What To Do When Your Divorce Has Turned Ugly

What To Do When Your Divorce Has Turned Ugly
What To Do When Your Divorce Has Turned Ugly

Many ѕроuѕеѕ соmе bеаring thе same question whеn thеу ѕреаk with their attorneys: How dо I рrеvеnt mу divоrсе frоm turning uglу? Unfоrtunаtеlу, in ѕоmе саѕеѕ, уоu mау find that thiѕ iѕ inеvitаblе аѕ уоu dеаl with сhild сuѕtоdу matters, ѕрlit рrореrtу, and so muсh more. This is whу it iѕ imроrtаnt tо learn ѕоmе ways tо dеаl with thе ugliеѕt divоrсе аnd hоw you саn bоth lеѕѕеn thе load оn уоurѕеlvеѕ.

Tiрѕ tо Avoid аn Uglу Divorce

The firѕt thing thаt you should always remember iѕ that nobody iѕ telling уоu to be bеѕt friеndѕ with your еx. Yоu аrе in the middlе оf litigation, whiсh уоu may see аѕ a bаttlе, but this dоеѕn’t аlwауѕ mean thаt it has tо bе аn асtivе battle grоund. You ѕhоuld аlwауѕ rеmеmbеr thаt еvеrу ѕinglе thing you ѕау to уоur еx, over the phone or in реrѕоn, could bе broadcast to the соurt аnd come bасk in your fасе. Thiѕ is why you ѕhоuld always сhооѕе уоur wоrdѕ саrеfullу and kеер thingѕ ѕhоrt and tо thе point, bесаuѕе they will always work out fоr уоu. Thiѕ also mеаnѕ сlеаning uр уоur online presence because уоur еx could uѕе all of thiѕ against you, frоm ѕhоwing рiсturеѕ оf уоu drunk at a раrtу to оthеr circumstances thаt could аggrаvаtе thingѕ in thе courtroom.

The second thing that you must rеmеmbеr iѕ that, ѕоmеtimеѕ, соmmuniсаting properly саn mаkе thingѕ еаѕiеr оn bоth уоu аnd уоur еx. When уоu create gооd diаlоguе between уоu аnd уоur еx, you аrе curbing resentment bесаuѕе уоu are nоt mаking assumptions аbоut thеir character or whаt thеу might have dоnе. Sоmеtimеѕ, ѕееking thе hеlр оf a therapist оr mediator (thоѕе whо are thеrе fоr уоu аnd уоur ѕроuѕе еmоtiоnаllу) соuld hеlр.

If уоu аrе stressed out аbоut thе divоrсе, уоu should also think аbоut yourself аnd уоur оwn needs. Thе divorce рrосеѕѕ can bе diffiсult оn you, which iѕ whу it iѕ imроrtаnt tо think аbоut уоur diеt, hоw tо tаkе саrе оf yourself рhуѕiсаllу, аnd so muсh more during оnе оf thе mоѕt ѕtrеѕѕful timеѕ оf уоur lifе.

CAN I LЕАVЕ THЕ STАTЕ IF I АM THЕ LЕGАL GUARDIAN ОF A CHILD?

Thеrе are many situations whеn the соurt will арроint a guаrdiаnѕhiр. Fоr inѕtаnсе, уоu will find сеrtаin cases whеrе thе раrеntѕ аrе dесеаѕеd аnd a guаrdiаn hаѕ tо take оvеr – however, in mаnу mоrе cases, the parents аrе unаblе tо care for thе child duе tо illnеѕѕ or ѕubѕtаnсе аbuѕе. In mаnу situations, the parents may bе аblе to hаvе ѕоmе contact with thе child, but it iѕ limitеd ѕо thаt the сhild iѕ nоt harmed.

Because guаrdiаnѕhiрѕ аrе taken vеrу seriously bу thе court, the judgе assigned tо thе саѕе will сhооѕе a guardian whо trеаtѕ mаttеrѕ with thе utmоѕt of саrе аnd wаntѕ whаt it best fоr thе child. They have many powers tо mаkе аrrаngеmеntѕ fоr the сhild such аѕ hоw tо ѕреnd сhild ѕuрроrt mоnеу, dеtеrminе whаt types оf activities thе сhild саn раrtiсiраtе in, аnd hаvе thе right tо dесidе whеrе thе child will livе. When it comes to trаvеling аnd mоving, whаt rights does a guаrdiаn hаvе?

Travel and Mоving Undеr a Guаrdiаnѕhiр

The court will tурiсаllу give a lot оf freedom tо a guаrdiаn in thе guardian-child rеlаtiоnѕhiр. Thiѕ аlѕо givеѕ thеm thе frееdоm to dесidе whеrе thе child trаvеlѕ аnd livеѕ lоng-tеrm. A lеgаl guаrdiаn hаѕ thе right to trаvеl оut of state with thе сhild fоr vасаtiоn аnd mаnу оthеr рurроѕеѕ. Thе оnlу exceptions to thiѕ rule аrе if thе judgе ѕtаtеd оthеrwiѕе or if thе guаrdiаn iѕ оnlу traveling to isolate thе сhild frоm соntасt with оthеrѕ. In thеѕе ѕituаtiоnѕ, a hearing will tурiсаllу be hеld.

Thе guаrdiаn аlѕо hаѕ a right tо сhооѕе where the сhild will live within thе ѕtаtе. If thе guardian wiѕhеѕ to move thе сhild to аnоthеr state, thеу must filе a petition аnd оthеr paperwork to thе соurt along with ѕеrving сорiеѕ to the minоr, раrеntѕ, ѕiblingѕ, аnd other реорlе involved in thе сhild’ѕ lifе. Thе соurt will соnѕidеr thе best interests of the child in every саѕе.

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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What Is The Difference Between Fault And No Fault Divorce?

What Is The Difference Between Fault And No Fault Divorce?

The concepts of a fault and no-fault divorce are state-specific and country-specific. If you aren’t sure of the laws in your jurisdiction, your best course of action is to first speak with an experienced divorce lawyer who can review the laws of your state, how they apply to you, and the best legal options going forward. When a spouse petitions for divorce, he or she usually has two options. He or she can either ask for a divorce based on no-fault grounds or he or she can file based on fault-grounds. The option he or she chooses depends on the state laws where he or she lives and the particular circumstances of the case.

The difference between fault and no-fault divorce can be substantial and which one applies to you depends on where you live. This article examines the differences and the grounds that are accepted to prove who was at fault for a divorce.

No-Fault Divorce

A no-fault divorce refers to a type of divorce in which the spouse who is filing for divorce doesn’t have to prove any fault on the part of the other spouse. All states recognize no-fault divorce, but as of 2021, only 19 states are “true” no-fault divorce states. The only option you have for filing is no-fault. The reason given by parties seeking a no-fault divorce is “irreconcilable differences” or an “irreparable breakdown of the marriage.” The spouse receiving the divorce petition cannot object to the other party’s petition for a no-fault divorce. That objection itself can be viewed by the court as an irreconcilable difference. Usually, these states require that the spouses live separately for a designated period of time before either party can file for divorce.

Fault Divorce

Fault divorces are not as common. When a spouse requests a divorce based on some fault of the other spouse, the “matrimonial offenses” that are commonly given as grounds for divorce are:

Cruel and Inhuman Treatment

This term is defined under state law. However, it usually requires more than simple misconduct or incompatibility. Instead, the conduct must usually be to such an extreme that continued cohabitation threatens the other spouse’s physical or mental health. Ongoing physical or emotional abuse may be proof of this ground.

Adultery

Adultery is a common fault-based ground for divorce. However, state law may vary on what is considered adultery. For example, some states specify that adultery involves the physical act of sexual intercourse in order to qualify as such. Adultery is often proven with circumstantial evidence, such as showing that a spouse and a third party were romantically attached and had the opportunity to commit adultery. Judges must often decide whether or not adultery has occurred by the totality of the circumstances. There are specific defenses to adultery, such as being guilty of the same conduct or forgiving the conduct and resuming sexual relations with the adulterous spouse.
Incarceration

The state statute may allow for fault-based divorce if a spouse is incarcerated for a specific amount of time, such as over one year.

Insanity

If a spouse is confined for mental illness for a certain period of time in accordance with state law, this may be grounds for divorce.

Abandonment

Another fault-based ground that may be recognized by the state is abandonment or desertion. The statute regarding this ground usually specifies the amount of time that has lapsed since the spouse abandoned the other, usually for a year or more.

Abandonment occurs when one spouse voluntarily leaves the other with the intent to desert him or her. The clock on the required timeframe begins once the spouse has abandoned the other. Reconciling and then parting ways again may or may not defeat this ground, depending on state law.

Substance Abuse

Some states allow for fault grounds based on habitual drunkenness or drug addiction.

Impotence

If one or both partners are not able to perform sexually, the state may allow this reason for divorce.

Benefit of Proving Fault

In some states, proving fault can impact the financial outcome of a divorce. For example, if a judge finds that a spouse commit adultery and used marital assets to supplement a lover’s lifestyle, he or she may consider this fact when determining how to distribute property or how much alimony to award. In some states, a spouse is ineligible for alimony if he or she committed adultery or was proven to be abusive in the relationship.

When you file for divorce, you’ll have to indicate on your divorce petition the reason why your marriage is ending—the “grounds” for the divorce. In some states, divorcing spouses have the option of filing either a “fault-based” or “no-fault” divorce. Other states allow only no-fault divorce. A key difference between fault and no-fault divorce is that spouses filing a fault divorce are typically not required to live apart for a specific period of time before filing.

In some states that recognize fault divorce, establishing fault can result in a larger distribution of the marital property or granting of alimony to the spouse that was not at fault. In other states that require or allow fault divorce, fault is not a factor in the property settlement decision at all.

These two characteristics make a fault divorce more attractive to some people.

Fault Divorce: Comparative Rectitude

When both spouses seek a fault divorce and can both prove the other spouse was at fault, the court decides which one is least at fault. That party will be granted the divorce. This is called “comparative rectitude.” This doctrine was created to address the problem of courts granting neither party a divorce if they were both at fault. Courts have a policy of not forcing people to stay married if they don’t want to be.

Fault Divorce: Defenses

Unlike a no-fault divorce, a spouse can object to a fault divorce. They must disprove the fault by presenting a defense. These are common fault divorce defenses:

Connivance is an absolute defense to adultery. Connivance alleges that the complaining spouse agreed to and even participated in the adultery or created the opportunity by enticing someone to seduce their spouse.

Condonation is a claim that the other spouse knew about the problematic conduct, forgave that conduct, and resumed the marital relationship. This is typically used to defend against an adultery accusation.

Recrimination is when the complaining spouse is equally at fault or engaged in similar conduct. For example, if both spouses had affairs, neither one would be able to use adultery as grounds for a fault divorce.

Provocation is when one spouse provoked the other spouse to act in a certain way. For example, where one spouse abuses the other spouse, that may have forced that spouse to leave the marital home. The abusive spouse would not be able to use abandonment as grounds for divorce, since it was his or her abuse that caused the other spouse to leave.
Collusion refers to an agreement between the spouses to fabricate a grounds for divorce. If one of the spouses changes his or her mind, collusion could be raised to lessen the original grounds for the fault divorce.

Proving any of these defenses can be costly and time-consuming. It often involves the use of witnesses. Furthermore, courts have a policy of granting divorces to people who ask for them, despite defenses given by the other spouse.

These reasons typically deter people from attempting defenses.

Fault and No-Fault Divorce: Residency Requirements

Most states have a residency requirement that determines who is eligible to file for divorce in that state. Usually, at least one of the spouses must have been a resident of a state for six months to one year in order to file for divorce there. Washington, South Dakota, and Alaska have no required length of time. To file in one of those states, you merely need to be a resident of that state at the time you are filing.

It’s in your best interest to file for divorce in the state where you live. The court that orders the divorce decree is the court that has jurisdiction for all future changes to court orders.

For example, you and your spouse receive a divorce in Utah. Three years later you want to move to Utah for a job opportunity. You want to revise your child custody arrangement. You will need to take your child custody case to the Utah court that granted the initial divorce because that court has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction over the divorce and child custody order. (If you are given permission to move your child to a new state, jurisdiction may be transferred to that state.)

Validity of Divorces across States

Courts of all states honor the decisions made by courts in other states because the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution requires it. Therefore, going back to the preceding example, if your spouse files in Utah, this divorce and all of the court orders related to it, apply to you in your Missouri home.

The validity of a state court’s decision comes into question when one of the spouses is not a resident of the state at the time of the divorce proceeding. The court may not have personal jurisdiction over the nonresident spouse. A lack of personal jurisdiction means that although the divorce decree may be valid, other related decisions, such as child custody, support, and property division, may be invalid.

If you receive papers from a foreign country, there are many jurisdictional issues, such as what country is involved, where the spouses live or have lived, and where the children (if any) live.

The reasons why spouses choose fault-based divorce vary. Some people don’t want to wait out the period of separation required by their state’s law for a no-fault divorce. And, in some states, a spouse who proves the other’s fault might receive a greater share of the marital property or more alimony. For many, though, the choice might be prompted by hurt feelings. No matter what the reason for choosing a fault-based divorce, though, these divorces tend to be more expensive, as many spouses choose to hire a lawyer to help them present their evidence and convince the judge of their arguments.

Do I Have to Live in a State to Get a Divorce There?

All states have a residency requirement that one or both spouses must meet to be eligible to file for a divorce. Often, states require the filing spouse to be a state resident for at least three months or even as long as a year. The filing spouse must provide proof of residence for the required length of time. Only a few states have no time requirement for resident status (being a resident at the time you file is enough). If you think that your spouse might file for divorce in another state, consider trying to be the first to file—in your own state. Rarely is a divorce settled in one court appearance, and if your spouse files elsewhere, you could rack up a lot of traveling expenses. Also, after the divorce is over, you must file any modifications to the divorce decree, including the property settlement agreement and arrangements for child custody and support, in the state that heard your divorce, which could require you to travel out of state for years to come.

Can a Court Enforce an Out-of-State Divorce?

If one spouse meets the residency requirement of a state or country (such as having lived there from six months to a year), a divorce obtained there is valid, even if the other spouse lives somewhere else. The courts of all states will recognize the divorce.

However, a court’s decisions regarding property division, alimony, custody, and child support might not be valid unless the court had jurisdiction over (the legal power to make decisions about) the nonresident spouse. The nonresident spouse falls under the court’s jurisdiction when:
• The filing spouse personally serves the nonresident spouse with the divorce documents (meaning you deliver them into the person’s hands)
• The nonresident spouse consents to jurisdiction (by either showing up at a court hearing or signing an affidavit of service acknowledging receipt of court documents), or
• The nonresident spouse obeys the rulings of the out-of-state court (for example, by paying court-ordered child support).
If you receive divorce documents from a foreign country, you might want to consult an attorney about whether your state court or the foreign court governs the issues. Whether a foreign court has the power to decide issues in your divorce depends on many factors, such as which particular country heard the case, where the parties lived and for how long, and whether children are involved.

Which should you choose: fault or no-fault divorce?

In Utah nowadays, almost all divorcing spouses file on grounds of incompatibility. There are very few fault divorces granted in Utah anymore. This is because the process of fault divorce and no-fault divorce is largely the same. So, usually, there is no advantage in filing for a fault divorce.

In the few fault divorces I have seen, it seemed that the filing spouse was asserting fault grounds just so she could get embarrassing gossip into the public record. This type of legal drafting is spiteful and petty. I would never advise a client to file a divorce petition in this manner.

Nevertheless, there are a few minor advantages you may gain by filing a fault divorce.

For example, in most divorces with minor children, you have to wait ninety days after filing the petition before your divorce can be finalized. However, the ninety-day waiting period does not apply if you file for divorce for any of the following grounds:
1. Abandonment for one (1) year;
2. Extreme cruelty;
3. Habitual drunkenness;
4. Imprisonment of the other party in a state or federal penal institution under sentence thereto for the commission of a felony at the time the petition is filed;
5. The procurement of a final divorce decree outside this state by a husband or wife which does not in this state release the other party from the obligations of the marriage;
6. Insanity for a period of five (5) years, the insane person having been an inmate of a state institution for the insane in the State of Utah, or an inmate of a state institution for the insane in some other state for such period, or an inmate of a private sanitarium, and affected with a type of insanity with a poor prognosis for recovery;
7. Conviction of any crime defined by the Utah Child Abuse Reporting and Prevention Act committed upon a child of either party to the divorce by either party to the divorce; or
8. A child of either party has been adjudicated deprived, pursuant to the Utah Children’s Code, as a result of the actions of either party to the divorce and the party has not successfully completed the service and treatment plan required by the court.

If you file for divorce on any of these grounds, your waiting period is thirty days. These fault grounds don’t matter if there aren’t children of the marriage. If there are no children, your waiting period is ten days, regardless of whether you file on fault grounds or not.

In any divorce case, you may finalize your divorce in less time than the waiting period if there is an emergency. This is true whether you file on fault grounds or no-fault grounds.

Another difference between fault and no-fault divorce in Utah is that in a no-fault divorce, if you have children, a judge must order you and your spouse to attend a class on helping children cope with divorce. In a fault divorce, the judge is not required to order you to attend such a program. However, the judge still has the option of ordering you to attend such a course if you file for a fault divorce.

The bottom line: There’s rarely any advantage to filing a fault divorce in Utah. A disadvantage of filing for fault divorce is that you will have to present evidence and prove to a judge’s satisfaction that your spouse has committed the fault you allege. You don’t have to present any evidence of fault if you file on grounds of incompatibility. Because it takes time to present evidence of fault, filing for fault divorce merely adds extra unnecessary time to your case.

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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When To Call It Quits In A Marriage

When To Call It Quits In A Marriage

Like a roller coaster, all marriages have their ups and downs. One minute you’re flying high with excitement, the next minute you’re wishing you never got on the ride. When you first got married you likely never thought you would be contemplating all the reasons you should leave your spouse for good. Making this decision isn’t easy and you may find yourself going back and forth on the decision for months or even years. Divorce isn’t something to be decided lightly. There are many things to consider such as children, finances, and whether you’re truly ready to move on.

Here Are the Signs it May be Time to File for Divorce

You’ve Given it Genuine Consideration

Some people claim they want a divorce, but they don’t truly mean it. Many couples have threatened divorce in the heat of an argument but would be mortified if their spouse called their bluff. If you want divorce help for deciding if it’s time to end things, do this: imagine you are divorced. Really imagine it. This means that you will have to:
• Tell your children (if any) of your divorce and decide who gets them on which days
• Find a new place to live
• Tell your friends and family
• Handle your financial situation
• Potentially get a job
• Never get to spend time with this person again

Furthermore, imagine that your spouse has moved on and is in an intimate relationship with someone new. If the reality of these things does not upset you or outweigh your urge to leave, it may be time to say goodbye.

Consistent Infidelity

Research shows that the most common reason people get divorced is infidelity. And in recent years, online infidelity has been a strong citation in divorce paperwork. If you or your spouse is cheating on each other openly or in secret, with little or no remorse, it is definitely time to part ways.

Addiction is Involved

Addiction can create many messy problems in a marriage. This does not mean you must abandon your spouse because they have an addiction to drugs, gambling, sex, or alcohol if they are seeking help for their problems. However, if having these things in your marriage is causing you physical harm, financial ruin, or emotional turmoil, you may consider leaving.

You’ve Stopped Caring

What once charmed you about your partner now drives you crazy or leaves you feeling indifferent. You no longer desire to spend any time together, do not dress up or try to look nice for your spouse, and genuinely aren’t concerned with your spouse’s life.

There is No Partnership

Your marriage should be a partnership. You are taking on the world together, making decisions together, and always have each other’s back. If this is no longer the case in your marriage, you may have had a mutual drift in love for one another.

You’re Not Happy

No relationship is happy 100% of the time. However, the good times should outweigh the bad ones in a happy, healthy relationship. If you are no longer happy or have fallen into a serious depression because of your marriage, this is definitely an indication that something needs to change.

Your Relationship is Dangerous

One non-negotiable when it comes to your marriage is when there is verbal or physical abuse. Even if you are not being physically harmed, emotional abuse can be just as damaging to your health. One of the biggest pieces of divorce advice to consider is whether or not staying with your spouse puts you in emotional or physical danger.

Your Children Are Suffering

As a parent, it is your job to ensure that your children are growing up in a healthy, happy family atmosphere. Physical violence or mental abuse should not be tolerated. If you believe that your children are in physical or mental danger, you should seriously consider separating or divorcing your spouse.

You’ve Tried Everything Else

Divorce is not something that should be decided on a whim. It’s serious business that affects more than just you and your soon-to-be ex. The biggest piece of divorce advice for knowing when it’s time to file for divorce is when you know that you’ve exhausted all other options to try and save the relationship.

This may include, but is not limited to:

• Instituting a regular date night: Studies show that regular date night can improve the quality of a marriage. It improves communication, builds sexual chemistry, carries a playful novelty, helps couples reconnect, and offers a level of stress-reduction. All that in just one night a week!

• Addicts Seeking Help: The spouse who is addicted attends therapy or went to rehab in order to take control of their sickness and put the marriage first.

• Daily Gratitude and Attitude Changes: Doing little things like saying please and thank you or telling your spouse what you appreciate about them is important. Studies show that the highest predictor of increased relationship satisfaction is expressions of gratitude within the marriage.

• Seeking Therapy: Marriage counseling is the best way for couples to fix their relationship. A counselor will help them learn how to communicate, fight fair, problem solve, and create tools in which to deal with the issues in the relationship.

If you have tried all of these things and there is still no relief from the mutual unhappiness in your marriage, it is time to call it quits.

Proceeding with a divorce is one of the most difficult things a person can go through. Before you file for divorce, ensure that you have done everything possible to save your marriage. Seek counseling and try to reconnect. If all else fails, proceed with a divorce and take the necessary steps to protect yourself. Although divorce is common throughout Utah, the divorce process varies depending on the couple’s situation.

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

Filing the Divorce Petition

Whether both spouses agree to the divorce or not, before any couple can begin the divorce process, one spouse must file a legal petition asking the court to terminate the marriage. The filing spouse must include the following information:

• a statement which informs the court that at least one spouse meets the state’s residency requirements for divorce

• a legal reason or grounds for the divorce, and

• any other statutory information that your state requires.

Residency requirements vary depending on where you live. States usually require at least one spouse to live in the state anywhere from 3 months to 12 months, and in the county where the spouse files at least 10 days to 6 months before filing the petition. Divorcing spouses must meet the state’s residency requirement before the court can accept the case. Grounds for divorce vary from state-to-state. However, all states offer divorcing couples the option to file a no-fault divorce. No-fault divorce is a streamlined process that allows spouses to file a divorce petition without listing a specific reason or placing blame on either spouse. If your spouse committed marital misconduct or caused the breakup, some states allow parties to claim “fault” for the divorce, like adultery or neglect. If you’re unsure whether you should file a no-fault or fault divorce, contact an experienced family law attorney in your state for guidance.

Asking for Temporary Orders

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

Serve Your Spouse and Wait for a Response

After you file the petition for divorce and request for temporary orders, you need to provide a copy of the paperwork to your spouse and file proof of service with the court. Proof of service is a document that tells the court that you met the statutory requirements for giving a copy of the petition to your spouse. If you don’t properly serve your spouse, or if you neglect to file a proof of service with the court, the judge will be unable to proceed with your divorce case. Service of process can be easy, especially if your spouse agrees with the divorce and is willing to sign an acknowledgment of service. However, some spouses, especially ones that want to stay married or make the process complicated, can be evasive or try anything to frustrate the process. The easiest way to ensure proper service is for the filing spouse to hire a professional who is licensed and experienced in delivering legal documents to difficult parties. The cost is usually minimal and can help prevent a delay in your case. If your spouse retained an attorney, you could arrange to have the paperwork delivered to the attorney’s office. The party who receives the paperwork (usually titled “defendant” or “respondent”) must file an answer or reply to the divorce petition within a prescribed amount of time. Failure to respond could result in a “default” judgment against the non-responding spouse, which can be complicated and expensive to reverse. The responding party has the option to dispute the grounds for divorce (if a fault divorce), the allegations in the petition, or assert any disagreements as to property, support, custody, or any other divorce-related issues.

Negotiate a Settlement

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

Divorce Trial

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

Finalizing the Judgment

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

Free Initial Consultation with a Divorce Law Firm

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506


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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.

Alimony

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.

Modifications

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: 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

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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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

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Alimony

Alimony

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

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Tooele Utah Divorce Attorney

Tooele Utah Divorce Attorney

If you are living in Tooele Utah and you are seeking a divorce, seek the assistance of an experienced Tooele Utah divorce lawyer.
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

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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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

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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