requires.
Residency requirements vary depending on where you live. States usually require at least one spouse to live in the state anywhere from 3 months to 12 months, and in the county where the spouse files at least 10 days to 6 months before filing the petition. Divorcing spouses must meet the state’s residency requirement before the court can accept the case. Grounds for divorce vary from state-to-state. However, all states offer divorcing couples the option to file a no-fault divorce. No-fault divorce is a streamlined process that allows spouses to file a divorce petition without listing a specific reason or placing blame on either spouse. If your spouse committed marital misconduct or caused the breakup, some states allow parties to claim fault for the divorce, like adultery or neglect. If you’re unsure whether you should file a no-fault or fault divorce, contact an experienced family law attorney in your state for guidance.

Moving The Court for Temporary Orders

Courts understand that the waiting period for divorce may not be possible for all couples. For example, if you are a stay-at-home parent that is raising your children and dependent on your spouse for financial support, waiting for 6-months for the judge to finalize your divorce probably seems impossible. When you file for divorce, the court allows you to ask the court for temporary court orders for child custody, child support, and spousal support. If you request a temporary order, the court will hold a hearing and request information from each spouse before deciding how to rule on the application. The judge will usually grant the temporary order quickly, and it will remain valid until the court orders otherwise or until the judge finalizes the divorce. Other temporary orders may include a request for status quo payments or temporary property restraining orders. Status quo orders typically require the breadwinner to continue paying marital debts throughout the divorce process. Temporary property restraining orders protect the marital estate from either spouse selling, giving away, or otherwise disposing of marital property during the divorce process. Restraining orders are usually mutual, meaning both spouses must follow it or risk being penalized by the court. If you need a temporary order but didn’t file your request at the time you filed for divorce, you’ll need to apply for temporary orders as quickly as possible. When you file for divorce, the court allows you to ask the court for temporary court orders for child custody, child support, and spousal support.

Serve Your Spouse and Wait for a Response

After you file the petition for divorce and request for temporary orders, you need to provide a copy of the paperwork to your spouse and file proof of service with the court. Proof of service is a document that tells the court that you met the statutory requirements for giving a copy of the petition to your spouse. If you don’t properly serve your spouse, or if you neglect to file a proof of service with the court, the judge will be unable to proceed with your divorce case. Service of process can be easy, especially if your spouse agrees with the divorce and is willing to sign an acknowledgment of service. However, some spouses, especially ones that want to stay married or make the process complicated, can be evasive or try anything to frustrate the process. The easiest way to ensure proper service is for the filing spouse to hire a professional who is licensed and experienced in delivering legal documents to difficult parties. The cost is usually minimal and can help prevent a delay in your case. If your spouse retained an attorney, you could arrange to have the paperwork delivered to the attorney’s office.

The party who receives the paperwork (usually titled “defendant” or “respondent”) must file an answer or reply to the divorce petition within a prescribed amount of time. Failure to respond could result in a “default” judgment against the non-responding spouse, which can be complicated and expensive to reverse. The responding party has the option to dispute the grounds for divorce (if a fault divorce), the allegations in the petition, or assert any disagreements as to property, support, custody, or any other divorce-related issues.

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Mediation to Negotiate a Settlement

In cases where the parties have differing opinions on important topics, like child custody, support, or property division, both spouses will need to work together to reach an agreement. Sometimes the court will schedule a settlement conference, which is where the parties and their attorneys will meet to discuss the status of the case. The court may schedule mediation, which is where a neutral third-party will help facilitate discussion between the spouses in hopes to resolve lingering issues. Some states require participation in mediation, while others do not. However, mediation often saves significant time and money during the divorce process, so it’s often a good route for many divorcing couples.

Divorce Trial

Sometimes negotiations fail despite each spouse’s best efforts. If there are still issues that remain unresolved after mediation and other talks, the parties will need to ask the court for help, which means going to trial. A divorce trial is costly and time-consuming, plus it takes all the power away from the spouses and puts it in the hands of the judge. Negotiations and mediation sessions allow the couple to maintain control and have more predictable results than a divorce trial, so it’s best to avoid a trial if possible.

Finalizing the Judgment

Whether you and your spouse negotiated throughout the divorce process, or a judge decided the significant issues for you, the final step of divorce comes when the judge signs the judgment of divorce. The judgment of divorce (or “order of dissolution”) ends the marriage and spells out the specifics about how the couple will allocate custodial responsibility and parenting time, child and spousal support, and how the couple will divide assets and debts. If the parties negotiated a settlement, the filing spouse’s attorney typically drafts the judgment. However, if the couple went through a divorce trial, the judge will issue the final order.

Quick Divorce

In many states, an expedited divorce procedure is available to couples who haven’t been married for very long (usually five years or less), don’t own much property, don’t have children, and don’t have significant joint debts. Both spouses need to agree to the divorce, and must file court papers jointly. A summary (sometimes called “simplified”) divorce involves a lot less paperwork than other types of divorce; a few forms are often all it takes. For this reason, summary divorces are easy to do without the help of a lawyer.

Uncontested Divorce

In terms of dealing with the court process, the path that normally generates the least amount of stress is an uncontested divorce. That’s one in which you and your spouse settle up-front all your differences on issues such as custody and visitation (parenting time), child support, alimony, and division of property. You’ll then incorporate the terms of your settlement in a written “property settlement agreement” (sometimes called a “separation agreement”). Once your case is settled, you can file for divorce with the court. Courts almost invariably fast-track these types of cases, so you can get divorced in a relatively short period of time. In some states, you may not even have to make a court appearance, but rather can file an affidavit (sworn statement) with the court clerk.

Default Divorce

A default divorce occurs when you’ve filed for divorce, and your spouse doesn’t respond. You’d likely see this, for example, if your spouse has left for parts unknown and can’t be found. Assuming you’ve complied with the court’s rules and regulations, a judge can grant the divorce despite the fact your spouse hasn’t participated in the court proceedings. On its face, this may seem like the ideal situation. No one is there to contest what you’re asking the court to give you. But be aware that there are pro and cons to a default divorce.

Contested Divorce

If you and your spouse are at loggerheads over one or more marital issues, to the point that you can’t come to an agreement, then it will be up to a judge to decide those issues for you. This is what’s meant by a contested divorce. Contested divorces are stressful, time-consuming, and expensive (think mounting attorneys’ fees). You’ll go through a lengthy process of exchanging financial and other relevant information, mandatory settlement negotiations, and court hearings for temporary relief, such as interim alimony, for example, if warranted. And if you can’t resolve the case after all that, there will be a court trial. The burdens of a contested divorce are why the vast majority of divorce cases ultimately settle at some point before trial.

Fault and No-Fault Divorce

This refers to the grounds (reasons) on which you’re basing the divorce. Your state’s laws will set out the permissible grounds for divorce. In the not-too-distant past, people who wanted to dissolve their marriage had to show that the other spouse was guilty of wrongdoing, such as adultery or cruelty. Needless to say, accusing your spouse of misconduct could make for quite a contentious divorce. Now, however, all states offer some form of “no-fault” divorce. In a no-fault divorce, instead of proving that a spouse is to blame for the marriage failing, you merely state that you and your spouse have “irreconcilable differences,” or have suffered an “irremediable breakdown” of your relationship.

Mediated Divorce

Before filing for divorce, options are available to you if you need assistance in trying to resolve your differences. These are referred to as “alternative dispute resolution” (ADR) methods. One of those is divorce mediation. Here, a trained neutral third party (the mediator), sits down with you and your spouse to try to help you resolve all of the issues in your divorce. It’s not the mediator’s job to make decisions for you. Rather, mediators offer guidance and help you communicate with each other until; hopefully, you reach a meeting of the minds. A successful mediation usually ends with the preparation of a property settlement agreement.

Collaborative Divorce

Another ADR option is “collaborative divorce”. This entails working with lawyers who are specially trained in this method of settling divorces. The spouses hire their own lawyers, each of whom is obligated to work cooperatively, with the sole purpose of trying to settle your case. Each spouse agrees to disclose all the information that’s necessary for fair negotiations, and to meet with each other and both lawyers, as often as necessary, to attempt to reach a settlement. You all must agree that if your divorce doesn’t settle through the collaborative process, your original attorneys will withdraw and you’ll have to hire different attorneys to take your case to court. This is done to ensure that all participants, including the attorneys, are acting in good faith, with nothing to gain from veering away from the goal of settlement.

Divorce Arbitration

In states that allow it, a third form of ADR is “divorce arbitration”. This option is the most similar to a trial, because the arbitrator (usually an attorney or a retired judge) will make a decision on your marital issues, after being presented with the facts of your case and reviewing the documentation you would ordinarily produce at trial. The benefits of arbitration are that it’s typically conducted in an informal and thus less intimidating setting than a courthouse (usually the arbitrator’s office) and, as with the other forms of ADR, allows you the flexibility of picking meeting times that fit your schedules. This makes it more cost-effective than having to make court appearances, which often involve sitting around racking up attorneys’ fees while waiting for a judge to become available.

Utah Divorce Lawyer

When you need to get divorced in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to 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

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Best Divorce Attorney Utah

By placing this article here, we are not saying that we are the absolute 100% best divorce attorney in the state of Utah. Although some of our clients may feel that way, that is their opinion. We are sure there are some who would disagree with this statement. Accordingly, please do your own due diligence before hiring any lawyer for any purpose whatsoever.

Divorce is very common in the United States with almost half of all marriages ending in divorce or permanent separation. Commitment has been shown to be a clear factor in why some couples stay together. There are times when divorce is necessary, but those in other circumstances often later indicate they wish they would have tried harder before divorcing. There are many factors that place a couple at higher risk for divorce. It may be helpful to know some of the statistics and findings outlined below.

What Percentage Of Marriages Ends In Divorce?

Researchers estimate that 40%-50% of all first marriages will end in divorce or permanent separation and about 60% – 65% of second marriages will end in divorce. Although divorce has always been a part of American society, divorce has become more common in the last 50 years. Changes in the laws have made divorce much easier. The highest divorce rates ever recorded were in the 1970s and early 1980s. Divorce rates have decreased since that time, but still remain high.

What factors are associated with a higher risk for divorce?

Over the years, researchers have determined certain factors that put people at higher risk for divorce: marrying young, limited education and income, living together before a commitment to marriage, premarital pregnancy, no religious affiliation, coming from a divorced family, and feelings of insecurity.

• Young age: Marriage at a very young age increases the likelihood of divorce, especially in the early years of marriage.
• Less education: Research shows that those with at least some college education (vs. high school or not finishing high school) have a lower chance of divorce.
• Less income: Having a modest income can help couples avoid stress that may lead to divorce.
• Premarital cohabitation: Couples who live together before marriage appear to have a higher chance of divorce if they marry, but the risk is mostly true for those who have cohabited with multiple partners. A common belief is that living together before marriage provides an opportunity to get to know each other better, but research has found those that live together before marriage have already developed some leniency towards divorce. This leniency towards divorce is what leads the couple to become high risk. However, there are some caveats to these findings. Research suggests couples who get engaged and then move in together are no longer at a high risk for future divorce. Their commitment towards marriage reduces the risk of a future divorce.

• Premarital childbearing and pregnancy: Childbearing and pregnancy prior to marriage significantly increase the likelihood of future divorce.

• No religious affiliation: Researchers have estimated those with a religious affiliation compared to those who belong to no religious group are less likely to divorce.

• Parents’ divorce: Unfortunately, experiencing the divorce of your parents doubles your risk for divorce. And if your spouse also experienced their parents’ divorce than your risk for divorce triples. This does not mean you are predisposed to having your marriage end in divorce, only that you may need to be more aware of your marriage trends and work harder for a successful marriage.

What Are The Most Common Reasons People Give For Their Divorce?

Research has found the most common reasons people give for their divorce are lack of commitment, too much arguing, infidelity, marrying too young, unrealistic expectations, lack of equality in the relationship, lack of preparation for marriage, and abuse. Many of the common reasons people give for their divorce can fall under the umbrella of no longer being in love. Research suggests the nature of love changes over time. If you feel as if you have fallen out of love, marriage counseling may help offer a new perspective that will help you rediscover that love. Some couples are faced with very difficult situations, such as abuse, infidelity, or addictions.
Each of these situations deserves special consideration:
Abuse
• When there is a pattern of abuse in a marriage or in a family, not surprisingly there is evidence that ending the marriage is usually best for all involved. While some spouses are able to end and overcome abuse, abused spouses and children are usually better off when the marriage is ended.
• Sometimes, ending a marriage with an abusive spouse can be dangerous, however. It is probably a good idea to work with a domestic violence shelter in your community to help you end the relationship safely.
• If you suspect that you (or someone you know) is in an abusive relationship, you may want to look at this webpage on Signs of Abuse.
Infidelity

• Most Americans say they would end their marriage if their spouse cheated on them. However, many couples (50-60%) who have dealt with infidelity in their marriages find the will and strength to stay together.
• An excellent resource to learn more about recovering from marital infidelity is the book, Getting Past the Affair: A Program to Help You Cope, Heal, and Move On—together or apart.
• Also, consider getting help from a well-trained marriage counselor and/or a dedicated religious leader, who will help you heal, decide what to do, and repair the marriage, if you decide to stay together. Recovering from infidelity can be very difficult to do without some help.
Addictions
• Addiction can come in many forms, such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, or pornography.
• If you are faced with addictions or a spouse is suffering from addictions, you can find help from organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
• In some cases, the addict can recover and the marriage can be repaired. In other cases, it is best for the spouse and children to separate from the addict to see if progress can be made. Each person has unique circumstances and must decide what is right for her or him. Again, consider turning to a trained professional and/or a religious leader to help you know how best to handle your situation.

How You Can Start Again After Divorce

Whether it’s rife with conflict or not, divorce is rarely easy. When you’re ending a marriage, you may struggle to move on with your life. But you can successfully work through the emotions and start a new life. “You may feel rejected, angry, profoundly hurt or out-of-control. It’s also possible that you’ll feel relieved and hopeful.” “It’s important to pay attention to your emotions and to get help when you need it.” Either way, there are typically stages of emotional upheaval people face on the road to starting over. As with any loss, you’ll go through periods of adjustment, active recovery and life reformation. Knowing what to expect (and understanding that the feelings are normal) will help you get to the other side.

How To Recover After Divorce

 Let yourself feel: By letting yourself feel, you’ll actually recover better in the long run. “Your emotional experiences are valid and uniquely your own. There’s no right or wrong way to feel,” Tucker says. “People universally grieve the loss of their dreams they could’ve, would’ve, should’ve.” Take time to let these feelings out.
 Talk it out: Working with a professional therapist can give you solid support, as well as practical tips to help you manage your money, housing, child care and health insurance. Professional guidance can also help you create time and space to grieve over your loss.
 Embrace coping skills: Emotional regulation is a life-long skill. It helps you learn how to handle intense emotions, focusing on positive self-care and self-soothing. “People going through a divorce are in survival mode in the beginning and are often not focused on their own well-being.” “They benefit from learning how to manage their emotions in a crisis, as well as every day.”
 Work together to focus on children: For divorcing parents, concentrate on what’s best for the children. Remember, you’ll be co-parents for life. Embrace that role and work to make decisions for your children by putting them first.
 Watch out for stumbling blocks: Get help if you see signs that you are stuck on anger and resentment, feelings of extreme sadness or anxiety, choosing misery, suffering alone rather than reaching out, succumbing to fear and developing depression.
 Avoid hanging on in desperation: You may fall into the trap of trying desperately to reconcile with your spouse, begging for forgiveness or promising anything to hold on to the relationship. “Divorce feels so final that people are willing to try again and again.”
 Don’t rush into a new relationship: Many people going through a divorce jump too quickly into a new relationship. They fear being alone or never falling in love again.
 Use self-help and other resources: Books, online resources (research carefully to find legitimate ones) church-based divorce-recovery programs are all good places to find additional support.
 Stay hopeful: Ultimately, you’ll work your way through the challenges and move on. “You know you are moving forward when you begin to build a new life worth living.”

What Can I Do If My Spouse Won’t Sign The Divorce Papers?

Divorces, even those desired by both spouses, often get contentious. And if one spouse won’t agree to end the marriage or is trying to avoid the divorce, the process may stretch out longer than expected. Some resisting spouses can make the divorce process very difficult by refusing to sign the necessary divorce papers or by completely failing to respond to a request for a divorce. Others do so by hiding or trying to avoid “service” (meaning in-person delivery) of the divorce paperwork. How a judge will treat these situations depends on where you live: some states will allow the divorce to proceed “uncontested,” while others allow the petitioning spouse (the spouse asking for the divorce) to obtain a “default divorce.”

Uncontested Divorce

The easiest type of divorce is an “uncontested” divorce, which means both spouses have filed the necessary paperwork (a divorce petition and a response) and they agree to all divorce-related issues, such as alimony (spousal support), child custody and support, and the division of property and debts. Typically, if you and your spouse have reached a divorce settlement agreement on all of your issues, you can bring your agreement and any necessary divorce paperwork to court, where a judge will review it, issue orders based on that agreement, and grant you a divorce. If the agreement involves child support and custody terms, judges will check to make sure your parenting agreement and the child support amount is in the best interests of the child and meets state guidelines. If you properly served the divorce petition and your spouse filed an uncontested response, but won’t sign off on the final divorce papers, courts in some states may allow the case to proceed as though it’s uncontested. You may wait to be assigned a court appearance date. If your spouse fails to show up in court on that date, the judge may treat the case as though it’s uncontested and enter orders based on your divorce petition and the response.

Request to Enter a Default

If you have served your spouse properly, and your spouse failed to file a written response on time, some states let you file a request to enter a default divorce. State and local rules may vary, but generally, if your spouse failed to respond to your divorce petition within 30 days, you may file a request to enter a default along with a proposed judgment. It may also be allowed when a spouse can’t be located for service. The court will set a hearing date and ask that you appear. At the hearing the judge may issue a ruling based entirely on what is stated in your divorce petition (or based on what you proved to the court) and then issue your divorce orders and judgment. By failing to respond or appear, your spouse gives up the right to have any say in the divorce proceeding or court judgment. If you have filed for divorce and are dealing with an uncooperative spouse, you should speak with an experienced divorce attorney to discuss the possibility of pursuing a default case.

Hire a Divorce Lawyer

If you’re at the beginning of your divorce process, you may be considering representing yourself instead of hiring a lawyer, thinking you’ll save time and money by doing so. If your marriage was very short, if both of you are committed to ending your marriage without a legal or financial battle, if you have no children or assets, and if neither of you wants or needs to receive spousal support (alimony) from the other, then you may be able to process your own divorce using a kit or online tools. However, most people find divorce to be a complicated and confusing process, and they’re grateful to have an experienced family lawyer to help guide them through it. You’ll need to make a lot of decisions that will affect the rest of your life – at a time when emotions may overwhelm your ability to think clearly. So although not everyone needs a divorce lawyer, obtaining a good one is often in your best interests – especially if your divorce is complicated, contested, involves children, you have significant assets, or if your soon-to-be ex-spouse has hired a divorce lawyer.

You Are Unfamiliar With Matrimonial Law and/Or Family Court
In court, self-represented litigants are not given any special treatment; judges hold them to the same standards as the lawyer for the other side. Most judges are fairly patient people, but if you don’t know the law or what documents you need, or even what to do next you may be pushing the judge’s patience past the breaking point. The more annoyed a judge is, the less sympathetic he/she is likely to be. Family lawyers are experts in knowing what to say to make their case seem more reasonable than yours. Lawyers who focus on areas outside family law hire a family lawyer when they’re getting a divorce; they recognize that they’ll be out of their depth when faced with a lawyer who practices family law exclusively. So it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll be able to adequately prepare to face the court process and your spouse’s lawyer by yourself. To make matters worse, you can jeopardize your entire case by saying or doing just one thing wrong.

You Need Objective Advice At This Emotional Time

Divorce is an extremely emotional time for both spouses. You may experience feelings of sadness, betrayal, fear, depression, rage, confusion, and resignation sometimes all on the same day! This level of heightened emotions, and the fact that you cannot possibly be objective about your case, will skew your judgment. Very few people have had the time or the willingness to work through their emotions about their soon-to-be ex-spouse during the divorce process, which will hinder their ability to work productively with the other side to resolve important matters. If you’re thinking of representing yourself, you need to be aware that your emotional state may prevent you from making wise decisions about the future. As an objective third party, a family lawyer can keep a clear, level head and separate themselves from the emotional side of the case in order to work towards the best resolution for everyone involved. Throughout the divorce process, a lawyer can remind you to keep your emotions in check – or even introduce you to other professionals who can help you channel your emotions into positive strategies. A good divorce lawyer can let you know when you’re being unreasonable or are asking for something that’s more-or-less impossible.

A Divorce Lawyer Can Suggest Options You Didn’t Even Know Existed

A family lawyer can evaluate your situation and let you know the likely outcome if you take your case to court. Based on their experience with the judge and similar cases to yours, they’ll be able to offer a variety of legally-acceptable options to settle your case. If you and your spouse represent yourselves, you may agree on items that the judge will reject; when that happens, you’re causing more work and more delay for yourself, your spouse, the judge, and the court system. A lawyer will help you create a reasonable settlement proposal; if the proposal is coming from the other side, your lawyer will let you know whether to settle, make a counter-proposal, or fight it out in court.

Going through a divorce can feel like being buried alive under a mountain of paperwork to be filled out and filed with the court. Knowing which forms you’ll need for your unique situation can be challenging, and collecting all the information to complete them can be both difficult and tedious. However, producing complete paperwork is crucial: the judge will rely heavily on your documents to decide the outcome of your case. Using the wrong numbers on one form and the wrong tone or words on another could result in the judge perceiving you as careless or combative. If you omit something by mistake, the other side might accuse you of trying to hide information – which will damage your credibility and your case. A divorce lawyer knows how to fill out the paperwork properly and persuasively, increasing the chances that a judge will view your side of the argument favorably. Today, many cases are bogged down in the court system due to incomplete work presented by do-it-yourself divorces.

Best Divorce Lawyer

Whether or not we are the best is for you to decide. If you want a free consultation with a divorce lawyer in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to 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

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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