Utah Divorce Code 30-3-4

Utah Divorce Code 30-3-4

Utah Divorce Code 30-3-4: Pleadings, Decree, Use of Affidavit and Private Records.

(1) (a) The complaint shall be in writing and signed by the petitioner or petitioner’s attorney.

(b) A decree of divorce may not be granted upon default or otherwise except upon legal evidence taken in the cause. If the decree is to be entered upon the default of the respondent, evidence to support the decree may be submitted upon the affidavit of the petitioner with the approval of the court.

(c) If the petitioner and the respondent have a child or children, a decree of divorce may not be granted until both parties have attended the mandatory course described in Section 30-3-11.3, and have presented a certificate of course completion to the court. The court may waive this requirement, on its own motion or on the motion of one of the parties, if it determines course attendance and completion are not necessary, appropriate, feasible, or in the best interest of the parties.

(d) All hearings and trials for divorce shall be held before the court or the court commissioner as provided by Section 78A-5-107 and rules of the Judicial Council. The court or the commissioner in all divorce cases shall enter the decree upon the evidence or, in the case of a decree after default of the respondent, upon the petitioner’s affidavit.

(2) (a) A party to an action brought under this title or to an action under Title 78B, Chapter 12, Utah Child Support Act, Title 78B, Chapter 13, Utah Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, Title 78B, Chapter 14, Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, Title 78B, Chapter 15, Utah Uniform Parentage Act, or to an action to modify or enforce a judgment in the action may file a motion to have the file other than the final judgment, order, or decree classified as private.

(b) If the court finds that there are substantial interests favoring restricting access that clearly outweigh the interests favoring access, the court may classify the file, or any part thereof other than the final order, judgment, or decree, as private. An order classifying part of the file as private does not apply to subsequent filings.

(c) The record is private until the judge determines it is possible to release the record without prejudice to the interests that justified the closure. Any interested person may petition the court to permit access to a record classified as private under this section. The petition shall be served on the parties to the closure order.

What Is Considered a Public Record?

Government records, from court cases to property deeds, are usually public records – that is, filed with or kept by a government agency and available for inspection by members of the general public. For instance, if you’re interested in buying a vacant home on your street, you can obtain the owner’s name by searching the county’s land records at your local registrar or county clerk’s office sometimes online since these documents are public records. However, certain records or information may be blocked from public view because it meets a privacy or confidentiality exemption under state or federal law.

Accessing Public Record

Generally, a public record is a document filed with or kept by a city, county, state or federal government agency in the ordinary course of business that is viewable by the public. Although public records are often documents, they can also be such things as maps, recordings, films, photographs, tapes, software, letters and books. Court cases are a common example of a public record. In some cases, this information can be retrieved online.

Public and Private Document

Public Documents: Public Documents are those documents which are authenticated by a public officer and subsequently which is made available to the public at large for reference and use. Public documents also contain statements made by the public officer in their official capacity, which acts as admissible evidence of the fact in civil matters. These documents are also known as public records as these are issued or published for public knowledge.

Private documents: Private documents are those documents which are prepared between persons for their usual business transactions and communications. These documents are kept in the custody of the private persons only and are not made available to the public at large. Certified copies of the private documents are generally not considered as evidence unless there is proof of the original copy is provided.

Documents forming the acts or records of the acts:
• Of sovereign authority
• Of official bodies and tribunals
• Of public officers, legislative, judiciary and executive of any part of India or of the commonwealth, or of a foreign country.
• The public record kept in any State of Private document

Examples of Public Documents

These documents are considered to be public documents which are open to the public at large:
• Electoral Roll of all the districts
• Census Report of India
• Town Planning Reports by the Department of State Development
• Village Records of the villages
• Public records keeping the original private documents and not the copy
• Records of National Bank
• Birth and Death Register
• Charge Sheet
• Confessions recorded by a magistrate
• Sanction to prosecute
• Record of Information
• Notice

Private Documents

Private Documents are those documents which are made by an individual for his/her personal interest under his/her individual right. These documents are in the hands of the individual to whom the public document belongs to and is not made open to the general public for inspection. Certified copies of the private documents are not admissible in court unless the proof of original document is submitted. Example: Correspondence between persons; matter published in newspapers, books; deed of the contract; memorandum; sale deed.

Difference between Public and Private Documents

• Public Documents are made by a public servant in discharge of his/her public duties while Private Documents are made by an individual for his/her personal interest under his/her individual right.
• Public Document is available for inspection to the public in public office during the appointed time after payment of fixed fees while Private Document is in the hands of the individual to whom the document belongs to and is not available for inspection to the general public.
• Public Documents are proved by Secondary Evidence while Private Documents are proved by original i.e. Primary Evidence.

What Is a Final Divorce Decree?

A divorce decree is the final step in the court proceeding for your divorce. It contains important information about the court’s decision. A divorce decree is not the same thing as a divorce certificate, and the two documents have different purposes. The divorce certificate is issued by your state for record-keeping purposes, as opposed to the divorce decree, meaning a final, enforceable order by the court that you and your spouse must follow. It resolves all of the issues that were part of your divorce.

When Is a Divorce Decree Issued?

A divorce case can drag on for months (and even years in some cases!), so finally getting to the end of the process is a long-awaited step. After you have had your trial, or after you and your spouse have agreed on and submitted a settlement to the court, the court makes a final decision. If you have a trial, the judge weighs all of the evidence and testimony and makes decisions related to granting the divorce: custody, alimony, child support, and property division. All of these decisions are written out in the divorce decree. The decree is a binding legal court order that says what you and your spouse must do moving forward. If you settle your case, your settlement is submitted to the court in writing or it is spoken into the record at the courtroom. The judge then reviews what you have agreed on and decides if it is fair and in accordance with the law. If so, the court issues a decree that includes all the terms of your settlement. This becomes a binding court order.

When Is a Divorce Final?

Your divorce is final on the day the court signs the decree. You normally will receive it a few days later, since it is sent to your attorney, who will then send you a copy. You are legally divorced as of the date the decree is signed. This means you become a single person on that date because your marriage is legally over.

What Is a Divorce Certificate?

A divorce decree is the complete court order ending your marriage, with all the details about how property is divided, how you will share time with your children, and what, if any, child support is granted. It also states why the marriage is being dissolved. If there are any problems in the future with your ex not following the court order, you will refer to the decree, since it states what each is required to do. If there is noncompliance, you can go back to court to enforce the terms of the decree.
A divorce certificate is not a court document. It is a document issued by your state for record-keeping purposes. It includes the parties’ names and says when and where the divorce was granted. It does not include the myriad other personal details included in a divorce decree. This certificate is used in much the same way you would use a birth certificate or marriage certificate, in the event that you need to prove you are divorced from someone. If you seek to change your name—on your driver’s license, or with Social Security—after the divorce, you may be asked to show a portion of the divorce decree to confirm you have authorization for the name change. While the divorce certificate is generally accepted as proof that you’re divorced, the name change itself is ordered in the divorce decree; the name change may not appear on the certificate. If you need to provide proof that the divorce occurred, for any reason other than a name change, then showing the divorce certificate should be sufficient.

Private Records – Why Search for them?

We live in an era where we can find information about people we know from social media outlets, as well as different websites where individuals write details about themselves. However, there are people out there who easily falsify information about themselves, and tell people lies very easily. So, the best way to find credible information about others is to tap into reliable sources of information, such as people’s records.

What is found in People Records?

U.S. authorities gather accurate data about residents of the country that is kept in special files for decades. Official records in each state contain valuable information about people, and among these records, you can find the following details:
• Birth records
• Marriage record
• Divorce records
• Aliases
• Employment history
• Criminal records
• Arrest records
• Contact information
• Mugshots
• Social media data
All these records and details can help you discover if someone is lying to you, and if they may have bad intentions, such as committing fraud, harming you physically, harming you emotionally, or taking advantage of you in any way by telling you lies and gaining your trust.
Most divorce decrees cover the topics of alimony, division of debt, and the division of property along with the messier, litigious issues of custody, visitation, and child support, if applicable.


Sometimes referred to as spousal support and/or spousal maintenance, alimony is the amount of money that one spouse is ordered to pay the other. Very basically, this amount depends on whoever made more money during the marriage and the roles you both played. But there are lots of other circumstances a judge may also consider, including your prior standard of living, plus your health, age, and many other mitigating factors.

Division of Property

This aspect only comes into play when you and your spouse are unable to agree on who gets what. In order to rule on the division of marital property, a judge will identify, categorize (marital versus non-marital), and assign value to your combined assets. How your property is divided and split among you and your ex depends on state laws: Most states exercise equitable distribution, which dictates that any money and property you’ve both acquired belongs to whichever spouse earned and/or bought it. Community property states view that all income and assets earned during the marriage equally belong to both parties.

Division of Debt

The division of debt happens similarly to how property is divided. Before you’ve officially split, you and your ex have the option to pay everything off before filing for divorce or to decide whoever is responsible during the divorce negotiations (this usually happens whenever debt is too great to be paid off before the divorce). To divide debt, the court must determine which spouse incurred it and who benefited most. Your final divorce decree might also contain other contingencies specific to your personal circumstances, such as a name-change authorization or the assignation of the party that’s ordered to pay taxes and/or attorney’s fees, for example.

Before You Sign

Above all, your final divorce decree needs to be accurate (grammatically and otherwise) and contain certain language and contingencies that protect your legal interests. Your decree also needs to hold up if, for whatever reason, you need to modify or appeal the document at a later date. And if for whatever reason, your ex doesn’t comply with what was set forth in the decree, you can take them back to court to enforce the terms.


Once you’ve signed it, modifying a final divorce decree can be extremely difficult, regardless of the reason. The only way to change it may be via an appeal, which can be a long, drawn-out process that requires stringent proof that your circumstances meet certain criteria, which are dependent on the state in which you live. If, however, you feel that you signed the decree under duress or felt threatened if you didn’t sign, your attorney may be able to petition the court for a new hearing.

A final decree of divorce is archived in the vital records office of your courthouse, in the county in which you obtained your divorce. You’ll want to keep this document for your records and you should also reread it after it’s signed and entered into court records. In most situations, the court clerk or your attorney will mail you a copy of your final decree. If this doesn’t happen, or you need an extra copy, request the document (either in-person or in writing) directly from your county clerk’s office.

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

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Utah Divorce Code 30-3-3

Utah Divorce Code 30-3-3: Award of Costs, Attorney And Witness Fees — Temporary Alimony.

(1) In any action filed under Title 30, Chapter 3, Divorce, Chapter 4, Separate Maintenance, or Title 78B, Chapter 7, Part 1, Cohabitant Abuse Act, and in any action to establish an order of custody, parent-time, child support, alimony, or division of property in a domestic case, the court may order a party to pay the costs, attorney fees, and witness fees, including expert witness fees, of the other party to enable the other party to prosecute or defend the action. The order may include provision for costs of the action.

(2) In any action to enforce an order of custody, parent-time, child support, alimony, or division of property in a domestic case, the court may award costs and attorney fees upon determining that the party substantially prevailed upon the claim or defense. The court, in its discretion, may award no fees or limited fees against a party if the court finds the party is impecunious or enters in the record the reason for not awarding fees.

(3) In any action listed in Subsection (1), the court may order a party to provide money, during the pendency of the action, for the separate support and maintenance of the other party and of any children in the custody of the other party.

(4) Orders entered under this section prior to entry of the final order or judgment may be amended during the course of the action or in the final order or judgment.

Temporary alimony or spousal support is an order for support that comes during a divorce, legal separation or even an annulment case after one party has filed such a request with the court. A hearing is set after a motion document called a “Request for Order” is filed with the family court. For these financial motions, it is a requirement that each party file an Income and Expense Declaration to show their respective financial status. Temporary spousal support is usually ordered to “preserve the status quo”, meaning to try and maintain some semblance of what the parties had going during the marriage. The court is granted a significant amount of discretion, or authority, to order or deny spousal support. Temporary spousal support is also called pendente lite spousal support, which means an order made during the pendency of a case.

How Is Temporary Spousal Support Calculated?

Utah courts are allowed to determine temporary spousal support by looking at a “guideline” calculator that most family law attorneys have in their office. The court can look at the guideline calculator if they want (and every judge or commissioner does), but they are not required to look at the calculator. They are required to consider the needs of the supported party and the supporting party’s ability to pay. Those are the only two factors that the trial court judge is bound to consider. Some calculators can be found online, but we would caution against relying on those calculators. The factors that are input into the calculator are extremely important and are the subject of many litigation arguments. We can also save you some time: typically the calculator will say that if the supported spouse has little or no income, temporary alimony will be somewhere between 30-35% of the supporting spouse’s gross income. Obviously, great care has to be taken in making sure the court uses the correct figures when determining temporary support.

Can Temporary Spousal Support Be Modified?

Yes. Temporary spousal support is an order that is made during the pendency of a case based on the payer’s ability to pay and the recipient’s need for money. While there are many other factors that the court can consider when making a temporary alimony order, those are the primary concerns for the court. Generally, orders that are made a part of a judgment are only modifiable based on a showing of changed circumstances. Usually those changes have to be substantial. When a temporary order is made and one party seeks to modify the order, technically they do not have to prove that there has been any change of circumstances warranting a change. Practically speaking, however, a party would not want to bring a motion to modify a temporary order without there being some change of circumstances. The family court judge will not be pleased with motion requesting the same information already ruled on.

Can The Court Use The Guideline Spousal Support Calculator To Determine Permanent Alimony?

No. The statutory and case law is clear that the court is not permitted to review or rely upon the “guideline” spousal support calculator in determining permanent spousal support under Family Code 4320. In fact, family court judges are very careful not to allow either party to submit computer spousal support calculations for consideration because the Court of Appeals will reverse the trial court’s judgment. Many times, there is already a computer calculation for spousal support that is calculated during the pendency of the divorce case for temporary spousal support, which is part of the court record and the court is permitted to review the court file and that document for reference. Even so, most, if not all judges look at the “guideline” formula for temporary spousal support to get an idea about what that number is and to gauge the net income of each party and to gather certain tax information. However, the court is explicitly not allowed to rely on the calculator for determining permanent spousal support.

How Is Permanent Spousal Support Calculated?

Permanent spousal support is not really “calculated” since the court is not allowed to use a calculator. The court is required to list and consider each and every factor to determine the amount and duration of spousal support, if any. Generally, these are the standard of living during marriage, employment, income, earning capacity, health of each party, and so forth. In practice, permanent spousal support judgments are typically slightly lower than temporary spousal support orders.

Difference between Temporary and Permanent Spousal Support

• Temporary alimony is ordered during a case, permanent alimony is ordered at the end of a case.
• Temporary spousal support can be ordered during an annulment (i.e. nullity) case, but permanent spousal support cannot be ordered in an annulment case.
• The judge is allowed to use a computer to determine temporary alimony, but is not allowed to use the calculator to determine permanent alimony.
• The only consideration necessary for temporary spousal support is the supported party’s need and the other party’s ability to pay, while there are about a dozen factors that the court must consider when ordering permanent alimony.
• Temporary spousal support is ordered after a party files a motion (i.e. RFO) for temporary support, while permanent alimony is part of a “judgment” that occurs at trial or upon agreement of the parties.
• Permanent alimony may be factored into the IRS’ “recapture” rules, which means that it may not be taxable income to the recipient and deductible to the paying spouse even though that’s what was intended. These IRS rules look at whether certain agreements between parties may have too much cross-over between alimony and property division, to put it very simply. These types of IRS rules really wouldn’t apply to temporary spousal support.
• Temporary spousal support ends until the court revises the order either by making a new order or after permanent spousal support is ordered. Permanent spousal support might not have an end date attached to it.
Process of Obtaining a Temporary Alimony
First, you need to inform the court that you are in need of a temporary alimony order and file the necessary paperwork with the help of a temporary alimony lawyer in the family court. Once the courts reviewed the financial documents, it may hold hearings for the order. Courts have wide discretion is granting or denying the temporary alimony order. It is crucial to document all the financial materials and collect them as evidence for the hearing. The more clearly you can articulate your financial and marital situation the better the judge can decide on your case.

What Factors do Courts Consider in Awarding Temporary Alimony?

A judge may look to several factors in determining the temporary alimony. These include:
• Length of the marriage;
• Age of the parties;
• Couple’s standard of living throughout the marriage;
• Each spouse’s mental and physical condition;
• The financial needs and financial resources;
• Each spouse’s ability to become self-sufficient through obtaining higher education;
• Each spouse’s contribution to marriage, financial and nonfinancial;
• Is the amount too burdensome on the spouse to meet their own financial means; and
• Ability to work while providing for any dependent children.

Additionally, the courts may look to determine if it was a “no fault” divorce and if there was any agreement on the alimony between the couples. However, laws regarding temporary spousal support vary throughout the states. Courts need to consider the financial capabilities of the spouse to set the temporary alimony amount. Most states require that the divorcing couples file and exchange preliminary financial disclosures. Generally these forms provide sufficient information about each spouse’s financial situation. This includes any assets, debts, income and expenses. Temporary alimony orders may include a temporary award of the marital home. Furthermore, it is within the court’s discretion to award temporary alimony even if the spouse is self-sufficient.

How Are Temporary Alimony Orders Enforced by the Courts?

There are many reasons a spouse may have difficulty paying the court ordered amount of alimony. It could be due to medical, employment or the ability to work issues. After determining the reason for the delay in payment, the couples can come to an agreement to modify the alimony agreement to best serve their situations. However, if your spouse does not have a viable reason and is avoiding the payments, you have the option to get the court involved. The court can order a spouse to make orderly payments for the spousal support. The courts have discretion in imposing fines and in ordering another form of punishment for the spouses that are failing to follow court orders. States vary in the remedies provided to each spouse receiving alimony and some of them include:
• Contempt: Failing to pay spousal support voluntarily can lead to more fines and possible jail time;
• Income Withholding: Courts can order the spouse’s employer to withhold the income check or send it directly to the supporting spouse;
• Writ of Execution: Judge can order a portion of the spouse’s assets to be awarded to the supporting spouse; and
• Judgment and Interest: Courts can also issue money order judgments for large amounts of overdue alimony.
Can Temporary Alimony Orders Be Modified?
Courts can modify the temporary alimony orders based on a showing of changed circumstances. These changes need to be substantial and warrant a modification in the order. The most important consideration for temporary alimony orders, is that the courts determine supported party’s need and the other party’s ability to pay.

How Long Does Temporary Alimony Last?

Temporary alimony ends once the case is completed. In other words it terminates once the divorce is finalized. The purpose of the temporary alimony is to ensure the self-sufficiency of the supported spouse and to allow adequate time needed. However, some temporary alimony orders can carry over to the final judgment of the divorce, transforming into the permanent alimony order. Any family going through a divorce is enduring tough times. The spouses are also faced with bills and expenses for rearing their children.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Temporary Alimony Issues?

Financial burdens can pile up and create complicated situations for the families seeking divorce. For more information and guidance on how to file for a temporary alimony order or to determine your eligibility, it would be useful to seek out a family law attorney to assist with the process. Your attorney can provide you with advice and representation during the legal process.

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
Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Divorce Agreement Enforcement Attorney

No two divorces are exactly indistinguishable. Along these lines, no two divorce understandings will be indistinguishable either. Be that as it may, there are a bunch of managing principals which your Bergen County divorce understanding lawyers will use to help guarantee that your divorce or settlement understandings hold lawful water. There are two basic reasons that divorce settlement understandings may not be enforceable: Indefensible Settlement Agreement Terms – It is essential to comprehend that divorce settlement understandings are not quite the same as divorce orders. While your divorce settlement understanding can in principle state truly anything and the two gatherings can agree to sign, that doesn’t imply that a New Jersey Superior Court judge will acknowledge the provisions of your understanding. A typical model may be kid bolster terms which are settled upon by guardians, however, don’t serve the eventual benefits of the youngster or kids. And Unlawful system – For a divorce settlement consent to be completely enforceable, it must be marked under lawful conditions and ought to likewise be recorded as well as joined into the conventional divorce order. To get familiar with the points of interest of New Jersey divorce filings, call our office today to talk with a Bergen County divorce understanding lawyer.

Past explicit contemplations are given to divorce desk work, your Paramus partition and divorce settlement understanding attorneys ought to have the option to distinguish any potential warnings with regards to any sort of lawful contract. According to both government and New Jersey guidelines, any of the accompanying infractions might prompt your conjugal understanding being adjusted or inside and out excused in a court of law: Unconscionable Terms – amazingly out of line, crooked, or exploitative terms are not considered lawfully enforceable. An outrageous model may be spouses consenting to provision installments which are 80% of the payor’s gross pay. Deceitful Activity by either party – financial or different types of misrepresentation which materially affected the particulars of your settlement understanding may render the contract invalid and void. This regularly incorporates concealing financial resources or different types of cash control. And Shared Error – a misconception can impact your divorce settlement understanding as a purposeful control. It’s a given that slip-ups are not part of anybody’s arrangement, yet underlines the significance of working with an accomplished and qualified divorce lawyer while going to an understanding. The rundown of potential difficulties goes on and incorporates intimidation or understanding under pressure, undue impact, mental debilitation, insufficient thought, and then some. The gathering who is trying to hold the other party in disdain will bear the weight of confirmation, which implies that they should introduce proof to the court that is sufficient for the court to find that the other party was in stiff-necked and purposeful infringement of the court request. This implies they have to show that the other party knew about the court request and comprehended its terms, which is commonly simple to do in a divorce continuing.

Be that as it may, they should likewise show that the gathering who is being held infringing upon the court request could consent to the request, however, purposefully took actions disregarding that request and that they had nothing worth mentioning explanations behind not agreeing. In doing as such, they can start the procedure of DC divorce understanding authorization. In this way, a model may be if somebody feels that their previous spouse is abusing a divorce order since they are not keeping the custodial calendar or they are not permitting them to see the youngsters when that the divorce order expresses that they have the appearance rights. An individual should demonstrate that their spouse comprehended that they were unyieldingly disregarding that court request and that they had no rhyme or reason to deny somebody the correct that they are qualified for under the court request. If they come to court and they have a sensible clarification of why that date probably won’t have turned out, at that point, it is improbable that a finding of scorn will be requested. Another model would be more than once neglecting to pay kid support. That is generally bound to bring about a scorn request being entered against the non-paying spouse, as the courts don’t look compassionate on rehashed clarifications concerning why one was not ready to make their kid bolster installment.

An attorney can be useful as regularly the risk of going to court is sufficient to get consistence from a previous spouse and consistency with the divorce order is consistently a definitive objective, which is the reason the court will allow them to redress their infringement of the court request before holding them in hatred. Having a lawyer who can give you data about the DC divorce understanding authorization procedure, and who can investigate the circumstance to decide if going to court is to your greatest advantage can empower you to squeeze your spouse under the steady gaze of actually going to court. In doing as such, you and your attorney can cooperate to get them to comply with the particulars of the divorce order without sitting around and assets. Upholding a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) must be finished by recording a conventional solicitation or movement (lawful administrative work) with the court. You should show the court how your ex-spouse neglected to follow the provisions of the understanding. There are numerous reasons you may need to request that the court help you with authorizing your understanding. An MSA is an authoritative archive that explains the particulars of divorce and gives a structure to the connection between previous spouses after the divorce. In New Jersey, for instance, MSAs are likewise once in a while called Property Settlement Agreements (a fairly obsolete term that is currently disfavored). While numerous couples have just conjugal property and obligations to consider, numerous others, especially those with minor kids, need a progressively complete understanding. Different occasions, the particulars of an understanding are placed in a “Request” or “Assent Order” that acts in a similar way spreading out the rights and liabilities of each gathering. Now and again one gathering doesn’t hold fast to the provisions of an MSA, Order, Consent Order, or Agreement, and defaults on their commitment. The non-defaulting party at that point is compelled to “authorize” the details of the understanding and additionally Order that spreads out the commitment. Significantly, one incorporates all terms and understandings made with your previous spouse that you need a court to have the option to authorize in your composed MSA. Make the terms as explicit as conceivable to forestall contest or suit later on.

If you are coexisting with your spouse, it tends to be enticing to forget about certain things to be settled later, yet it isn’t prudent as the occasions change and gatherings emotions change both in the positive and the negative. A court won’t implement any terms that you don’t fuse into your consented to the arrangement. Your understanding ought to likewise incorporate a technique for haggling any future contradictions and plan for every conceivable event. When marked, the last MSA is official between the gatherings. It is commonly additionally joined into the last pronouncement of divorce with the goal that it gets as enforceable as some other court request. It might likewise be blended or in part converged with the divorce order, which influences enforceability under contract law. A requirement movement when brought will look to uphold the terms as composed and should be possible ordinarily whenever fused into a Judgment of Divorce by basically recording a “Notice of Motion” with the Court and an “Affirmation” clarifying your position. As a rule, these kinds of movements are discarded after oral contentions and without a “hearing” or “declaration” of the gatherings. Family issues are delicate and regularly bring in heated arguments. This can generally be dodged by looking for legitimate assistance and mastery. Another favorable position to looking for an unbiased lawful expert is that family law is mind-boggling. There are numerous motivations to work with a learned and experienced family lawyer, for example, the Divorce Lawyer in Utah that local people trust. Here are some of the most widely recognized reasons why somebody may employ a divorce lawyer: Family legitimate issues are guided by the state and once in a while area laws. These laws can contrast starting with one state and district then onto the next.

What is law in Idaho may not be the same in Utah? Considering this, you have to work with a family lawyer who is authorized to practice law in your state. Such a lawyer ought to have a comprehension of the procedures and rules that may influence your case. Neighborhood guidelines may likewise demand intercession before prosecuting the family question. A family lawyer who prosecutes in a neighborhood court can guarantee that you adhere to both state and district rules. Regardless of whether you’re on acceptable standing now, the divorce procedure can make speedy adversaries of any couple or prospective ex-couple. On the off chance that if that asperity is impermanent, the impacts of the divorce continuing will be long haul or lasting. On the off chance that your spouse procures an attorney and you don’t, you’re probably going to get the worst part of the deal. What’s more, however, your spouse may not play filthy deceives, you can’t be guaranteed that their lawyer will play similarly as pleasant. Ensure your legitimate rights by enlisting a learned and experienced divorce lawyer. When petitioning for legal separation, you have to work out an authority concurrence with your spouse. You will likewise need to partition your common resources. That is most likely not all. You may likewise need to work out subtleties, for example, where the children will go to class, retirement plans, medical coverage, and legacy. A typical wellspring of the dispute is the house. Much of the time, one gathering needs to keep the house while the different demands selling as opposed to purchasing out the other spouse. When confronting divorce, you might not have the premonition to consider every one of these issues. A lawyer can assist you with envisioning and planning for the predictable and unforeseeable issues you may confront. This can assist you with arriving at a progressively satisfactory resolution after the divorce procedure and stay away from confusion down the line. Divorce is regularly a passionate and upsetting procedure. Given the fact that you are sincerely put resources into the occasions and the result, you may not be in a situation to stay objective. The vast majority likewise tragically drag their children into the procedure. A family lawyer can assist you with seeing the master plan and show up at a reasonable result for everybody. Divorce and other family debates can have sweeping results. Careful understanding should address the changing needs of the children.

As children develop, so do their requirements. A family lawyer can regularly envision future issues and build up a procedure that remembers your youngsters’ eventual benefits. The divorce procedure is bound by laws and good rules. These laws are dependent upon ordinary changes and corrections. It is ideal to talk with a family lawyer to comprehend your lawful choices. Along these lines, you can settle on an educated choice and get the assistance you need.

Due to the very strong national policy to help the wellbeing, security and government assistance of kids, the authorization of youngster bolster orders is one of a kind. All states have laws that explicitly address the inability to pay youngster backing, and judges don’t care for it when guardians neglect to make court-requested kid bolster installments. If your ex has quit paying kid support, you have a couple of various choices. You can return to the divorce court that gave the first kid bolster to arrange and request that an appointed authority implement the request and direct your spouse to pay. The appointed authority can give an assortment of requests to urge your spouse to pay and can likewise hold your ex in disdain for the inability to pay – this can bring about fines or even prison time. On the other hand, you can request help from your neighborhood Office of Recovery Services (“ORS”) office. You just carry your kid bolster request with you to the nearby ORS office and request that they open a case against your ex.

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

Ascent Law LLC

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Contested Divorce Cases

Contested Divorce Cases

A divorce or other Domestic matter is considered contested if one or both parties are in disagreement over the terms. For example, if you and your spouse cannot agree on a major item such as debt division, property division, custody, etc., you will probably need to have an attorney represent you in a contested divorce action. For contested matters, Utah Legal Clinic requires a minimum initial non-refundable retainer of $2,000.00. Unless other arrangements are made in advance, the full retainer must be paid before any work is begun on your case. Utah Legal Clinic bills against the retainer at an hourly rate of $175.00-$200.00 per hour for attorney time and $75.00-$100.00 per hour for paralegal or law clerk time, plus costs. Once the retainer is exhausted, another retainer may be required. If there are funds remaining after all work have been completed, the remainder of the retainer will be refunded promptly. Going through any type of divorce in Utah can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. Not only are you forced to admit that the relationship that you previously depended on didn’t quite work out, but you also have to go through the process of dividing assets and all of the other legal ramifications that go along with such an act.

The process can intensify dramatically both emotionally and monetarily if kids are involved, as well. When the divorce process begins in earnest, you will at some point need to make a very important decision. You’ll need to decide if you and your soon to be former spouse can come to an amicable agreement and settle your divorce or if you’ll need to litigate to get not only what you want, but what you feel you deserve. These two types of divorces are called uncontested divorces and contested divorces, respectively. They have a number of clear differences that shouldn’t be ignored, regardless of whether you’re just beginning the divorce process or if you think that you’re reaching that light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

The main difference between an uncontested and a contested divorce is that in the former type of scenario, the two parties will go to trial and will present their case to the court to decide the outcome of the divorce proceedings. If you and your former spouse (and both sets of attorneys) were able to reach an agreement that all parties found mutually beneficial and that everyone was happy with, there would be no need to even consider going to trial at any point during the process. If you’re unable to come to an agreement for whatever reason, however, a trial will begin looking more and more likely. One of the most common reasons why two parties would be unable to come to an agreement in this type of situation is because one party doesn’t actually want a divorce at all.

If your spouse previously believed that he or she was part of a happy marriage that had a normal level of ups and downs, they may have been blindsided by your request for separation and then to begin the divorce proceedings. The reverse can also be true: maybe you’re the one that doesn’t actually want a divorce at all, which can make the “come to a mutually beneficial agreement” part of the proceedings exceedingly difficult. For whatever the reason, a court may need to step in during a trial and settle the dispute once and for all. Remember that just because you’re going to trial in this type of situation doesn’t mean that you won’t be getting a divorce if the court rules in favor of the person who didn’t want to begin the process in the first place. Nobody will be forced to stay married even if they don’t want to. What it does mean, however, is that the court will decide how assets are split, what happens to any children who may be a part of the equation and more.

Family Law Court System

Another important thing to understand about taking your divorce to trial is that the court systems won’t always be fair in the strictest sense of the word. Your definition of fair and the definition that the court uses to decide the ultimate fate of your relationship could be two completely different things. One of the many things that a court will consider during a contested divorce is what happens to any children that you may have had with your soon to be ex-spouse in that regard, the courts will delve into the past of each of the two people involved to try to find the best situation possible not for the husband or for the wife, but for the kids. Even if both parents are deemed completely fit to raise kids, for example, one spouse may be awarded primary custody of the children if it is determined that he or she can provide them with a significantly better lifestyle. A number of factors will also be considered by the court when it comes to determining when or even if you will get partial custody of those children. Courts can subpoena documents about your employment history, your criminal background history, your income taxes and more all in an attempt to definitively determine how capable you will be with regards to raising kids either on your own or through sharing custody with your ex spouse. Utah divorce courts can choose to give full custody of kids to one of the parents and refuse to even award visitation rights to the other if they determine that is the best course of action to take. Though you may not necessarily think that is fair, the court doesn’t necessarily hold your opinion in high regard when it comes to the safety and well being of minors in our society.

Asset Distribution

Another important thing that the courts will consider during a contested divorce is asset distribution. This is especially true if one of the people in the marriage makes a significantly larger amount of money than the other. Consider a scenario where you make several hundred thousand dollars a year more than your soon to be ex wife. If you were the primary source of income in a particular household, the court will determine that your wife has a right to continue to live up to the lifestyle standards that she had previously enjoyed while you two were together. They will consider the standard of living for both parties at the time of either trial separation, marriage or the beginning of the contested divorce trial depending on the specifics of the situation in question. As a result, your alimony payments may be larger than average to close that income gap between the two parties. Even if you don’t necessarily think this is fair, it is well within the court’s power to do so. The caveat in this scenario, however, has to do with when that income was actually earned. If you made a significant amount of money in your life prior to your marriage and haven’t made quite as much per year since, the amount of yearly income that will be used to determine alimony payments is normally only those years where the marriage is in full effect. This is true on both sides of a divorce. If you suddenly come into a huge amount of money by way of a new job position, a huge raise or even the lottery after the divorce is finalized, the court cannot retroactively decide to raise your monthly alimony payments as a result.

What if One Party Doesn’t Want a Divorce in Utah?

It is an unfortunate fact of life that sometimes two people just won’t work out together. Just because you don’t want a divorce doesn’t mean that you can somehow force the other party to stop the proceedings – not even the court can prevent someone from divorcing you if they don’t want to be married anymore. No-fault divorces mean that it isn’t up to just you – it’s up to your spouse as well. It’s also important to consider that contesting a divorce could be more costly in the long run, regardless of how much you want the process to stop as quickly as possible. Contesting a divorce means that you’ll be paying a divorce lawyer for a significantly larger amount of time than if you had just tried to work out a settlement as quickly as possible. If the divorce ends up going to trial, you’ll also be looking at a huge amount of money to that divorce lawyer for the normal costs associated with trying that type of case. Even if you don’t want a divorce, it is sometimes better to just embrace the inevitable and try to help the process along as quickly and as smoothly as possible. This is especially true if you don’t have the money to spend on the process to begin with.

What Can a Divorce Lawyer Do to Help Me?

When entering the divorce process, one of the most invaluable tools that you will have at your disposal is an experienced divorce lawyer. Divorce attorneys are there to help you navigate the rough waters of the divorce process using all of their experience and expertise in the subject matter. Statistically speaking, you are likely looking at the first divorce you’ve ever been a part of. A divorce lawyer, on the other hand, will have been intimately involved in hundreds of different cases with nearly every configuration that you can imagine. Your divorce lawyer knows what it takes to get you exactly what you want and what you deserve. He or she can help get you thought the process as quickly and as reasonably as possible without spending too much of your hard earned money or giving up a significant portion of it to a soon to be ex spouse that doesn’t actually deserve it for whatever reason. Utah divorce lawyers are truly here to help.

How Long Will It Take to Finalize a Divorce in Utah?

It may seem like an easy question. But the answer is hardly simple. The truth is no two divorces are the same. Each case and the parties involved have their own unique set of characteristics and circumstances. However, the question does become easier to answer once several factors are taken into consideration.

Factors Determining the Length of Divorce in Utah

Although divorce may seem complex, it can be narrowed down to two categories—contested and uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorce cases are generally the easiest marriages to terminate. Both parties are able to come to mutual agreements on important issues, such as alimony, child support and the division of marital assets. But when it comes contested divorce, the situation becomes more complicated.

Here are some important factors that will ultimately decide the length of your divorce.
• Are you willing to waive minimum waiting period?
• Does your spouse plan to file an appeal after divorce?
• Are you able to obtain a default judgment?
• Are there any children involved?
Facts about the Minimum Waiting Period
In most Utah divorce cases, there is a 90 day minimum waiting period before a divorce can be finalized. However, it can be waived if either party can prove if there are relevant circumstances that are needed to be addressed by the court. To waive the waiting period, a divorce attorney from either party will have to file a petition with the court. Although 90 days is the minimum requirement to terminate a marriage in Utah, some contested divorces can take several years to resolve.

What If My Spouse Does Not Respond to a Divorce Request?

Contested divorce can often get messy from the beginning. In some instances, one spouse may refuse to sign divorce papers. The recipient spouse has 21 days to respond to a divorce request initiated by the petitioner. Should the respondent spouse fail to respond to a divorce request, the petitioner may be awarded a default judgment from the court.

How Children Affect the Divorce Process

When it comes to divorce in Utah, children are an extremely important factor. The ultimate goal of Utah family courts is to decide what is in the best interest of the children. If both parties have children less than 18 years of age, they will be required to attend a divorce orientation and education classes.

Don’t Forget the Appeal Process

Divorce does not end with a decree from the court. Although a settlement may initially signify a finalized divorce, both parties have the opportunity to file for an appeal. Keep in mind, all appeals must be filed within 30 days of the court’s divorce decree. Contested divorce Utah is a divorce where some aspect of the divorce is disputed by one of the spouses. Often these disputes are over the division of property, debt, or other marital assets; however, the dispute can be over the divorce itself. Contested divorce is much more complicated than uncontested divorce because an entire trial is needed in order for the court to resolve disputes. Contested divorce comes with other consequences such as a much longer divorce period, higher legal fees and court fees, and increased stress. Whenever possible, it is recommended that spouses try to resolve conflicts out of court through an Uncontested Divorce

Contested Divorce In Utah

Much of the same basic information provided for uncontested divorce applies to divorce cases that are “contested”. That is, a divorce petition is filed by one spouse and served upon the other spouse by a constable or the Sheriff’s office. Along with that petition is a document called a Summons. The Summons gives directions to the person being served about what they need to do if they do not agree with what is in the petition served upon him or her. If that person does not agree they must file a written “Answer” to the petition with the court clerk and send a copy to the attorney for the person filing the petition.

Temporary Orders

Between the time the divorce action is commenced and the time it is completed the court has the authority to make and enforce Temporary Orders regarding such matters as child support, child custody, alimony, possession of the house, visitation, payment of bills, possession of personal property, etc. These orders are temporary because such matters will be reviewed again at the time of the divorce hearing or trial. Final orders regarding these matters will be entered as part of the divorce decree. If you want to seek custody of your child or children, the time of the divorce action is the time to seek custody, as opposed to seeking custody later after the divorce is completed. The fundamental basis for determining custody is what is in the “best interest of the child”. This can involve numerous elements, and quite often it is necessary to obtain a “Custody Evaluation”. This is almost always required by the court in custody cases. These evaluations are generally performed by psychologists, usually with a Ph.D. degree in psychology. The prices can vary depending upon the evaluator, the number of children involved, the amount of time to be spent, etc. The cost can range from around $1,800.00 up to $5,000.00, with the average running between $3,000.00 to $3,500.00. Obviously, they are expensive, but they are an essential part of a custody case.

Contested Divorce Case Lawyer Free Consultation

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

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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Alimony or spousal support is a monthly payment made by one spouse to another in accordance with either a settlement agreement or a court decision. The purpose of alimony is to correct any unfair economic effects caused by a divorce, such as when a stay-at-home parent suddenly needs a source of income after the divorce but has never held a job. Spousal support is generally issued in connection with cases involving divorce or legal separation. Also known as alimony, spousal support is where one spouse pays the other ex-spouse a certain sum of money, usually on a monthly basis. Courts may require this in instances where one party is much more financially stable than the other, and the other party needs assistance in beginning life after the divorce or separation. Spousal support is issued on a case-by-case basis, and each case will be different in terms of the spousal support analysis.

In most cases, only persons who have been involved in a marriage of a longer duration (usually over 5 years) are qualified for spousal support. Also, the court will take into account several factors when making the support determination, including:
• The earning capacity of each spouse
• The assets and property owned by each person
• Whether one party is significantly involved in debt
• Whether the parties were engaged in a shared business
• Each party’s contribution to the relationship (for instance, as a homemaker, or in terms of joint careers/education)
• Whether the parties have worked out spousal support provisions in a prenuptial agreement
• Various other factors, such as mental and physical health conditions
• Certain factors can disqualify a person from child support, such as a history of abuse or a history of certain charges on one’s criminal record.

Spousal support orders that are issued by the court are final and enforceable by law. However, they can sometimes be altered due to unique or special circumstances that become present later on. An example of this is where the spouse receiving support payments begins cohabiting with another partner who begins supporting them financially. Another example is where one party is experiencing extreme hardship. Spousal support can also be terminated for various reasons. It is usually ordered after a divorce when either the spouse mutually agrees on the payments or when the judge looks at all the relevant factors and decides that alimony or spousal support is necessary to support one spouse. Spousal support is generally awarded to a spouse who has been out of work during the marriage or makes a lower income and needs the support of the other husband even after the divorce. The judge could order one spouse to pay the alimony payments in one lump sum if the spouse has the ability to do so or make monthly payments. Alimony payments can also be modified depending on the ability to pay. For example, if one spouse gets a significant raise in income or loses their job and cannot pay, then the spousal support is also modified since it changes the ability to pay. Alimony, now often known as spousal support or maintenance, is a payment made by one ex-spouse to the other to help them maintain the same standard of living they enjoyed while in the marriage. If you and your spouse are unable to negotiate an alimony settlement, a judge will calculate the amount and duration of spousal support. It is not gender-based; either spouse may request alimony from the other. A court will award alimony only to a spouse who is financially disadvantaged, however. In other words, you can’t get alimony out of your spouse if you are the one who has more income, property, or both.

Most states have their own alimony calculator or alimony guidelines for calculating spousal support. However, judges generally look at the following factors:
• The length of the marriage
• Each person’s current salary and future earning potential
• Each person’s other income from sources such as interest, dividends and trusts
• Whether one spouse contributed to the education and career advancement of the other during the marriage
• Whether one spouse was a homemaker during the marriage
• If the couple has children, whether the custodial parent’s future earnings will be limited because of their parental responsibilities
• The age of each spouse and whether either spouse has any physical, mental or emotional issues
• Whether either party was at fault in the divorce
• Whether there are other economic circumstances that seriously affect either spouse. If a spouse is unable to meet the appropriate standard of living without help from the other spouse, then the court looks to a series of factors to determine the amount and duration of alimony. It evaluates the recipient spouse’s financial resources, needs, and earning capacity, as well as the payer spouse’s ability to pay. The court is not required to order an advantaged spouse to pay support if so doing means that the paying spouse won’t be able to be self-supporting. Likewise, the court can’t make the payer spouse pay more than what the recipient spouse needs to meet the marital standard of living, no matter how much money the paying spouse might be able to pay.

• Once the court settles the spouses’ property rights, it will consider a request for alimony. Generally, the court looks to the standard of living enjoyed at the time of separation to determine appropriate alimony, but it can also look at the situation at the time of trial if there has been a significant change in resources since the time of separation – the loss of a job, for example. If your marriage was short and there are no children, the court could use the standard of living at the beginning of marriage instead. After looking at these factors, the judge will decide whether either spouse is entitled to maintenance payments. The judge will also decide how much alimony a person is entitled to and the length of time during which alimony will be paid.

Many factors help determine how much alimony a spouse can get. There is no definite formula to help compute the total amount of spousal support. However, it is computed based on circumstances such as:
• Property and income of the husband and wife,
• Impairments in the capacity to earn,
• Standard of living,
• Length of marriage,
• The number of children to be raised,
• Each spouse’s capacity to earn, and
• Contributions and sacrifices of one spouse for the other spouse’s education or career.

If you are earning more than your spouse, you have a chance of receiving less alimony. If there are children involved and other factors that can help you with your situation, you should be able to get a reasonable amount of alimony. Getting alimony is done through the agreement of both parties. They will discuss how much will be paid on a monthly basis. In case of differences or non-agreement, attorney assistance is needed. If there is still no agreement despite the help of the lawyers, the court will decide on how much money a spouse should get.

Legal Process Of Alimony

Figuring out how much you as a divorcing woman can get for alimony may require help from an attorney. You and your spouse, together with your lawyers will sit down and discuss details such as your ability to earn, your children, standard of living and more. Once the amount is determined, you will then compute if you will receive your alimony on a monthly basis or as a lump sum. It is also advisable to consult with a tax professional about the implications of taxes when receiving alimony, as it is counted as an income on the part of the receiver. Negotiations take place after all the details are discussed. Both spouses, together with their lawyers, will meet with each other. Negotiation is faster compared to a court order, which is why both parties should agree during this period as much as possible. If the terms are agreed upon, both parties should sign the agreement. Otherwise, it will be discussed in court.

To file for alimony in court, as a divorcing woman, you should do the following steps:
• Separate from the spouse: The spouses must first be separated in order to receive alimony. A temporary alimony is received during the beginning of the separation.
• Gather financial information: The courts will require you to present any form of financial information to prove your financial capabilities. Documents such as bank statements, pay slips, proof of rent or mortgage payments and the like are supporting documents to show your financial situation.
• Take it to court: You must file the alimony to the proper courts. You should file it to the court where you and your spouse are currently living.
• Fill out the forms: To properly file for alimony, you must find the forms that are applicable to your case. Once you are done with the forms, you can file them and pay the corresponding fees.
• Inform your spouse: A notice of the alimony petition as well as the divorce is needed in order to inform your spouse. However, if the both of you already signed a joint divorce petition, wait for your spouse’s reply. This will take 21 up to 30 days. Once you get a reply, wait for your court hearing date. You and your spouse will then meet in court and await a decision.

Modification or Termination

Unless the spouses have made a specific written agreement about when alimony ends or under what circumstances it can be modified, when and how an alimony award can be modified depends on the type of alimony.

• A bridge-the-gap award is not modifiable under any circumstances.
• A court might modify rehabilitative alimony if the recipient fails to comply with the rehabilitative plan or completes the plan early.
• Rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony, and permanent alimony are all modifiable if there has been a substantial change in financial circumstances for either spouse; however, except in extraordinary circumstances, durational alimony can only be modified in amount, not in duration, and even in exceptional circumstances the duration can never exceed the length of the marriage.

Both permanent alimony and temporary alimony end automatically if the recipient remarries or if either spouse dies. A court can also modify or terminate an award of permanent alimony if the recipient lives with an unrelated person in a supportive relationship. The spouse asking for a modification on this basis must prove the supportive nature of a relationship. The court will find consider the following:

• the extent to which the two people in question have held themselves out as a married couple. for example by using the same last name, using a common mailing address, referring to each other as “my husband” or “my wife”
• the length of time they have lived together at a permanent address
• the extent to which they have pooled assets and income, or otherwise exhibited financial interdependence
• the extent of mutual support between them, including support for each other’s children, regardless of legal obligation
• performance of valuable services for each other, or for each other’s company or employer
• whether the two have worked together to create or enhance anything of value
• whether they have purchased property together, and
• evidence that the two have either an express or implied agreement regarding property sharing or support.
• Average Duration of Alimony
• In short and medium-length marriages, courts generally award alimony for a duration of one-half to one-third the length of the marriage.

For marriages of 20 years or more, a court may award permanent alimony, depending on the age of the spouse receiving alimony. For example, for a marriage that lasted at least 20 years, the spouse receiving alimony can receive permanent alimony if the spouse is over age 50. The recipient of alimony receives alimony payments as long as the spouse has a need for support. Therefore, when the alimony recipient remarries or cohabits, the spouse’s alimony payments can be discontinued. Once your divorce is final and alimony decisions are made, either by the court or through your own agreement with your ex, they can be changed. Once again, it depends. If alimony is granted for an extended period, it normally terminates if the receiving spouse remarries, unless there’s an agreement or court order to the contrary entered at the time of the divorce. However, judges in some states, in some circumstances, have the discretion to continue alimony even after the spouse receiving it remarries unless your written settlement agreement specifies that payment will stop if one of you remarries.

Alimony Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help with alimony, 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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Americans in particular have examined divorce from every angle, often reproaching themselves and their tension-laden, urban, industrial society for making divorce a widespread American phenomenon. The historical record, however, indicates that contemporary American divorce is more than a recent outgrowth of a troubled modern society. American divorce has a long and venerable history: Puritan settlers first introduced it in the American colonies during the early 1600s. The resulting institution of American divorce was vital, and growing, long before late twentieth- century Americans carried it to its current state.

Many opposed divorce in the past, and many continue to oppose it today. Over the years, critics and opponents of divorce have maintained that marriage is a religious sacrament and a lifetime undertaking. In their eyes, the growth of divorce signaled impending breakdown and disintegration of the American family.

Opponents of divorce usually believed that marriages should be terminated only for the reason stated in the Bible: adultery. As a result, some supported restrictive divorce statutes stipulating only adultery as a ground for divorce, while others were willing to accept other limited grounds as causes for divorce, such as consanguinity and insanity. Although critics of divorce usually condoned the dissolution of marriage by annulment, not all thought that divorce of bed and board–a limited divorce that prohibited remarriage–was valid. They also strongly opposed migratory divorce, in which divorce- seekers fled strict laws in their own home jurisdictions to obtain divorces in more permissive states, territories, or countries.

On the other side of the divorce issue were people who argued that marriage was a contract, and that parties to any contract had the right to dissolve it. They also maintained that divorce was not the root cause of family disintegration. Rather, they saw divorce as a symptom, not a disease; as a cough is to a cold. Divorce was little more than a sign of turmoil and transition in the American family. Divorce was after the fact; it was the final seal of a couple’s need to separate rather than the reason for their decision. Consequently, divorce was a result rather than a cause of changes in the institution of the American family.

Supporters of divorce often hoped that ease of divorce would eventually lead to equality and reciprocity in marriage. A growing number believed that divorce was a citizen’s right in a democratic society. If divorces were easy to obtain for many causes ranging from adultery to mental abuse, there would seldom be reason for a couple to choose annulment, divorce of bed and board, or migratory divorce as a solution to their problems.
During the formative years of the new nation, a growing number of wives and husbands sought divorces. Then, as now, divorce fit well with American democracy and individualism. Divorce allowed people to make choices and reorder their lives when they deemed it necessary. It also underwrote the pursuit of personal happiness as a desirable goal. Gradually, proponents of divorce began to maintain that divorce was a citizen’s right in democratic America: a civil liberty rather than a social ill.

As the great American debate between the anti-divorce and pro- divorce factions ebbed and flowed, legislators adjusted, and usually expanded, divorce legislation. They sometimes created compromise legislation to please opposing factions, but other times they simply translated prevailing ideas about divorce into law.7 Reforms were often hasty, ill-conceived, and adopted under pressure from whichever faction had momentary influence with a particular group of legislators. As a result, divorce laws and policies often negatively affected the very people they were supposed to help: divorce-seeking men, women, and their children.

Even as Americans debated divorce, it gradually spread and became easier to obtain. Today you can seek a divorce in Utah on many grounds including no fault. Speak to an experienced Tooele Utah divorce lawyer to know the various grounds for divorce in Utah.

In a contested divorce, you may sometimes need to use an expert witness. Expert evidence is a critical component of many types of civil litigation, and some critics have argued that too much “junk science” is admitted into evidence. In their view, juries have often been overly influenced by expert evidence that is not based on a solid scientific footing. Other critics have argued that novel expert evidence or evidence about which reasonable experts could disagree is too often barred from cases and that injured plaintiffs are not compensated as a result. In June 1993, the U.S. Supreme Court responded to the growing controversy about expert evidence by issuing the Daubert decision which clarified the role of federal judges as “gatekeepers” and established a new standard for how judges were to decide whether expert evidence was to be admitted.

Before Daubert, there was not a universally followed standard for determining the admissibility of expert evidence in the federal courts. The two leading approaches were based on relevance and general acceptance in the scientific community. Advocates of the relevance standard argued that expert evidence should be admitted if relevant, as long as the expert was properly qualified and admission would not prejudice or mislead the jury. They believed that “junk science” could be excluded by ensuring that experts were qualified. The general acceptance standard, also known as the Frye standard in reference to the 1923 federal decision that established the principle, required not only relevance and proper expert qualifications but also “general acceptance in the particular field in which it the evidence belongs”. Although the two standards were in conflict, there was little debate about the issue in the 1950s and 1960s because “controversy concerning the validity of scientific techniques did not exist at that time”.

Indeed, when the Federal Rules of Evidence were adopted in the 1970s, they did not directly address the conflict. Rule 702 informs judges that expert evidence should be admitted “[i]f scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue” (Federal Rules of Evidence, 1997). This could be read as consistent with either of the competing standards. In consequence, before Daubert, the relevance standard or the general acceptance standard continued to be the guide for admissibility decisions for expert evidence in federal court.

By the early 1990s, many observers felt that the existing system of judicial scrutiny of expert evidence was inadequate. Scientific and technical evidence was playing a more important role in many cases, and the conflict between the relevance and general acceptance standards was increasingly obvious as different federal courts came to different conclusions about the appropriate standard for admissibility. The relevance standard was attacked for letting in too much junk science and leaving assessment of scientific reliability entirely up to the jury. Meanwhile, others argued that the general acceptance standard, by deferring to the current consensus of the expert community, excluded novel science that was quite reliable. By 1992, two experts concluded that the dispute about standards for admitting scientific evidence was the “most controversial and important unresolved question” in federal evidence law.

In Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, the Supreme Court explained that the Federal Rules of Evidence had superseded Frye and that general acceptance would not be the sole standard for admissibility of expert testimony. At the same time, the Court also rejected the view that all relevant testimony offered by qualified experts should be admitted. Interpreting Federal Rule of Evidence 702, the Daubert decision directed judges to examine the method or reasoning underlying the expert evidence and to admit only evidence that is both relevant and reliable. No longer can judges defer to the appropriate expert community to determine whether the evidence is reliable, and no longer can judges leave this determination to the jury. The Supreme Court affirmed that trial court judges have not only the “power but the obligation to act as a “gatekeeper’”, screening scientific evidence to ensure that what is admitted is both relevant and reliable. Reliability as used by the Supreme Court refers to “evidentiary reliability—that is, trustworthiness.” For a case involving scientific evidence, evidentiary reliability is based on “scientific validity,” which implies a grounding in the methods and procedures of science.

In Daubert, the Supreme Court provided a list of factors that judges might consider when determining whether a theory or methodology is scientifically valid:
• whether it can be (and has been) tested
• whether it has been subjected to peer review and publication
• the known or potential rate of error
• the existence and maintenance of standards controlling the technique’s operation
• whether it is generally accepted in the scientific community.12
The Supreme Court emphasized that judges are not obligated to consider these factors (which have come to be called the Daubert factors) in every case and that other factors can enter their evaluations. General acceptance in the scientific community thus became only one of many factors that might enter into the assessment.

The Supreme Court confirmed and extended the Daubert decision in two subsequent cases, in General Electric Co. v. Joiner in 1997, the Court examined the proper standard that appellate courts should use when reviewing a trial court’s decision to admit or exclude evidence, concluding that appellate courts should not overturn the admissibility decision of a trial court unless the trial court has abused its discretion. The Court also applied the Daubert approach for evaluating the reliability of scientific evidence, thus reinforcing Daubert. Two years later, in Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, the Court explicitly extended the Daubert approach to expert evidence outside fields narrowly defined as scientific. Kumho clarified that judges are to ensure the relevance and reliability of all expert evidence not just expert evidence in so-called “hard” sciences, such as chemistry and toxicology. The Court also confirmed that the Daubert factors are illustrative of factors that judges should consider in evaluating reliability but are neither mandatory nor exhaustive.

In December 2000, an amendment to Federal Rule of Evidence 702 took effect its aim being to codify and clarify the principles established by the Supreme Count in Daubert. Rule 702 now explicitly state that in order for expert testimony to be admissible, it must be “based on sufficient facts or data,” it must be “the product of reliable principles and methods,” and it must involve reliable application of the principles and methods to the facts of the case (Federal Rules of Evidence, 2000).

Plaintiffs and defendants introduce expert evidence to bolster their case. Whether and what type of expert evidence is introduced depend on expectations about the probability that the evidence will be challenged and, if challenged, the probability that it will be admitted. The decision to propose expert evidence also depends on expectations about the effect the evidence will have on the outcome of the case if it is admitted and the costs of preparing expert evidence and fending off challenges. Parties that challenge expert evidence presumably also weigh the cost of a challenge against the expectation that the challenge will succeed and the effect that exclusion of the evidence will have on the outcome of the case. The expectation that the challenge will be successful is based on perceptions about the standards judges apply in evaluating expert evidence and experience with similar challenges in the past Challengers must also decide the basis on which to challenge the evidence.

Judges decide whether challenged expert evidence should be admitted. They may use three major criteria in making tills decision:
• Reliability: Is the evidence genuine, valid knowledge from the expert’s field?
• Relevance: Will the evidence assist the trier of fact in determining a fact at Issue?
• Qualifications: Does the expert have specialized knowledge in the field relevant to the testimony?
Judges may also take other factors into account in their decision, such as whether the evidence is unfairly prejudicial (Rule 403 in the Federal Rules of Evidence) or is based on privileged information.

Practitioners we interviewed believed that judges usually restrict their evaluations of expert evidence to the issues raised by the challengers, but that they sometimes examine issues not raised by the challengers and occasionally even initiate challenges to expert evidence themselves.

If you believe your divorce litigation requires expert witness, speak to an experienced Tooele Utah divorce lawyer. The lawyer can determine if the expert testimony will meet the requirements under Daubert.

Divorce Lawyer Free Consultation

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC (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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Is Alimony Mandatory In Utah?

Is Alimony Mandatory In Utah

No. Alimony in not mandatory in Utah, but you may be able to receive it or you may have to pay it.

Spousal support is not mandatory in most states but can be ordered by a judge under certain circumstances. If a spouse will face hardships without financial support, spousal support should be considered. The deciding factor for spousal support is the need to maintain the spouse at his or her customary standard of living. In other words, the law recognizes a husband or wife should not be forced to live at a level below that enjoyed during the marriage. However, other factors also need to be considered. For example, spousal support should most likely not be considered if:

• The marriage was for a short duration (less than two or three years), and

• Both spouses are employed and self-sufficient.

Spousal support has variable timeframes. It can be for an unlimited period, subject to the death or remarriage of the recipient spouse, or fixed to end on a specific date. Child support payments do take priority over spousal support. There is no firm dollar figure for spousal support. The amount should be decided by both parties. Some common ways of calculating spousal support are to take up to 40% of the paying spouse’s net income (post-child support), less 50% of the amount of the supported spouse’s net income (if he or she is working). Spousal support can be waived by the recipient spouse. However, the waiver should be in writing and signed by both spouses.

Therefore, to summarize the grounds on which the alimony can be denied are as follows:

• If the Wife is earning enough to maintain herself

• If the wife is in an adulterous relationship

Anyhow, this shall not affect the maintenance rights of the children. As per the provision under the Law, the daughter is liable to get maintenance till she is married and the son is liable to get maintenance till the age of 18 years. Alimony is not an automatic matter of consideration by the Court; rather it comes to the scene only after the wife has applied for it. There are basically four ways by which alimony can be granted the following;

• Rehabilitation Alimony: If the wife is not financially independent, or does not have any means to earn all by herself to maintain herself, then in such a situation, the Court grants alimony order. Where the wife is educated enough and is capable to find a job and maintain herself, then in such a situation, the Court shall instruct the wife to look for a suitable job and shall be liable only till the wife settles down financially. There is no set time for rehabilitative alimony to end, and it is determined based on the individual situation. This type of alimony will likely be reviewed at intervals to check on the progress of the recipient.
• Permanent Alimony: Permanent alimony is when the payments are to continue indefinitely. There are many reasons that a judge would order this type of alimony. One situation may be if the recipient is handicapped and unable to work and become self-sufficient. If the recipient married without ever gaining employment skills, and has never worked but has raised children and taken care of the home, this recipient may be entitled to permanent alimony. Usually, permanent alimony will not stop unless one spouse dies, the recipient gets remarried or cohabitates with someone else.

• Reimbursement alimony: In the situation where one spouse worked to put the other spouse through college or a work related program which resulted in this spouse earning more money reimbursement alimony may be awarded. Typically, the alimony will continue until the cost or half of the cost of schooling has been paid back.
• Hefty Alimony: In this kind of alimony, the spouse is ordered to pay lump-sum alimony will not be required to pay any other type of alimony to the recipient. In certain cases, you cannot avoid paying alimony totally, but the amount can be reduced with the strategically argument of a skilled lawyer.

Basics of Alimony

Ability to Pay: Courts always consider a person’s ability to pay when setting his alimony obligation. A court looks at the payer’s gross income from all sources (wages, public benefits, interest and dividends on investments, rents from real property, profits from patents and the like, and any other sources of income), less any mandatory deductions (income taxes, Social Security, health care and mandatory union dues). The result is the payer’s net income. In most states, deductions for credit union payments and wage attachments are not subtracted when calculating net income. The reason for this rule is that the law accords support payments a higher priority than other types of debts, and would rather see other debts not paid than have a spouse go without adequate support.

Ability to Earn: When a court computes the amount of alimony to be paid by a spouse, both parties’ ability to earn is usually taken into account. Actual earnings are an important factor in determining a person’s ability to earn, but are not conclusive where there is evidence that a person could earn more if she chose to do so. Some states, however, set alimony payments based only on actual earnings that is, the ability to pay.
Ability to Be Self-Supporting: The ability of an ex-spouse to support herself is normally considered by a court when setting the amount and duration of alimony to be paid to that spouse. A court looks to whether the ex-spouse possesses marketable skills and whether she is able to work outside the home (having custody of pre-school children and not having access to day care could make this impossible). The ability to be self-supporting differs from actually being self-supporting. If a spouse has marketable skills and is able to work outside the home, but has chosen not to look for work, the court is very likely to limit the amount and length of alimony. In many states, no alimony is awarded if both spouses are able to support themselves. If, however, one spouse was dependent on the other for support during the marriage, the dependent spouse is often awarded alimony for a transition period or until she becomes self-supporting. If a spouse receiving alimony becomes self supporting before the time set by the court for the alimony to end, the paying spouse can go to court and file a request for modification or for a termination of alimony. Conversely, if at the end of the support period the ex-spouse does not have the ability to support herself, she may request an extension of alimony, which may be difficult to obtain.

Standard of Living During Marriage: When a court sets alimony, it often considers the family’s pre-divorce standard of living and attempts to continue this standard for both spouses. If only one spouse worked outside the home and in many marriages where both spouses worked outside the home, it is usually impossible to continue the same standard of living for both people after the spouses have gone their separate ways. Maintenance of the same standard of living is therefore more of a goal than a guarantee.
Length of Marriage: When a marriage is relatively short approximately three years or fewer and no children were born or adopted, courts often refuse to award alimony. If there are children under school age, however, alimony may be awarded to the parent given physical custody because the court wants to enable the custodial parent to care full-time for the child.

Tax Consequences of Alimony: For federal income tax purposes, alimony paid under a written agreement or court order is deductible by the payer and is taxable to the recipient. Child support, on the other hand, is tax-free to the recipient but not deductible by the payer. In the past, when ex-spouses had more flexibility in negotiating the amount of child support and alimony, many ex-spouses agreed to greater alimony and less child support because of the resulting tax advantage to the payer. Because all states determine the basic child support obligation by formula, however, shifting the amounts of child support and alimony to take advantage of tax deductions is increasingly difficult.

Debts: Upon divorce, the court allocates debts incurred during marriage between the spouses based on who can pay and who benefits most from the asset attached to the debt. If the court orders a spouse to pay a large portion of marital debts, it often reduces the amount of alimony that spouse is ordered to pay.

Agreement Before Marriage: Before a couple marries, the parties may make an agreement concerning certain aspects of their relationship, including whether alimony will be paid in the event the couple later divorces. These agreements are also called ante-nuptial, pre-nuptial or pre-marital agreements. They are usually upheld by courts unless one person shows that the agreement is likely to promote divorce (for example, by including a large alimony amount in the event of divorce), was written and signed with the intention of divorcing or was unfairly entered into (for example, a spouse giving up all of his rights in his spouse’s future earnings without the advice of an attorney).

Lump Sum Support: In several states, a spouse may pay his total alimony obligation at the time of the divorce by giving the other spouse a lump sum payment equal to the total amount of future monthly payments. This is another term for lump sum support. Occasionally, alimony obligations are paid less frequently than monthly. This is called periodic support. Traditionally, periodic support was paid until the recipient died or remarried. Today, however, because alimony is usually paid for a fixed period, periodic support is more like lump sum support divided over a few periodic payments. Upon divorce, couples commonly enter into a divorce agreement which divides marital property and may set alimony. The agreement is called integrated if the property settlement and alimony payments are combined into either one lump sum payment or periodic payments. Integrated agreements are often used when the marital property consists of substantial intangible assets (for example, future royalties, stock options or future pension plans) or when one party is buying the other’s interest in a valuable tangible asset (for example, a home or business). In addition, if a spouse is entitled to little or no alimony, but is not financially independent, periodic payments may help that spouse gain financial independence.

When parties are unable to agree on a modification of alimony, the party wanting the change will have to file a request for a modification of alimony with the court. She must usually show that circumstances have changed substantially since the time of the previously issued order. This rule encourages stability of arrangements and helps prevent the court from becoming overburdened with frequent and repetitive modification requests. Below are several examples of a change of circumstances.

• Change in law: When a law affecting alimony is amended or a new law enacted, this by itself can sometimes constitute the changed circumstance necessary to file a request for modification of a prior alimony order.

• Cohabitation: In some states, an alimony recipient who begins cohabiting (usually living intimately with a person of the opposite sex but a few courts have applied this rule to women who begin living with female lovers) is presumed to need less alimony than originally awarded. If the recipient objects, it is her burden to show that her needs have not decreased.

• Cost of living increase: When inflation reduces the value of alimony payments, the recipient may cite her increased cost of living as a changed circumstance and request an increase.

• Decrease in income/decreased ability to pay/loss of job: When an ex- spouse paying alimony suffers a decrease in earnings, she may be able to obtain from the court a downward modification of alimony. The modification may be temporary or permanent, depending on her prospects for new work or increased hours.

• Decreased need for alimony: When a former spouse’s need for alimony decreases or ceases, the court may reduce or terminate the alimony if the paying spouse files a request for modification. Such a request can be made if the alimony recipient gets a job, an increase in pay or sometimes if she begins intimately living with someone of the opposite sex (cohabiting).

• Disability: Disability in family law generally means the inability to earn enough income to support oneself through work because of a physical or mental condition. A temporary disability suffered by a person paying alimony may warrant a temporary decrease of alimony. A permanent disability may warrant a request for modification of alimony based on changed circumstances. Similarly, if a recipient of alimony becomes disabled, a court may order an increase if her earnings decreased or her expenses increased (for example, health care or child care) as a result.

• Financial emergency: A financial emergency occurs when a person is unexpectedly required to lay out money (for example, to pay sudden medical bills). When a person who pays alimony suffers a financial emergency, he may file a request with the court for a temporary decrease of alimony. When a person who receives alimony suffers a financial emergency, she may ask the court for a temporary increase.

• Hardship: Hardship means suffering or adversity. If compliance with a legal obligation would cause a hardship on a person or his family, he may be excused from the obligation. For example, a payer’s inability to meet an alimony obligation without great economic suffering himself is a hardship. If a court finds this hardship substantial, the payer may be relieved of all or a part of his support obligation for a temporary or indefinite period.

• Increase in income: When an alimony recipient’s income increases, her ex-spouse may file with the court a request for modification of the alimony, claiming that the changed circumstance means his ex-spouse needs less alimony. Whether the court will agree depends on the particular facts of the situation. When the paying spouse’s income increases, alimony may stay the same if the recipient’s needs are being met. If her ex did not have the ability to pay enough alimony to meet her true needs before the increase in income, however, a court might grant a request for a modification based on the increase.

• Medical emergencies: Medical emergencies that require large expenditures of money are the kind of temporary and catastrophic circumstances that may support a temporary modification of alimony. If the recipient suffers the emergency, the payer may be required to temporarily increase payments (if he is able). Likewise, if the payer is the one with the emergency, his duty to support may temporarily be eased by the court.

• New support obligation: When an ex-spouse paying alimony assumes a new legal support obligation (for example, adopts, remarries or has a child), the court may reduce the earlier alimony order if it would be a hardship to pay the prior alimony and meet the new obligation. On the other hand, if the new support obligation is voluntarily assumed (for example, helping to support stepchildren when there is no duty to do so), rather than required by law, a court is unlikely to order a reduction.
In theory, courts are supposed to refuse to retroactively modify an alimony obligation. This means if a person is unable to pay support, he may petition the court for a reduction, but even if the court reduces future payments, it should hold him liable for the full amount of support due and owing. Many courts, however, do not follow this rule. Although the courts will state that they refuse to make retroactive modifications, they frequently excuse the payers from some of the arrearages.

The courts’ reasoning is that if the recipients survived the months (or years) without the support, they truly can get by without it. Each installment of court-ordered alimony is owed and to be paid according to the date set out in the order. When an ex-spouse ordered by a court to pay alimony does not comply, the overdue payments are called arrearages or arrears. Because the majority of people ordered to pay alimony don’t, and a growing number of women who are awarded (but not paid) alimony are poor, many (but unfortunately, not enough) courts are becoming more strict than they were a few years ago about enforcing alimony orders and collecting alimony arrearages. A wage attachment is a court order requiring an employer to deduct a certain amount of money from an employee’s paycheck each pay period in order to satisfy a debt. Wage attachments are often used to collect alimony or child support arrearages and to secure payment in the future.

Alimony Attorney Free Consultation

When you need legal help for Alimony 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

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Local Divorce Attorney

Local Divorce Attorney

Legally referred to as dissolution of marriage in many states, a divorce is the termination of a marriage by a legal proceeding or in a court. Divorces are generally categorized as contested or uncontested. In a contested divorce, the parties cannot agree on at least one issue, while in an uncontested divorce, the parties agree to all terms. A legal separation, which many states still offer, only terminates the right of cohabitation, but not the legal status of the marriage itself.

Filing for Divorce

After retaining an experienced divorce attorney, the spouse seeking divorce prepares a petition for divorce and files it with the court in the state in which he or she lives. Each state has its own residency requirement for how long a spouse must live within the state before being eligible to file for divorce. See our article on filing divorce papers for links to each state’s forms.

Grounds for Divorce

Each state has its own statutory grounds for divorce. Grounds are typically classified as fault or no-fault. Some states offer both as available grounds, while other states have done away with fault divorces altogether; New York is the only state that still does not offer a no-fault divorce option.
• Fault: A fault divorce requires particular wrongdoing by one of the spouses, followed by evidentiary proceedings to prove the wrongdoing. Each state defines via statute what grounds can constitute a basis for finding fault in that state. Common grounds include adultery, extended imprisonment, or cruel treatment or abuse.

• No-Fault: In a no-fault divorce, neither party must prove the other engaged in wrongdoing. A spouse can be granted a no-fault divorce based merely on the marriage being irretrievably broken or the parties having irreconcilable differences.

What is a Divorce Lawyer?

Divorce lawyers are attorneys that specialize in family law. While simple divorces may not call for an experienced lawyer, many situations arise where competent representation is needed. This is especially true when there is a high level of anger and animosity preventing the couple from coming to an agreement on their own, and in cases in which there has been spousal or child abuse, substance abuse, and major property disputes.
A divorce lawyer is able to explain the process, rules, and laws involved in the client’s family law matter, and will make sure all of the necessary documents are completed and filed with the court. The laws governing divorce and other family law matters vary by state, a divorce lawyer should be sought in the jurisdiction where the divorce will be filed.

Duties of a Divorce Lawyer

The duties of a divorce lawyer vary depending on the specifics of the case. In general, however, an attorney is responsible for helping the client throughout the process, from the first meeting, to settling matters after the divorce is finalized. A divorce attorney provides:

• Advice on how to deal with marital property, bank accounts, credit cards, and other marital assets
• Assurance of the progress made concerning disputes, court proceedings, and the stages of the divorce proceeding
• Preparation and court filing of all paperwork involved, such as the summons and complaint, motions, and custody papers, as well as preparation of the final divorce and custody orders
• An intermediary to deal with conflicts during the divorce process, such as custody disputes, and arguments over property
• Representation at all court hearings

Divorce without a Lawyer

Depending on the state you live in, it might not even be necessary to hire a lawyer to facilitate your divorce. For example, in Texas, if both spouses are in full agreement about all the terms of the divorce, including child custody and child support and the division of property and debt, then a divorce can be granted without a trial. However, even in this circumstance, one of the spouses must first file an original petition for divorce with the Family Law District Court to have a divorce granted. You may wish to contract an attorney to help you file this document to ensure it is done correctly.

Other Free Divorce Resources

There are a number of other free divorce resources available to you.
• Free Divorce Worksheet: Some websites offer free online divorce worksheets by state. This worksheet will help you collect all the information you will need to hand to your lawyer to help you finalize your divorce.
• Free Personal Legal Forms: You can find free personal legal forms, including child visitation letters, online.
• Bar Associations: State and local bar associations often publish guides to commonly encountered legal situations, such as getting a divorce and writing a will. Check with your local bar association for more information.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Divorce Attorney

When choosing a lawyer, divorcing spouses should consider each attorney’s experience, availability, track record and success. People preparing for divorce often face various concerns, from minimizing their financial losses to preserving their relationships with their kids. Amidst all of these worries, many people overlook the importance of finding the right divorce attorney. However, choosing a qualified and attentive representative is a critical first step to ensuring that the divorce goes well. Spouses who don’t know where to start should consider looking for the following qualities when selecting an attorney.

• Relevant experience: Spouses should focus on finding attorneys who primarily practice family law and have local experience. Divorce laws vary significantly by state; for example, unlike most states, Arkansas requires spouses to establish fault for the divorce or live separately for 18 months. To ensure best results, a divorce attorney should have detailed knowledge and experience with these distinct laws. As an added benefit, The Huffington Post notes that attorneys with local experience will also be more familiar with local family law judges. As a result, these attorneys are usually better equipped to prepare strategically for any necessary litigation over alimony requests, property division or child custody arrangements.

• Focus and availability: Divorcing spouses should use their initial meetings with prospective attorneys to assess how available and engaged each attorney is. Spouses may want to consider the attorney’s caseload and the level of attention that the attorney provides during the consultation. An attorney who seems distracted might not dedicate adequate attention to the case later. Spouses should also evaluate how easy reaching and communication with each attorney will be.

• Quality of assistance: An attorney’s associates and support staff often perform essential duties over the course of a divorce case. Many divorcing spouses may even work largely with these members of the firm. Therefore, before making any commitments, spouses may want to request an opportunity to meet these individuals and assess whether working with them will be feasible. Spouses also evaluate whether a divorce attorney is prepared to work with other experts who provide crucial insights during a divorce. For instance, during marital property division, the assistance of forensic accountants and business valuators might be necessary. Spouses may benefit from choosing attorneys who routinely collaborate with these professionals.

• Accuracy and honesty: According to CNBC, spouses should take note if an attorney makes guarantees or seems to simply be saying what the spouse wants to hear. Ideally, divorcing spouses should hire attorneys who can evaluate the situation accurately and honestly. To find the best representative, spouses should meet with multiple lawyers and request assessments of the case. This can help spouses determine whether any attorneys are being unrealistic or making unlikely promises.

• Success in litigation: A divorce attorney’s record of success in litigated divorce cases is also an important factor to weigh. This is true even for spouses who hope to reach a settlement outside of court, since litigation is almost always a possibility. Spouses should learn how much time an attorney dedicates to litigation and how that litigation typically ends. People who consider all of these factors should be better prepared to find the right attorney. Although making the optimal choice will require extra time, divorcing spouses should remember that the outcome of the divorce will likely have life-changing impacts. This makes finding the right representation more than worth the effort.

How Much Does a Divorce Cost?

The national average cost of divorce is about $15,000 per person. The cost includes attorneys’ fees, court costs, and the cost of hiring outside experts like a tax adviser, child custody evaluator, or real estate appraiser. The time involved is what often determines the cost. For instance, the average divorce takes between four months and 11 months. And if a trial is necessary, it can take more than a year.

What Factors Impact the Cost Of Divorce?

Just like whether to divorce or not, the average cost is not an easy question to answer. The costs depend on a variety of factors – whether or not you or your spouse agree on specific things, and if you or your spouse require or want to use an attorney. Factors affecting the average cost include:
• If the divorce is contested or uncontested
• The hourly rate of lawyers versus a retainer fee
• Location where the divorce is being filed, and the local filing fees
• Child custody
• Child custody evaluation
• Alimony
• Mediation

What if the Agreement is Mutual?

The more factors or issues unresolved by the person filing for divorce and the other party, such as custody or care of children or maintenance of property, or other shared assets such as investments, pensions, financial support, the more likely it is to cost the person filing for divorce. The more major issues resolved by both parties, the less it is likely to cost. If you and your spouse agree on major issues, regardless of how many there are, you can file an uncontested divorce – the least expensive – which could cost you even under $500 if you write and file your own divorce papers. All states charge their own fees for filing for divorce, even an uncontested filing, so a precise cost isn’t predictable. Some states also will grant the filer a waiver on the filing fees based on income. For an uncontested divorce, if the state where you file has a mandatory waiting period, once that period is up the divorce decree is final. An uncontested divorce is the least expensive, and the most straightforward, because no lawyers or mediators are needed to help both parties agree to the terms.

The Average Cost of a Divorce without a Lawyer

The minimum charge on a divorce is the filing fee. Filing fees can range from around $210, the lowest, in Wyoming, to $1,535 in California. If you’re using a lawyer, these fees are usually part of the lawyer’s retainer. Very few couples can agree on, identify, and amicably split assets in a divorce without a lawyer. If you don’t have children, have few assets – if you entered the marriage owning your own cars and rented your home, for instance – and agree no spousal support is required of either party because, perhaps, the marriage was short, you can do it yourself online. At least one person in a couple will have to file a legal petition for dissolution of marriage with the clerk of a local county court. As noted, each court charges a filing fee. The average is $300, but can be closer to $500 in some states, like California.

When you file a divorce petition, you also need to serve the case, or papers, to your spouse. In the case of a divorce, the papers can be served either in person or by mail. In the case of an online, “do-it-yourself” divorce, the person who first filed the petition with the court usually submits the petition and a summons to the local sheriff’s department for the papers to be served by law enforcement personnel or arranges for a private process server to deliver the petition – a signature from the other party indicating they either agree to the terms or wish to contest it. A private process server to serve divorce papers usually costs about $50.
Some states, like California, provide resources online for filing for divorce, including forms for responding to a divorce filing. State websites sometimes even include resources for filing online for an annulment, requesting support, or to change or end an order for spousal or child support.

The Average Cost of a Divorce with a Lawyer

If there are significant assets to divide, or child custody, child support or alimony to decide, both parties usually benefit by hiring their own attorney. Using a lawyer, of course, increases the cost for either party. With a lawyer, your divorce could cost you a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on how much time of the lawyer’s you are billed. Lawyer fees, billed by the hour, can range from several hundred dollars an hour to more than $500. For some lawyers, a 15-minute consulting phone call, or emailing, could cost you half a billable hour. And a half-hour could cost you a billable hour. Lawyers charge for phone calls, emails, text messages, court preparation, depositions (questioning others on the record), discovery (getting information from your spouse’s lawyer related to your case), paper preparation and review, and research.
Lawyers charge an average of about $1,000 for an uncontested divorce. In states with a higher standard of living, such as California or New York, lawyers can charge an average of $3,500-$5,000 to help you complete an uncontested divorce. A contested divorce — in which major issues like division of assets and child custody or support, or even actually divorcing, can’t be agreed on — can cost from an average $2,500 up to several thousand dollars or more. In a contested divorce, the issues may ultimately have to be hashed out in front of a judge. A divorce that has to go to trial can cost couples as much as $20,000 on average to complete, with at least $15,000 going to attorneys’ fees, according to some lawyers.

Settling a case out of court can cost closer to $15,000.

Most lawyers charge a flat fee or retainer to help with a divorce, but in general family law attorneys charge an average between $250-$350 per hour, though some might charge as much as $650 or more an hour to help clients through a complicated or difficult divorce, like one in which couples have their own businesses or other more complex shared assets. A retainer should cover most of the court fees, filing fees, and the lawyers’ time to meet in person, correspond with you by email or phone or text, and to appear at court hearings or other proceedings in person.

A contested divorce with children requiring lawyers to help work out custody details will cost more because of the lawyer’s time involved than an uncontested one. Generally, the more time a child spends with one parent, the less in child support that parent has to pay. But in a contested divorce where no agreement can be reached on child custody or a schedule, the court can require a child custody evaluation be done by a trained psychologist who interviews each parent. The psychologist also talks to the kids, and observes the kids at home with each parent. If the child custody evaluator works for the county, the evaluation will cost an average of $1,000-$2,500. If a private evaluator is used, the charge might be $10,000 or more.

Alimony determination can also take a lot of time and increase the cost to the couple. You can cut costs by using a lawyer for only part of your case: also called ‘limited scope representation.’ You could have your lawyer just review documents, or negotiate with your lawyer what you will or won’t pay for, such as agreeing to use the lawyer to prepare and review documents but not to charge you for phone calls or emails. A hearing or trial will also naturally increase your costs. Trials sometimes incur costs to you for several expert witnesses, and the cost of going to trail alone often results in divorce cases being settled out of court. For that reason, family law judges in most states assigned to contested divorce cases require couples to do everything they can to reach a settlement agreement and avoid a trial, because a trial costs not only the couple divorcing but also the city and state where the divorce is proceeding. If children are involved, yours together or even separately, costs increase with agreements having to be reached or adjudicated regarding child support, custody, and visitation. Without such issues, a divorce between two people in agreement can save both parties expense. That is why an uncontested divorce is the least expensive. If you and your spouse agree on the major issues of the divorce, you can write your own agreement. Your only cost then would be filing fees, serving papers, and the cost of divorce papers themselves if you get them online. Online companies will charge for preparing divorce papers, but they may also have lawyers review them for you. Some courts will give you a divorce packet for free; some states will have them available for free on their website as well. Besides an uncontested divorce, a way to save money and avoid a trial would be to use mediation of a collaborative divorce.

In mediation, you and your spouse avoid trial be mediating with a neutral third party, a mediator. Because it involves a third party, usually a professional mediator, attorney-mediator, or former commissioner or judge, mediation can still wind up costing between a few thousand and $10,000 dollars, on average, depending on how long the mediation takes and how much is involved. Mediation usually costs an average of $100-$300 an hour. Even a collaborative divorce is cheaper than going to trial. In a collaborative divorce, both parties retain attorneys. You, your spouse, and your attorneys meet to hash out contested parts of the divorce. If you and your spouse ultimately reach agreements, while the attorneys will be an expense, the cost of litigation will be saved.

How Long Does the Average Divorce Case Take?

Another pressing question about divorce is how long the process takes, from filing the petition to a settlement or final court judgment. In our survey, the overall average duration of divorce was a year. Here again, the picture was worse for those who went to trial. For readers who went to trial on at least one issue, it took an average of 18 months to complete the process—and even longer if they had to resolve two or more issues.
Bringing Down Divorce Costs: Uncontested Divorces, Mediation, and

Consulting Attorneys

Beyond doing everything you can to avoid a trial, our survey results pointed to some other possibilities for lowering the cost of divorce.
• Uncontested divorce: Nearly a third (30%) of readers said they had no major contested issues in their divorces, and their costs were much lower than the overall average: $4,100, on average, including attorneys’ fees. They also got through the process more quickly—an average of eight months. Many of these readers may have been eligible to take advantage of a streamlined divorce process known as an “uncontested divorce” or a “summary dissolution,” which is available in many states for couples who meet specific requirements.
• Mediation or collaborative divorce: Some couples turn to collaborative divorce or mediation in an attempt to reach a settlement agreement. Neither of these alternatives work for everyone, but they could save you money. Nearly a third of the readers in our survey tried mediation; on average, they spent $970 on mediation costs, although half spent $500 or less.
• Consulting attorneys: If you can’t afford to hire a full-scope divorce attorney, it’s still wise to seek out legal advice or help at some point along the way—especially to make sure that your rights are protected in any settlement. You might be able to hire a consulting attorney for specific tasks, such as helping you understand and complete divorce forms, preparing for mediation, drafting or reviewing a proposed settlement agreement, or representing you in court appearances. In our survey, only one in 10 readers said they had hired a consulting lawyer in their divorce. But those readers typically saved a lot of money on attorneys’ fees; the average total fees for consulting attorneys were $4,600, and the median total was $3,000.

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 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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Is There Any Likelihood Of A Wife Keeping The House In Divorce?

Divorce Attorney

The house is often considered the trickiest of all assets in a divorce. On Day One as you approach divorce, you may be thinking, “My house is one of my biggest assets.” or “Maybe I want to keep it.” “What you really need to understand is that there’s a lot of due diligence to be done before making a decision on what to do with the house.” The hardest part is that there are many emotional and financial events that happen during a divorce. You might also tend to think, “I know my home. It’s the only consistent element to this whole disruptive process of divorce.” That’s why you might be inclined to want to stay or keep the house.

Major reasons why it’s so difficult to know what to do with the house in divorce:

• You are Distracted: Financial dilemmas layered on top of divorce are incredibly overwhelming and stressful. You are likely trying to maintain your current lifestyle, taking kids to sports, working or looking for a job. There are many things happening at once.

• Your House is a Symbol of Stability (and maybe even status): The house itself might come to symbolize some stability and consistency, especially for kids. They don’t want to change schools. It’s a safe-haven during times of disruption.

• Hard to Know Whether You Can Afford to Keep the House: Change is constant. House conditions, the economy, and job security may change; all affecting whether or not the house upkeep, taxes, bills, and mortgage are affordable. Real estate values are fluid. Let’s say that you decide to keep the house, and the value is determined to be $100,000. Then, something happens to the economy, or an interstate goes up in the backyard, or something happens to that value down the road. Can you withstand that?

• Sentimental Value: Your home feels priceless. Dissolving the marriage is emotional. You have poured your heart and soul into creating a loving home environment for your family. You have memories that are priceless and that cloud your ability to make rational decisions. “Most people think of their homes in regards to the memories attached to it. You don’t have memories attached to your 401K.”

Often time’s one spouse will express an interest in staying in the home after the divorce. “Usually but not always it is for the main reason of keeping the children stable after the divorce for a period of time, and to get them through the transition.” When it comes to who gets the house in divorce, “A court can order in the interim who stays or who goes, but what if a couple is in the house, and you are not sure what to do with it, and the house then could become a financial burden to one or both of you. If neither spouse can afford to live there, or if it is deemed not prudent for them to be there, then it’s not sensible for the children to be in that home. And because they cannot be supported adequately in that home, then a court may order the selling of the house and division of the proceeds. “If a spouse is awarded the house in the settlement agreement and they are currently not on title then they would be a ‘successor-in-interest.’ In other words, they are able to claim the title to the property via the signed marital settlement agreement. So they can do a mortgage refinance for divorce, but it would be a cash-out refinance because they aren’t on title. So they are limited to a mortgage amount of 85% of the value. They would have had to be on title for 12 months to do a rate and term refinance.”

Reasons to keep the house in your divorce

• You can afford it easily on your own. This means that after any refinance, buy-out, you can easily afford monthly mortgage payments, taxes, insurance and upkeep on your own income. If you require alimony or child support to stay in the address, that is too risky. You can create a single-mom budget easily on Tiller, an easy-to-use budgeting app.

• The home is the biggest financial asset for most couples. You walk away from that, you may lose a lot of assets even if he buys you out. Why? Historically, real estate has been a more stable investment when compared with stocks (recent years being an exception). Between 1978 and 2004, real estate appreciated an average of 8.6 percent per year. While stocks returned more than 13 percent during that time, they also saw more peaks and valleys. True, stocks grew more. However, that is just appreciation not including the wealth-building associated with paying off a mortgage, or the tax advantages.

• Because your household income is very likely to be lower post-divorce in the short-term, the tax write offs like mortgage interest and property taxes will be even more valuable post-divorce. Plus, if you were to sell your home, you can likely pocket most or all of the profits tax-free. Only a few investment vehicles provide such a tax perk.

• It may make sense to keep the house if it is easy to maintain on your own, without too much physical, emotional or financial cost. How to run a single-mom household like a boss

• You can make an argument for keeping in the event that it will help facilitate peaceful co-parenting. For example, if staying put means you can live closer to your now-ex, or closer to schools or each of your jobs, which makes everyone’s life more convenient, ‘happy co-parenting’ can be a reason to argue for staying put. Rules for co-parenting with even the most toxic ex

• The emotional reasons to keep the house include providing a measure of stability for you and your kids during a tumultuous time. This includes staying in the same schools and close to friends and neighbors who provided emotional and practical support. However, there are lots of very good reasons to let your marital home go whether to your ex, or to sell it on the market. One of the biggest mistakes I have seen in my work, as well as have heard from divorce attorneys, is women’s insistence on keeping the marital home in divorce to her detriment.

Reasons Not to keep the house in divorce

• You can’t afford it. Accepting that your income is now lower after divorce, and therefore you lifestyle must change, is often very difficult especially for the lesser earning spouse, who unfortunately is usually the woman. Going into debt, facing losing that very home you so desperately want to hang on to, and the emotional turmoil that financial stress induces is just bad news. Don’t.

• Selling helps you move on. Houses are emotional things. That house likely represented a family and life that you wanted very much to succeed but things turned out differently. Nothing like new real estate (and furnishings!) to re-launch your new life, and put your old one behind you. The same goes for when you sell an engagement ring or some other item that you shared.

• A new home is empowering! Whether you are purchasing a new house or renting a place on your own, moms tell me that doing this solo is one of the most empowering things they’ve ever done.

• It (might) teach your kids financial responsibility financial. Because your home is likely your biggest financial asset, you should treat it with as little emotion as possible. Compromising your finances, emotional well-being and good sense for the sake of keeping a house you really like is not a good financial example for your kids.

• Selling (might) teach your children emotional resistance. Sometimes life sucks giant, hairy donkey balls. It just does. Divorce is usually like that. But showing a measure of grace, moving on, and making wise decisions for your whole family in the face of rotten times is one of the greatest gifts you can give your kids.

A cash-out refinance means that you apply for and receive a new mortgage for more than you owe. Typically, you can cash-out up to 85 percent of your home’s value.

Pros of a cash-out refinance during a divorce

• Easy way to access cash during a time when you may not have a lot of it
• Interest rates on mortgages tend to be lower than if you were to do a home equity line of credit, home equity loan, personal loan, or credit card advance.
• Interest rates on your first mortgage are usually tax-deductible
• You can keep your home and don’t have to move, which can be important at a time when everything in your and your kids’ lives is in flux.
• The mortgage is now in your name only, removing your ex from the debt and deed — which can feel really powerful for you, and be an important step in separating from your marriage and starting your life anew.
Cons of a cash-out refinance during divorce:
• Compared with a home-equity line of credit or home equity loan, closing costs can be higher
• Signing a new mortgage may extend the period for which you pay for the home — even if monthly payments are the same or lower (this happened to me).
• Signing a new mortgage may increase the overall sum you will pay for the property if interest rates have increased since you first financed it.
• If the refinance means you end up with less than 20 percent equity in your property, you may need to add PMI, or private mortgage insurance, onto your loan.

Qualify for a cash-out refinance in your divorce

The qualifications for a cash-out refinance mortgage are the same as a new mortgage, in most cases. Because you are now divorced and seeking to own the home in your name only, the qualifications are for you as a single person (not as a couple). Since a cash-out refinance is essentially the same as taking out a new mortgage, requirements for qualifying are similar. Homeowners who own their homes and meet the following criteria may qualify:
• Good or excellent credit (FICO score of 670+)
• Significant home equity: at least 20 percent of the home’s value
• Ability to repay the loan
• A debt-to-income ratio including the new mortgage payment approved by the lender.

During divorce, finances are often very tight where there was once one household with two-income or one income plus a full-time person caring for the home and kids there are now two households, two sets of insurance premiums, and increased need for child care not to mention legal fees. Obtaining a new mortgage is a big commitment. Even though you may be emotionally tied to your current home, staying put is not always the best answer. Even if your mortgage payment stays the same after the refinance, you may not be able to afford it without stress and scramble every month. Also, while the thought of leaving your home may feel traumatic today, you may feel differently in months and years to come. In fact, you may want to break free from old memories and expectations that are attached to the home.

The decision whether to keep or sell the house should be made as a part of the overall global settlement. Consider the assets and debt you expect to obtain in the divorce settlement, your anticipated income and any anticipated support you may receive (alimony or child support). Also consider the tax effects, such as the mortgage interest deduction, which may decrease your tax burden and therefore increase the amount of your income available to you. If you cannot comfortably afford the housing expenses, it might be best to consider selling the house and replacing it with something more affordable. Take your time with this decision and utilize all of the resources available to you: your lawyer, accountant, financial planner, and a trusted friend or family member who is knowledgeable in these matters.

Divorce Lawyer Free Consultation

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 LLC (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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Is Divorce In Utah Easy?

Is Divorce In Utah Easy?

If you enter into marriage under the age of 20 and/or have an income of less than 25,000, your risk of divorce skyrockets. Throw in a spouse losing their job or a surprise pregnancy, and your marriage may be doomed before it begins. Here in Utah, we have a tendency to marry quite young. The median age of marriage in the United States is 27 for women and 29 for men. Now compare that to the average age of marriage in Utah, which is 24 for women and 26 for men.

Divorce Has Declined Nearly Everywhere Except Utah

Utah’s divorce rates run slightly higher than the national average. Statistics often attribute this to Utah having larger families than the national average, citing more than 5% of families have 7+ family members compared to the 3.25 national average (2013).

Utah Requires Divorcing Couples to Attend a Divorce Education Class
Utah legislators have created a mandatory divorce orientation course that couples must complete. Your divorce cannot be finalized until both you and your significant other have completed the course. You are only required to take the divorce education class if there are minor children involved. The one-time class reviews resources for custody and child support issues, clarifies the divorce process, and consequences of divorce. More information about Utah Divorce class requirements and fees can be found here.

People May Judge You and Ask Why

The news that you are getting divorced has spread through your church, neighborhood, and/or workplace, and we are a curious species. Don’t be surprised when people you barely know ask you why you the nitty-gritty on why you are getting divorced. Insensitive comments such as, “did she leave you for someone younger?” and other flagrant comments are to be expected. For the sake of your children, you may not wish to respond in detail.
While you are preparing your financials for your divorce, be sure to take some time to handle the emotional side as well. People may even tell you that they haven’t liked your ex since before you got married. They are not usually trying to make you feel bad; quite the opposite, they are usually trying to tell you that they agree with your decision and are trying to make you feel better. My point – PREPARE YOURSELF for these comments.
Friends and family members may also take sides or disappear completely. You may be the spouse who was cheated on, and people may still not take your side. Divorce is a distressing topic, and people may want to distance themselves from the perceived drama. Just remember to stay true to yourself, cut out the negative people, and create a foundation of support. Divorce gets easier as time goes on, and surrounding yourself with those that will help you weather the storm helps the process move faster.

You May Feel Terrible About Getting a Divorce – It’s OK

There is much guilt and regret present in nearly every divorce. You may easily blame yourself because you run through all the things you could have done differently, because your children blame you, or you may feel guilty simply because you were the one who filed the divorce papers. This is normal!! Make a choice to move forward, and take care of yourself. Throughout the divorce process you will have good days and bad days. Feeling guilty or overwhelmed does not mean that you should give the other spouse everything. Doing so will probably not lessen the grief on either side, and you are still entitled to half of everything.

Additionally, people may want to tell you their divorce horror stories. Please remember that every situation is different, and you shouldn’t let someone else’s negative experience stress you out. When you are feeling stressed, rely on professional advice from your family law attorney, mental health counselor, or financial advisor as they are qualified to give you answers pertaining to your specific situation.

Parenting After Divorce May Become More Difficult

There will be many disagreements – maybe not fair or logical ones. There may be pain when you refer to your ex as “mommy” to your kids, however that is her name to them, and you need to be the adult about it. No matter what are your kids are, please practice HIGH levels of self-control and not bad mouth the other parent in front of your children. You may think with the other spouse out of the picture, that you can make all parenting decisions by yourself. If you’re granted sole legal custody, then you can make major decision about the kid(s) by yourself. Having sole physical custody simply means that you are the parent the kid(s) live with. Make a choice to try to co-parent as best you can. If you can’t get along, you may need to have separate birthdays, and the more times in your kids’ lives you are going to miss out on. Just because you are divorced, doesn’t mean that you have to be enemies.

If the Utah Divorce Decree is Violated, There Can be Serious Consequences.
Once the court has ruled and the papers have been signed, both parties are bound to the terms set forth in the divorce decree. Violating any part of the agreement may put the violator in contempt of court, and your family law attorney can help you file a contempt motion. The most common divorce violations are non-payment of child support, not complying with the visitation schedule, withholding visitation, and non-payment of alimony. If your ex does not bring the kids back at the time set forth in the divorce decree, the police will not help you bring them back unless there is an immediate threat to them. What the police will do is come to your house and make a record of “visitation interference,” which your family law attorney can use as evidence in a contempt hearing. In your court hearing you must be able to state what areas of the decree have been violated, and the burden of proof always lies with the accuser. If you are found in contempt, the violator may be given a period of time to correct the issue or they may face jail time until the matter is resolved.

If you ex is not paying alimony or child support due to unemployment, you can’t make your spouse pay if they do not bring in an income, however, past due child support will accrue. Your family law attorney will likely recommend that you contact the Utah Office of Recovery Services (ORS). The ORS makes sure that Utah parents are responsible for their children’s support, and can help you collect a judgment. Click here for more information on the Office of Recovery Services.

Salt Lake City Divorce Attorney

I understand that a Utah Divorce is emotionally exhausting, even outside of the legal realm. We are a family-owned law firm specializing in handling many difficult circumstances when it comes to Salt Lake City family law situations. We specialize on father’s rights in Utah and are equally skilled in representing a mother’s position as well. Whether you are dealing with divorce, separation, alimony, child support, custody, paternity, domestic violence, or visitation issues, Wall & Wall Attorneys at Law can help. We offer legal representation that is cost-efficient and trustworthy. Call us to take advantage of our free divorce consultation.

Do-It-Yourself Divorce (DIY Divorce)

For uncontested divorces, our most popular service offered is our Do-It-Yourself Divorce. Doing your own divorce through Utah Legal Clinic is easy and economical. The process will save you substantial money and allows you to end a marriage with minimum involvement by lawyers and the legal system. We have been helping people in Utah do their own divorces since 1973. To qualify for a Do-It-Yourself Divorce, your divorce must be completely uncontested. This means you and your spouse must be in full agreement as to all terms. Many times, Utah Legal Clinic can determine quickly over the phone if you qualify for the Do-It-Yourself Divorce service. In most cases, no court hearing is required for uncontested divorces.

We recommend that you come in and visit us and stay away from do it yourself divorce stuff. You wouldn’t do your own dental work. You would do your own open heart surgery. Don’t do your own divorce.
• Intake appointment with a Paralegal and/or Attorney to determine that you qualify for a Do-It-Yourself Divorce;
• Preparation of all necessary documents;
• Notary for all your signatures requiring a notary on the divorce paperwork;
• Detailed step-by-step instructions for filing your own papers and getting all necessary signatures from your spouse;
• Copies of all executed documents for you;
• Copies of all executed documents for your spouse;
• Assistance throughout the steps of your “Do-It-Yourself Divorce,” if needed.

Who Is Eligible?

In order to represent yourself, that is for you to do your own Do-It-Yourself Divorce, both you and your spouse must agree upon all terms of the divorce such as debt division, property division, and child custody.
In order to complete a Do-It-Yourself Divorce, your divorce must be simple. Parties that have been separated for a long time, who have few debts, and who have already physically divided all of their property can easily proceed with a Do-It-Yourself Divorce. We encourage you to have already mutually agreed with your spouse as to all terms of the divorce before you come in for your appointment. You should prepare a complete list of all items that have been resolved, how debts and property should be divided, etc. Our office can help you determine if your divorce is considered simple. Representing yourself in a divorce involving complicated terms or extensive debts and property is discouraged.

Filing Fees

The filing fee for a divorce in Utah is $318. That fee is paid directly to the Court when you file your divorce papers. In some circumstances the filing fee may be waived. For more information on waivers, you can visit the Court’s website.

Utah’s waiting period and other requirements

In Utah, you can expect your divorce to take at least one month. Utah Code Ann. §30-3-18 provides that couples must wait 30 days after filing their divorce petition before a final order can be entered.
Prior to 2019, there was a 90-day waiting period was required in divorce cases. The waiting period could also be waived for any good cause set forth in the divorce papers.
In 2012, the Utah legislature amended Utah Code Ann. §30-3-18 to prevent parties from waiving the 90-day waiting period unless they can establish extraordinary circumstances. While it remains, unclear what may qualify as extraordinary circumstances, it is clear that the legislature wanted to make it more difficult for couples to get a speedy divorce. Under the prior version of the statute, couples needed only to assert that they had been unsuccessful in their attempts to reconciliation and that they were certain any further attempts to save the marriage would be futile. Now, couples will need to show that there is some other pressing reason, such as a new marriage or extraordinary financial situations, in order to obtain a waiver of the mandatory waiting period.
Even under the best set of circumstances, it will likely take at least 90 days after you file your Utah Petition for Divorce to obtain a final order. If the divorce is contested or the required papers are not filed, the divorce may take much longer. There are numerous affidavits, information sheets and other documents which must be filed with the court before the judge will enter the Decree of Divorce.

With contested divorce cases, it may take years to obtain a Decree of Divorce. Couples are required to fully disclose all financial assets through a lengthy discovery process. It may be necessary to retain other professional to assist in the division of property, such as forensic accountants, home appraisers and tax experts. Couples with children frequently retain guardian ad litem attorneys to interview the children or psychologists to complete a thorough custody evaluation.
Hopefully, Utah lawmakers will eventually realize the need for a faster and simpler divorce process. The current Utah belief seems to be that the courts can save marriages by slowing down the divorce process. When a couple decides that their marriage is so irretrievably broken that they need to divorce, it is generally not in anyone’s best interests to try to keep that couple together. Nobody knows whether a marriage can be saved better than the two individuals who are living in that marriage. If a couple is able to work out a divorce resolution without court intervention, Utah should let them be divorced.

The family law team at Ascent Law LLC understands the need to have divorce cases handled as quickly and efficiently as possible. Family law attorney Hailey Black can guide you through a contested divorce or work with you to ensure all required papers for your uncontested divorce are in order. During your initial consultation, we will advise you on your options and provide you with an approximate timeline for resolving your divorce case.

With Children

If you have minor children from your marriage, you and your spouse are required to attend a mandatory one-hour Divorce Orientation and a two-hour Divorce Education Class. Information about both classes can be found at Utah Courts. The cost for the Divorce Orientation is $20 per parent, and the cost for the Divorce Education Class is $35 per parent, for a total per-parent cost of $55. The costs to attend those required Courses are the responsibility of each parent. Proof of attendance for both you and your spouse must be filed with the Court prior to your divorce being entered. You should plan on attending the orientation and parenting class as soon as possible after you have filed your initial papers and received your case number. You do not have to attend that class with your spouse.

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

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