How Long After Alimony Is Awarded Before I Start Receiving Payments?

how-long-after-alimony-is-awarded-before-i-start-receiving-payments

Many states define “alimony” as a court-ordered payment made by one ex-spouse to the other. Courts can also award temporary spousal support while a divorce is pending Judges award alimony in to try to equalize the financial resources of a divorcing couple. When deciding whether to award alimony, a judge will consider whether one spouse has a demonstrated financial need and if the other spouse has the ability to pay.

Judges usually award alimony in cases where the spouses have unequal earning power and have been married a long time. For example, a judge isn’t likely to award alimony if the couple has been married for only a year. In fact, some state laws allow alimony awards only when the couple has been married for a certain amount of time.

How Does Alimony Work?

Although judges have to follow state law in deciding whether alimony is appropriate, they usually have a lot of discretion in deciding when and how someone has to pay it. An alimony award can be temporary to support a spouse only while the divorce is pending or a permanent award that’s part of a divorce decree.
Alimony payments can be in the form of:

• a lump-sum payment
• a property transfer, or
• periodic (monthly) payments.

In general, lump-sum alimony awards and alimony in the form of a property transfer are non-modifiable, meaning they can’t be changed later and can’t be terminated or undone. Periodic alimony payments may be changed when there’s a significant change in one or both of the spouses’ circumstances. Periodic alimony awards are the most common and require one spouse to pay a certain amount to the other (the “supported” or “dependent” spouse) each month. A periodic or monthly alimony award will end on a date set by the judge, or when one of the following events occurs:

• the supported spouse remarries
• the supported spouse moves in with another person
• either spouse dies, or
• a significant event (like a paying spouse’s retirement or a supported spouse’s new high-paying job) happens and a judge determines that alimony is no longer necessary.

As with most issues in your divorce, you and your spouse can negotiate and reach an agreement about the amount of alimony and length of time it’ll be paid. If you can’t agree, you’ll need to file a formal motion (request) asking a court to decide alimony. The court will schedule a hearing where both sides will be able to present their positions regarding alimony. After considering the arguments and evidence presented at the hearing, the judge will issue an order.

One of the downsides of asking the court to decide is that if you’re represented by an attorney, the expense of going through a hearing can be significant. Even if you’re not represented by an attorney, you will have to spend a lot of time gathering evidence (such as financial documents) and preparing for the hearing.

How Courts Decide Alimony

Every state has its own guidelines on what judges should consider when deciding whether to award alimony. Most states require judges to evaluate:
• how property is being divided in the divorce
• the standard of living during the marriage
• the supported spouse’s ability to maintain a similar lifestyle without support
• each spouse’s income, assets, and debts
• the length of the marriage
• each spouse’s age and health
• contributions that either spouse made to the other’s training, education, or career advancement, and
• any other factors the judge thinks are relevant.

If you’re the spouse asking for support, the court will look closely at your current income or ability to earn if you aren’t currently working. When the supported spouse has been out of the workforce or has been underemployed (has an opportunity to work full- or part-time but chooses not to) for a long time, the judge is more likely to award support for at least as long as it will take the supported spouse to become independent. For example, if one spouse is trained as a doctor but took several years off to care for children and support the other spouse’s career, a judge will examine the medically trained spouse’s future earning potential. Maybe that spouse needs initial support to reenter the workforce but not a long-term alimony award.

Both spouses might have to make some life and work changes after divorce. For example, a judge might require a spouse who has a part-time job that doesn’t pay well to try to find full-time employment in a higher-paying field. Sometimes, a judge will order (or the paying spouse might request) that an expert called a “vocational evaluator” make a report to the judge on the job prospects for a spouse who hasn’t been fully employed for a while. The evaluator will administer vocational tests and then compare the spouse’s qualifications with potential employers or open job positions in the area to estimate how much income the spouse could earn.

Enforcing an Alimony Award

The duty to pay alimony begins as soon as an order requiring it is signed by a judge. An alimony order is enforceable by the supported spouse: If the paying spouse isn’t actually paying, the supported spouse can file a “show cause” action (motion), and the court will set a hearing to determine why the paying spouse isn’t following the order and what the court should do to enforce it. Family law courts have various tools at their disposal to enforce alimony payments, and a deadbeat spouse could face fines and penalties for failing to follow an alimony order. A court can also order a spouse to pay alimony retroactively to make up for any missed payments.

Types of Alimony

There are several different types of alimony that can be awarded during a divorce:
1. Temporary alimony – This type of alimony is awarded during divorce proceedings. The payments will only last until the divorce is finalized and an official alimony agreement can be put into place.

2. Permanent or long-term alimony – This type of alimony is much less common now than it once was. It is given to one partner until their death, retirement, or remarriage.

3. Rehabilitative alimony – This is the more common type of alimony given in divorces today. It has a fixed end date set by a judge; the date is selected based on how long the judge believes the individual needs to get back on their feet.

4. Reimbursement alimony – This form of alimony, as the name implies, is given as a reimbursement for any investment made into the other spouse’s education or business. For example, if one spouse worked to put their partner through college, and they were divorced shortly afterwards, the judge might award reimbursement alimony to the first partner until the “debt” is repaid.

Equal Reimbursement

In the case of reimbursement alimony, the duration of the alimony payments is typically equal to the duration of the support received. So, using the same example as above, let’s say your spouse support you through four years of college. In most cases, this would mean that your reimbursement alimony payments would also last for four years, balancing out the amount of time and the approximate cost your ex put into supporting you.

Employability

In many relationships, one spouse is the primary income-earner while the other tends to children and household tasks. In these cases, the partner who was responsible for the care of the household often finds themselves with a large gap in their employment history. They may have even dropped out of school to care for children at home, leaving them with a lack of skills, education, and work history needed to find gainful employment after their divorce. In these cases, the person lacking in these areas will typically receive alimony until they can receive the education or training needed to find a job. Alternatively, if both partners have comparable skills and education, and the judge determines that they are equally employable, spousal support is typically not awarded to either spouse.

Duration of Marriage

Another factor that a divorce court will look at when determining the duration of spousal support is the length of the marriage. While the final determination will vary by case (and each state has a different guideline that judges follow), these are the averages based on the length of the marriage:

• 5 years or less – Alimony is awarded for approximately half of the length of your marriage. So, if you were married for four years, you can expect to make alimony for roughly two years.

• 10-20 years – On average, you can expect to pay alimony for about 60 to 70 percent of the length of your marriage. So, if you were married for 20 years, your alimony will likely last between 12 and 14 years. However, this can change considerably based on individual circumstances and the judge overseeing your case.

• 20+ years – Marriages that lasted this long are the most likely to see permanent alimony. This means you should expect to support your ex until retirement or until they pass away or remarry.

Avoiding Monthly Alimony Payments

Making monthly alimony payments can be frustrating for a former spouse. Some people may want to avoid monthly payments because they don’t want to risk the consequences of missing a payment one month. Others may want to make a lump sum payment so they can move on with their lives and not have a monthly reminder of a prior marriage. Just like collecting a lottery winning all at once instead of spreading it out over a period of years, you may be able to pay off your entire alimony balance at once and avoid making monthly payments. How to Avoid Monthly Alimony Payments: Use Lump Sum Payment.

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!

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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Getting Ahead in Divorce

Getting Ahead in Divorce

Divorces can be incredibly stressful affairs that are difficult on you and your children. However, the worst-case scenario for your divorce does not have to come to fruition. A little careful planning and preparation can help you mitigate the potential problems that could come your way in your divorce.

Way to Progress in Divorce

The following are a few examples of steps you can take:

  • Keep a journal: Keep daily records of anything that happens related to your divorce. This could include everything you do with your children, what they do with their other parent, arguments that happen in the home, poor behavior by your spouse and anything else that could potentially influence your case.
  • Gather evidence: Get as much proof as you can to back up the things you have written in your journal. You might consider looking for witnesses who can testify on your behalf or documenting noteworthy incidents with the police. You should also collect evidence of spending or unusual withdrawals from accounts.
  • Maintain as positive a living environment: Not only will doing this help your children to continue to have at least a somewhat stable and normal life, but it will also reflect well on you as a parent in court.
  • Consult an attorney: Find a divorce lawyer you feel comfortable with and who you know will represent your best interests. Keep communication with your attorney as confidential as possible. Your legal counsel can help you determine the best way to approach your divorce and how you can obtain the best possible outcome.

Children May Benefit from Therapy After Divorce

It’s not just the people going through a divorce who may benefit from therapy during and after the process — it can be extremely beneficial for the children involved, as well.

A child who goes through therapy tends to be more proactive when it comes to seeking solutions to problems, be better equipped to deal with stressful situations and have a different perspective of what is happening in their lives and how they view the future.

Of course, the caveat with children’s therapy is the same as with anyone else. The child must be willing to participate in the process if it is to have any effect. The only way children will benefit is if they truly want to talk through their problems with the therapist. Many times, they are more willing to do so if they know at least one of their parents is also going through therapy.

Signs a child needs therapy

How can you tell if your child may benefit from therapy? In general, almost any child whose parents get divorced can benefit from therapy at least to some extent. It is particularly beneficial, however, for children who have indicated the following:

  • Signs of depression, anger or aggression
  • Repeated rule breaking when it was not previously a problem
  • Sudden impulsiveness or propensity for risk-taking and seeking
  • Anger toward one or both parents
  • Exposure to conflict between the parents
  • Substance abuse or eating disorders
  • Sudden unusual health problems
  • An unwillingness to participate in conversations
  • Sudden changes of friend groups

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

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 fight for 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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4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Do I Have to Endure a Long Court Battle to Get Divorced?

Do I Have to Endure a Long Court Battle to Get Divorced

There is no easy answer to this question. Every divorce case is different. However, the majority of divorce cases are uncontested. This means that the couple was able to agree on issues like alimony, child support, and custody without the assistance of the court. Uncontested divorces are resolved quickly and no court battle occurs.

People think every divorce ends with a long, drawn-out, and contentious clash that involves ridiculous theatrics. This occurs mostly on television, and rarely in the real world.

Child custody is an issue that may cause a divorce to require litigation. However, having an experienced and aggressive attorney by your side can reduce the chances of conflict with your spouse. If litigation becomes inevitable, the court will determine child custody primarily based on what is in the best interests of the children.

Another issue that may lead to litigation is the division of property and assets. However, in many cases, a couple can sit down with their respective attorneys and discuss who gets what without the need of a trial.

If you must go to trial, the cost and length of your divorce will depend greatly on the lawyers you choose to represent you. Avoid hiring a friend or family member who practices law. There are many different types of attorneys and the wrong kind can actually hurt your case. You need a law firm that has extensive experience handling family law and divorce cases.

Avoiding a Divorce

Divorce is a difficult process fraught with stress, anger, sadness, and grief. It can take a number of years and be costly if you are dealing with a spouse who refuses to be reasonable or who is vindictive. Some things that you can attempt to do to strengthen your relationship in the hope of avoiding the differences that lead to divorce include the following:

  • Communicate with your partner. Listen with an open mind. Have a dialogue about the things that bother you or that you need from your partner. Each partner needs to be able to talk openly.
  • Accept change. People grow and goals change over time. Unless you are willing to grow together, your relationship has a strong chance of dying.
  • Spend time together. You need couple time. The only way to know one another and to appreciate each other is to make time away from the demands of life. Some couples set Friday night or a Sunday morning as their time to talk and catch up.
  • Get the help of a professional. Marriage counseling can provide an opportunity for the two of you to talk openly about the things that are bothering you.
  • Bring back a little spontaneity and romance. Boredom can ruin a relationship. Ask your spouse to help you find something new that you can do together to make life more interesting to you both.

If you find you are unable to rescue your marriage, divorce may be the best option. A skilled divorce attorney is available to discuss your situation and advise you.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

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 fight for 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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False Accusations of Abuse During Divorce

False Accusations of Abuse During Divorce

In some particularly contentious divorces, it is all too common for one spouse to make false allegations of abuse in order to gain an upper hand. The presence of abuse by one spouse can have a huge impact on divorce litigation, especially insofar as determining custody of minor children, and can lead to criminal charges in some cases.

While wise Utah divorce lawyers strive to keep discord to a minimum when negotiating a divorce, allegations of abuse change the entire character of the process. Abuse allegations can be very difficult to conclusively disprove and, as a result, often make divorce litigation unavoidable.

If you are involved in a divorce and your spouse has turned to false accusations of abuse, you need to act quickly to prove your innocence. Our experienced divorce lawyers in Utah have seen nearly everything that can happen during the divorce process. We have the investigation and litigation skills to deal with false accusations of abuse and are prepared to handle anything your spouse can throw at you.

We understand that it is important to confront allegations of abuse immediately. Experience has taught us that negotiations may still be salvageable if we can disprove allegations early.

It is much more common, however, for such allegations to signal the end of any chance at a peaceful resolution. That is why we are always prepared to go to trial if necessary to defend the reputations of our clients and their rights to their children and property.

Splitting Up After a Long-Term Marriage: Why?

In 2010, former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, announced their separation. By all outward appearances, the couple was happy and comfortable, and the announcement came as a shock even to close friends. Many asked why they were separating.

As a firm dedicated to the practice of divorce and family law on Long Island, we hear and understand the reasons men and women of all ages, in marriages of all lengths, decide to divorce. For long-term, stable couples, divorce oftentimes brings few fireworks, no accusations and oftentimes no infidelity. What contributes to the demise of a long-term marriage?

Consider this:

  • Al and Tipper Gore separated after 40 years of marriage. They raised children, sought and found adventure, and following a process of long and careful consideration, they decided to separate. From their statements, it seems clear they still love each other as friends, but chose to pursue their lives separately.
  • While the end of a long marriage can come rudely, it may also come as an emotional relief. As people live longer and healthier lives, fewer people are willing to accept an empty marriage that lost its love and intimacy long ago. In a recent paper from Bowling Green State University, researchers found the divorce rate for those over 50 has doubled between 1990 and 2010.
  • Divorce after decades means careful consideration about wealth, and often retirement monies as well. While two people can live together less expensively than two can separately, more women and men are choosing to go it alone, understanding the financial difficulties and potentially lowered quality of life that may follow.

By all accounts, the Gores remain happy with their decision and the new opportunities pursued by each party. While causes of divorce are many, changes in time and relationship often spell the end of a marriage.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

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 fight for 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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Children of Wealthier Parents More Affected by Divorce

Children of Wealthier Parents More Affected By Divorce

Children of Wealthier Parents More Affected By Divorce

A study by Georgetown University researchers published in the journal Child Development indicates that children with wealthier parents are generally more impacted by divorce than children with poorer parents. The research suggests that wealthier children will have greater benefits from being part of stepfamilies, but will be more likely to have behavioral problems.

The information gathered in the study was mostly obtained from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth between the years 1986 and 2008. Researchers analyzed the development, health and overall well being of more than 4,000 children in the survey, as well as interviews with mothers of the children that questioned the socio-emotional state of the child.

Then, the researchers split the children up into three groups based on their family income: high, medium and low. Divorce only had a significant impact on the group of children in the top income level. While the researchers haven’t found a surefire cause for this, the hypothesis is that the child is more affected in these situations because he or she is more likely to see a significant change in income in the family. Approximately 60 percent of wealthy families in the United States credit the father as being the main breadwinner, yet after the parents’ divorce, the mother is the one more likely to have primary custody. The child may need to change schools, move to a new home and live in a family with less income. These lifestyle changes make for more stress on the child.

The appearance of stepparents was actually shown to have a positive impact on behavior for children in all income levels.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Utah?

After much deliberation, you decided that divorce is the right choice for you. Where do you begin? How do you get started? When does your marriage end and your new life begin? You can obtain the answers to all of these questions by contacting an experienced attorney. As a divorce lawyer, I’m telling you that the most common reason is irreconcilable differences. But you knew that didn’t you.

In Utah, you may file for divorce on the following grounds:

  • Irretrievable breakdown. If the relationship between you and your spouse has broken down for at least six months, you may cite irretrievable breakdown as your reason for wanting a divorce.
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment. You may file for divorce on the grounds of inhuman treatment if you believe your physical or mental health is in danger if you remain with your spouse any longer.
  • Abandonment. If your spouse abandons you by leaving, or kicking you out, for a year or more, you can cite abandonment as your grounds for divorce.
  • Imprisonment. In cases where one spouse goes to jail for three or more years, the other spouse may file for divorce on the grounds of imprisonment.


The most common ground for divorce is no-fault or irretrievable breakdown of marriage. A couple who lives apart for at least one year may file for divorce based on an agreement of separation. With the help of a knowledgeable attorney, you can convert a separation agreement into a divorce agreement, saving you time and money.

No matter what your grounds for divorce, a skilled attorney can fight to make sure you start your new life in the best position possible.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

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 fight for 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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Tips for Surviving Divorce Settlement Talks

Tips for Surviving Divorce Settlement Talks

The divorce process legally ends a marriage and necessarily creates agreements about spousal support, division of assets and child custody if there are children. Many couples can make decisions themselves or with the aid of an attorney or mediator. However, if you are not lucky enough to be half of one of those couples, your case will continue toward trial and possibly settlement.

Most cases flowing through the criminal justice system settle short of trial. Civil divorce litigation is no different. What does it mean to “settle on the courthouse steps,” and what do you need to do when the date of your trial approaches and settlement proposals begin flying back and forth?  Consider the following:

  • Before your trial, the judge is likely to hold a pretrial conference to determine whether there are issues that can be settled. Although you have arrived at the courthouse prepared for trial, events may take a sharp turn toward settlement during the pretrial conference. You may spend time waiting nearby or in a conference room.
  • While your attorney is tasked with representing your interests and relaying settlement offers to you from the other party, your job is to keep in mind your personal divorce and custody objectives. Even with good legal counsel, parties sometimes settle for inappropriate arrangements or conditions simply because they are stressed from proceedings that have stretched out for months or years.

  • Talk to your attorney about the possibility of settlement prior to the trial date. Ask how it looks, what you might need to decide, what concessions might be appropriate and which are not. Make sure you think about what you agree to — you and your children will have to live with your decision.

Some Careers Have Significantly Higher Divorce Rates than Others

A new analysis of U.S. census data performed by a career website called Zippia revealed workers in certain fields are much more likely to get divorced by age 30. The highest divorce rate was among first-line enlisted military supervisors, at approximately 30 percent. People in that field must coordinate the activities of enlisted service members.

Other fields that had particularly high divorce rates for people 30 and under included logisticians, mechanics and automotive service technicians, military-enlisted tactical operations and air weapons personnel. There were three military jobs in the top 10, and overall, military workers of any rank were most likely to be divorced before the age of 30. They had a 15 percent overall divorce rate.

Factors in these careers that make divorce more likely

The analysts who performed the study say the common factors involved in many of these jobs with high divorce rates are that they are demanding professions that involve a lot of time spent away from home, relatively low pay or persistent danger. Military professions often involve all three of these factors, which likely explains the presence of three such jobs in the top 10.

Numerous studies have been performed on the effects of military deployment on marriage. A study in the Journal of Population Economics published in 2016 found that divorce rates increased significantly with every month spent away on deployment. Mental health issues also frequently place more stress on couples, and veterans frequently experience depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Career stress affects all couples. Many of the fields that ranked in the top 10 in the study have extremely high demands in terms of average hours worked per week.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

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 fight for 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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4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Signs That You Should Get a Divorce

Are you on the fence about whether or not getting a divorce is right for you? The following are a few signs of failing marriages people most commonly notice before they end up filing a divorce petition:

  • There are more bad moments than good: Why would you want to live with a relationship in which most of your interactions with your spouse are negative? The constant negativity in your life can be emotionally unhealthy, causing you to fall into depression or experience other mental health issues.
  • You cannot stop focusing on flaws: Spending a lot of time with anyone can lead to you becoming more irritated than usual with that person’s flaws. But in a healthy marriage, you should be able to overlook the flaws of your spouse and learn to live with them. If you find yourself unable to stop focusing on these flaws, you may be experiencing trouble in your relationship.
  • You constantly feel attacked: Do you feel as if you are always walking on eggshells around your partner? This could be a predictor of a failing relationship, as well. You should work to confront this feeling whenever it arises rather than just attempting to deal with it on your own.
  • You have lost interest: In so many failing relationships, the decision to file for divorce was made because one partner simply lost interest in the relationship. Perhaps he or she lost any romantic feelings or attraction for the other person. Or, maybe the two spouses started to feel more like roommates than romantic partners. This can be fatal for a marriage.

Utah-Specific Divorce Rules to Know

Are you preparing to file for divorce in Utah? Below is a brief overview of a few rules and factors you might consider as you move forward with the process.

Grounds for divorce

The state of Utah allows you to file for divorce on either fault or no-fault grounds. Fault grounds can give you an advantage in cases that involve child custody contests, disputes of marital property distribution or spousal maintenance (also known as alimony). You can also base your divorce on you and your spouse having been separated for a minimum of 12 months.

Residency requirements

You must have lived in Utah for at least thee (3) months before you can file for divorce in the state. If you have minor children, you need six (6) months.  There are some exceptions to these rules.  An attorney can help you provide evidence that you are a legal resident.

Child custody and support

As in all other states, Utah courts base child support and custody arrangements on what is in the best interests of the child. The presumption is that it is best for children to have frequent contact with both parents, which means a favoring of joint custody arrangements. However, if it is in the best interests of the child for one parent to have sole physical custody, the court will make that arrangement.

Both parents must financially support their children after the divorce. The amount of child support depends on a variety of factors, including how much time each parent spends with the children and each parent’s income.

Property division

Utah is an equitable division state, which means the individual who owns which pieces of property is not the sole factor the judges will consider. Instead, a judge will divide marital property in a way he or she determines to be fair, even if that division is not equal.

Free Initial Consultation with a Divorce Attorney

Divorce is tough. No question about it. Look, when you need a divorce lawyer, call Ascent Law 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

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Divorce Counsel

In hindsight, people who have been divorced can usually offer advice on how a lawyer helped or hurt their case. If thinking about divorce, it is important you understand up front the need for good legal counsel for any family law matter.

Divorce is the process of dissolving the legal relationship between you and your spouse. While you do not need to hire an attorney, the decisions you make during divorce impact your life far into the future. Before you are granted a divorce, you must resolve issues with your spouse concerning property, finances, support and children.

Experienced attorneys who handle family law are seasoned litigators who understand contract law, property division, the rights of mothers and fathers, child custody and the civil and sometimes criminal court system. Choosing the right counsel has a tremendous impact on the outcome of your case and your fortunes down the road. So what do you need?  Consider these points:

  • Experience: Retain an attorney who practices solely in family law. Even if your friend the personal injury attorney is willing to help you out, ask for a referral instead.
  • Ability: Even simple, amicable divorces can turn into bitter high conflict cases. High conflict cases give divorce a bad name, so make sure you have aggressive counsel willing to protect your rights.
  • Forum: Choosing an attorney unafraid to mediate or litigate gives you options for handling your case, whichever way it turns.

Heading for Divorce: Three Tips To Consider

It is easy to make small mistakes that have a big impact during divorce. When thinking about divorce, skilled legal counsel helps you anticipate problems that could dim a bright post-divorce future.

If the health of your marital relationship is uncertain, consider these tips:

  1. Financial literacy: If you suspect your spouse is thinking of divorce—or if you are—get a good understanding of your financial situation. Know where and how your wealth is held. Make copies of important documents and tax returns. If you are not familiar with the finances, review account statements to ensure unexplained sums were not transferred out of investment or other accounts.
  2. Keep conflict low: Lower conflict divorces cost less in time and money. Mediation is a terrific avenue toward divorce for couples who can still work together for their common good.
  3. Loose lips: If your spouse makes an informal promise that sounds too good to be true at the outset of divorce, it probably is. Do not agree to conditions proposed by a spouse without speaking with an attorney, especially if there seems to be a threat involved. Before, during and after a contested divorce, be careful about what you say to mutual friends and what you write in an email or on social media websites.

Updating Your Estate Plan After Your Divorce

If you’ve been through a contested divorce, you’ve already fought to hold onto your separate property and a fair portion of your marital estate. So why let your estate plan give it all back to your ex? That’s what could happen if you don’t review your testamentary documents and financial products that list your beneficiaries.

After divorce, you need to revise your will for a couple of reasons. First, you might not have retained ownership of all the property that’s listed. You can’t give away what you don’t own. But more importantly, your ex-spouse is probably first and foremost among your beneficiaries. If something should happen to you before you revise your will, your worldly wealth may be headed toward the person you least want to get it.

Now, take a look at your financial instruments. The insurance policies, annuities, brokerage accounts and bank accounts you held onto almost certainly have a beneficiary listed. Upon your passing, those instruments transfer automatically to the named beneficiary, who is most likely your ex-spouse.

And what about your retirement plan? If you were the primary earner in your marriage, the court probably severed your qualified plan – 401(k) or IRA – with a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). But if you were part of a two-career household, your retirement accounts could still be intact. If so, they no doubt name your ex as the beneficiary.

Finally, did you create a trust to hold any of your separate property? Take a look at the named beneficiary there. If it’s a revocable trust, you can amend it, naming someone else. If it is an irrevocable trust, you will need the beneficiary’s permission to make that change. If you didn’t bring that up with your ex during your divorce, good luck handling it now.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

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

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Depositions in Divorce

Depositions in Divorce

Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, you may be required to attend a deposition hearing. If so, you will receive a notice that includes the date, time and place of the hearing, along with any documentation you should bring with you. The people attending the hearing could include you and your attorney, a court reporter and possibly your spouse and his or her legal counsel.

At the hearing, attorneys and court officials will ask you a variety of questions on subjects related to your divorce, including employment history, debts and assets, mental and physical health and your fidelity during the marriage. If your spouse is present, he or she is not allowed to interrupt you in any way.

Do you need to answer every single question?

Most of the time, you will need to respond to every question as truthfully and honestly as possible, unless your attorney instructs you otherwise. Therefore, before you attend the hearing, you should consult your lawyer on the questions you are likely to face and how you should answer them. Prepare ahead of time by having your attorney put you on the spot with these questions and forcing you to answer them.

Some of the questions could make you uncomfortable. As difficult as it may be, you will need to answer them unless your lawyer objects on the grounds of it being inappropriate.

If your attorney tells you to answer the question, you must do so or face some consequences that could include a potential fine or a court order to answer the question later. It is thus in your best interest to always follow the advice your legal counsel provides you.

Steps to Take if Divorce Appears Imminent

Most individuals work hard to avoid splitting up, but sometimes couples find themselves facing a divorce even after their best attempts to salvage a marriage. If divorce is on the horizon, there are several steps you can take to better prepare yourself for this life-changing event:

  • Know rights. As a first measure, you will want to consult an attorney to gain a clear understanding of your legal rights — and responsibilities. An experienced attorney can help you avoid any missteps early on that may affect divorce proceedings further down the road.
  • Gather background documentation. In preparation, you’ll want to gather and make copies of important documents such as tax returns, investment and bank statements, wills and mortgage documents. If you are married to someone who runs his or her own business, try to obtain as much information as possible about the financial aspects of the enterprise.
  • Inventory belongings. When it comes time to split assets, it is important to have identified valuables including artwork, jewelry or vehicles.
  • Put your financial house in order. Separating your financial accounts, and alerting insurance policies and retirement accounts about a change of beneficiaries, is another important step in preparing for divorce. You may also want to establish and use your own line of credit, particularly if you are not able to obtain a sufficient line of credit on your own. You may also want to pay down debt that belongs to both parties.
  • Start saving. In preparation you’ll also want to put aside money that will see you through what may end up being a protracted process.
  • Stick to a routine. Do your best to keep as normal a routine as possible, especially for any children that may be involved. This stability will help lessen stress as much as possible.

Free Initial Consultation with a Utah 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!

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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Divorce for Millennials

Divorce for Millennials

While the overall divorce rate in the United States has remained somewhat static over the past two decades, experts say that a relatively new trend has emerged. In short, members of the Baby Boomer generation (currently aged 52-70) are getting divorced at higher rates than 20 years ago, while the divorce rate among younger couples has declined significantly.

According to Sociologist Susan Brown from Bowling Green University, there are a couple key reasons why older couples are splitting up more often than in years’ past. For one, many of them experienced the so-called “divorce boom” of the 1970s and 1980s, and may be in second or third marriages today. Remarriages are more likely to end in divorce than first marriages. Secondly, older married women tend to have more financial security than their younger counterparts, and thus have the flexibility to be able to end their marriages if they are unhappy.

Interesting divorce trends among Millennials

A change in marriage culture may be making a big difference for younger couples. According to Brown, fewer people are getting married in their 20s than at any point in recent history — and those who are tend to be in strong positions financially. She also notes that fewer young couples can afford to get married today, and so smaller numbers of people are getting married in general. That correlates to a lower divorce rate among this new millennial generation.

Couples Therapy Can Work — Even When You Go Alone

If you have hit a rocky point in your relationship, you might consider going through couple’s therapy. However, it’s not always easy to convince your partner to attend these sessions with you. If this is the case, you might still find that attending couple’s therapy sessions by yourself can still be beneficial to you and your relationship.

The following are just a few reasons why attending these meetings by yourself can be helpful:

  • You can share your uncensored feelings: Couples therapy is meant to be a place for clear, uncensored communication. Of course, when your partner is sitting right next to you, this can be easier said than done. By having a private session with a therapist, you do not have to worry about mincing your words, allowing you to more quickly get to the root of an issue.
  • You can develop a plan of action: Once you have gotten to the bottom of a particularly troublesome issue in your relationship, you and your therapist can formulate a plan to approach and resolve this issue. Having a professional help you in creating this plan gives you a much greater chance at success.
  • You can learn about healthy habits: Just because you go to a session alone does not mean you are unable to learn about what a healthy relationship should look like. Therapists can give you the skills you need to be better at communicating and the foundation to establish a healthier relationship.
  • It can be motivational for your spouse: If your partner sees you working hard to make positive changes in your relationship, there’s a decent chance he or she will respond in kind by making some changes, too. It might just be the catalyst you need to get your relationship back on track.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

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 fight for 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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