Local Divorce Attorney

Local Divorce Attorney

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

Filing for Divorce

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

Grounds for Divorce

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

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

What is a Divorce Lawyer?

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

Duties of a Divorce Lawyer

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

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

Divorce without a Lawyer

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

Other Free Divorce Resources

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

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Divorce Attorney

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Much Does a Divorce Cost?

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

What Factors Impact the Cost Of Divorce?

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

What if the Agreement is Mutual?

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

The Average Cost of a Divorce without a Lawyer

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

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

The Average Cost of a Divorce with a Lawyer

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Long Does the Average Divorce Case Take?

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

Consulting Attorneys

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

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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

Divorce Attorney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reasons to keep the house in your divorce

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reasons Not to keep the house in divorce

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pros of a cash-out refinance during a divorce

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

Qualify for a cash-out refinance in your divorce

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

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

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

Divorce Lawyer Free Consultation

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Is Divorce In Utah Easy?

Is Divorce In Utah Easy?

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

Divorce Has Declined Nearly Everywhere Except Utah

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

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

People May Judge You and Ask Why

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

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

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

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

Parenting After Divorce May Become More Difficult

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

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

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

Salt Lake City Divorce Attorney

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

Do-It-Yourself Divorce (DIY Divorce)

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

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

Who Is Eligible?

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

Filing Fees

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

Utah’s waiting period and other requirements

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

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

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

With Children

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

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

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Divorce Lawyer West Jordan Utah

Divorce Lawyer West Jordan Utah

If you are seeking a divorce, speak to an experienced West Jordan Utah divorce lawyer. The divorce laws have come a long way since colonial times.

In colonial times, and even after independence, divorce law in the United States varied widely across the states, with southern states generally more inclined toward the English aversion to absolute divorce than their northern counterparts. By the late nineteenth century, every state had moved to a fault-based divorce regime, which authorized absolute divorce, but only for an innocent spouse who could prove that the other spouse had engaged in serious marital misconduct. Such misconduct typically included adultery, cruelty, or abandonment. Without proof of such wrongdoing, divorce was unavailable, no matter that the spouses disliked or even hated each other.

By the end of World War II, a shifting emphasis on individual happiness rather than family stability had sparked questions about the legitimacy of fault-based divorce laws, which were increasingly viewed as pesky anachronisms. Not surprisingly, spousal collusion was widespread. If both spouses wanted out of the marriage, they could game the system by together fabricating grounds for divorce. This collusion was no secret: the courts, the clerks, the lawyers, the parties—virtually everyone—was aware of its reality, but distaste for restrictive divorce laws led most to look the other way. For a time, collusion effectively transformed many fault-based laws into mutual-consent divorce regimes.

While fault-based restrictions on divorce and the collusion they inspired were not the finest moment in the history of American family law, this scheme did offer some protection to caregivers—at least to caregivers who had not committed marital fault and whose spouses were eager to escape the marriage. Such “innocent” caregivers could bargain for financial concessions, offering to collude in manufacturing grounds for divorce in return for a bigger share of marital property or generous alimony settlement. Of course, not every caregiver was innocent. Nor was every caregiver less eager to leave the marriage than her spouse or willing to lie to a court about the existence of grounds for divorce in order to improve her economic positioning. At most, fault based divorce threw a few bargaining chips to some innocent caregivers.

At least in theory, fault-based divorce regimes also protected some innocent caregivers by providing a rationale for alimony. In an analogy to contract, a spouse who engages in marital misconduct might be said to have breached the marriage contract and thus be liable for alimony as damages. Under this reasoning, a husband who committed adultery, for example, would be required to pay alimony to an injured caregiver. Of course, such a fault-based rationale for alimony would protect only caregivers who are innocent and whose mates are guilty; that is, no innocent spouse would ever pay alimony and no guilty spouse would ever receive alimony.

Alimony has a terrible reputation. For many, the word triggers nasty visions of the abused male, as indolent young women enjoy a country club lifestyle at the expense of their hardworking yet impoverished ex-husbands. Such visions, though largely mythical, seem close to the core of no-fault statutes that discouraged indefinite-term alimony. Early no-fault courts were powerfully seduced by visions of spousal rehabilitation.

Rehabilitative alimony seemed to offer a solution for everyone. If divorcing caregivers could be swiftly retrained, both spouses would soon be freed to begin new lives. Everyone would be happy—financially autonomous caregivers and their alimony-free ex-spouses, no-fault theorists advocating a clean break at divorce, and feminists shunning the need for male support.

Seek the assistance of an experienced West Jordan Utah divorce lawyer if you have decided to divorce your spouse. Once you decide to divorce your spouse, “be prepared for a fight”. You shouldn’t be surprised if your spouse becomes angry about the divorce because dissolving a marriage can bring out the worst in people. Some pre-divorce financial planning can ensure that your interests, and those of your children, are well-protected. For starters, get copies of the statements of all of your joint financial obligations, including those accounts with brokerage houses, credit card companies and other debtors. Also, secure insurance policies, bank and loan statements, pension plan documents, mortgage payments, recent tax returns and estate planning information.

Depending on how you believe your spouse will react, it may be best to keep your plans for divorce under wraps until you have all of the information you need to support your case. If you fear your spouse will try to take money from your accounts or hide important papers, you can ask a judge to intervene on your behalf. On the other hand, you don’t want to be antagonistic either. A divorce fight means that “both of you will be living your lives by your lawyers’ rules and that’s not a good thing.
When you’re compiling information, take inventory. Early on, you’ll need to determine what things you want to take with you when you leave the marriage, unless it’s already been predetermined in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. The two basic legal terms for dividing property are equitable distribution and community property. Under equitable distribution, assets, earnings and debts are divided “fairly”–although this doesn’t necessarily mean a 50-50 split. Two-thirds of the assets are often given to the spouse with the higher earnings and the remaining one-third to the other spouse

At some point, you may need to consult with an accountant or some other resource to determine your tax liability under certain special circumstances. For example, the payments you receive from your spouse’s pension plan or IRA are taxable when you actually withdraw the money, but you may not know this unless you seek the advice of a professional. You can use the same resources to determine whether you receive any tax benefits from the payments you make toward your spouse’s medical costs, rent, tuition, life insurance or other expenses. Alimony payments, whether they are rehabilitative (for a limited period of time to help a nonworking spouse upgrade skills) or permanent (usually awarded to a spouse suffering from physical or mental illness), can also impact property distribution, especially if one party is able to exchange property for alimony payments, but this can only be decided in court.

In the meantime, make a list of all of the property you and your spouse own, put an “H” or “W” next to the husband’s or wife’s separate property, including debts. Then determine which items you would like to keep after the divorce. In making these assessments, ask yourself (and your lawyer) these three questions: (1) How much is it worth to me in today’ s dollars? (2) How likely is it that I will win? and (3) What is it costing me to fight about it?

Getting answers to these three questions can help you avoid some pretty costly battles. Most people don’t know how to ask these questions and their attorneys don’t know how to answer them. But you shouldn’t make a move unless you understand how your actions impact your future.

One of the little secrets about divorce is that most people don’t spend a lot of money. There are a lot of assumptions that people make about divorce that just aren’t true. For example, it’s widely believed that you absolutely need a lawyer to get a divorce. In fact, there are people who get through a divorce without hiring a lawyer, especially if they don’t stand a chance of losing anything. But it is not advisable to do so. If the couple trust each other and don’t have any issues relating to property or children, they don’t necessarily need an attorney.

On the other hand, “You shouldn’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish”. You can pay an attorney for a consultation and they can give you an assessment of your situation in five minutes. This will help you get some of your questions answered and determine whether you feel comfortable handling the divorce yourself. You can always retain an experienced West Jordan Utah divorce lawyer later if necessary.

If you do choose to hire a lawyer to handle your case, it doesn’t have to break you financially. Instead of having the lawyer do all of the footwork, tell him that you can walk the paperwork to the court yourself. Be honest with your attorney and tell him that you don’t have a lot of money but you are willing to help. Most lawyers will be open to this. There is also the process of “unbundling,” or what is referred to as “supermarket shopping for divorce.” This is where you pay a lawyer for some services but opt to complete others yourself. Anything that you can do on your own, you shouldn’t pay a lawyer to do it.

Another time and money saver takes place in the court-room. Before your case comes up, watch at least one divorce case in progress. Check with the superior court clerk and ask them when divorce court is in session. Then sit in on divorce proceedings. This will give you a chance to see the divorce process in action, assess the atmosphere of the courtroom, learn what the judge will ask for and see how issues which may apply in your case are dealt with.

Whether you represent yourself or use an attorney, estimate how much you think your divorce will cost–up front–so you can make all of your payments in a timely fashion. At a bare minimum, you’ll need to pay court filing and service fees; a service charge for the court to serve your spouse with your complaint. Attorney fees vary widely, according to the attorney’s experience and geographical area. But you can expect those lawyers that specialize in divorce matters to charge more than a general attorney. When the plaintiff hires the attorney, a fee is set. Initially, the plaintiff gives the attorney a retainer, but the balance must be paid before the trial date.

Open communication between a husband and wife provides the most valuable protection against a costly divorce, but sometimes lawyers, hurt feelings and pride interfere. Of course you don’t want to talk to your spouse. You’re getting a divorce, and one of the main reasons you’re getting one is a difficulty in your relationship with your spouse. However, if you can’t talk to your spouse, your divorce will take longer and cost more. In all likelihood, it will probably hurt more too, because things will drag out and you will realize at some point that you have lost control.

Adversarial divorces cost too much money, take too long, inflict too much pain and leave both spouses feeling like losers. In an adversarial divorce, you, your spouse, your lawyer, your spouse’s lawyer and the judge all have to be present and ready to take action. If any one of these parties is absent or unprepared, your case will probably be at a standstill until it comes up again on the calendar–and that could take several weeks, maybe months. And because your case is dependent on when your lawyer as well as your spouse’s lawyer have openings in their calendars, there could be lengthy delays.

Children and Divorce

Often people argue about child custody when they are really arguing about money, either trying to get child support or avoid paying it.

Shared parenting or joint custody would be the most equitable solution for divorcing couples. Both parents should contribute to the emotional and financial welfare of the child. The court will generally adhere to any agreement the two parties reach, provided it won’t harm the child. Aside from custody and visitation issues, your arrangement should also stipulate which parent can claim the children as tax deductions. Once child custody issues are resolved, start planning for a brighter future.

Learn From Your Mistakes And Move On

When you get the papers, there is a sinking feeling in your stomach. It’s no wonder. Most people rate divorce as one of life’s most stressful events and it’s often difficult to repair the financial and emotional damage. Divorce causes people to act abnormally.

It also helps to base your decisions on the facts rather than your feelings. Long warns against suing for material goods or financial amounts that are way out of your spouse’s reach. Regardless of what your lawyer says, you know the earning ability of your mate and you should try to work within that framework. If you’re willing to compromise you can do a lot better.

What you need to get your divorce under way:

• Social Security and driver’s license numbers

• Recent tax returns

• Mortgage statements and other credit and debit statements

• Copies of bills or receipts for regular expenses (electric, gas, car insurance, etc.)

• Additional income statements (interest accrued, stocks, bonds or other investment documents)

• Recent pay stubs for you and your spouse

• Deeds to any property

• Titles to cars, boats and other vehicles

• Wills

Health insurance cards and papers

• Life insurance policies

• Pension and retirement fund papers and statements

• Names, addresses and phone numbers of your spouse’s employers, close friends or family members

• Copies of bills, receipts, insurance forms or medical records for any unusual medical expenses for yourself, your spouse or your children

• Any other papers showing what you and your spouse earn or owe
What type of divorce will you file?

In Utah there is uncontested and contested divorce proceedings.

The parties are able to agree among themselves and enter into an agreement that includes provisions for child support, visitation and property division, and they request that the agreement be incorporated in the final decree, or The plaintiff files the complaint and the defendant was served but has never answered, or The plaintiff does not know the whereabouts of the defendant and it is done by publication.

Contested

The parties are not able to agree on the issues that are pertinent to the divorce.

Legal advice should be obtained from an experienced West Jordan Utah divorce lawyer at an early stage before any final decisions are taken. Divorce is, after all, a legal process. No responsible solicitor or other adviser will recommend that divorce be undertaken lightly because its consequences, unless they can be agreed, may be unforeseeable. Too frequently, couples separate and make separate arrangements without finding out whether the agreed solution is feasible. Of course if a marriage between financially independent partners ends in circumstances where there are no dependent children it may be that that neither wishes to incur the costs of legal advice; and the only significant asset may be a home which is to be sold and its proceeds equally divided. Many eventualities can be anticipated which should be considered and prepared for in advance. It would be unfortunate if, having divorced on an agreed basis, the husband or wife were later to lose work or earning capacity and find that there was no possibility of claiming maintenance from the other. Equally, if a claim for maintenance was made in a petition and was not dismissed later by an agreed order, the later inheritance of money by the other party could result in a financial claim being pursued.

There are limits to what divorce and financial proceedings can achieve. One purpose of early legal advice is to obtain information as to the likely range of settlement which, in each case, it may be possible to expect. If a client is prepared to discuss matters with his or her spouse in an attempt to resolve matters it may be useful to refer the couple to mediation. Mediation is a process designed to help couples resolve their disputes in relation to children and money. There are many different models, some involving one mediator and others two. It can take place before or during the divorce and financial proceedings. It may result in no agreement at all or agreement on some or all issues. Each party should always obtain independent legal advice on the proposed terms of settlement.

The format of mediation meetings is informal and first names are generally used between the mediators and their clients. The emphasis is on forward-looking discussion rather than on analysis of the breakdown which concentrates on the past; this does not exclude discussion of the past but rather emphasises the need to plan solutions. The second session is preceded by completion by each party of a very detailed financial questionnaire. The number of sessions in the course of which terms of settlement may be worked out is between three and six. If proposals are made which can be agreed they will be set out in a summary prepared by the mediators. The agreement is ‘without prejudice’. It is fundamentally important that clients should obtain independent advice before entering into a legally binding agreement. Whether agreement is finally reached or not, the disclosure of financial information, and often other information verified by the necessary documentation, can save solicitors time and the clients legal costs. There is a point in negotiations where delay on one party’s side may have so prolonged the tension, and increased the costs, that an application for ancillary relief should be made to the court for it to determine the matter. The fact that proceedings have been instituted should be a trigger to more purposeful negotiations. External events may complicate or facilitate settlement prospects. A child may leave university and get a job. One of the parties may get a better job or lose one. The housing market in the area may change with the advent of a new firm or the disappearance of another. One party may develop a new relationship.
An experienced West Jordan Utah divorce lawyer will provide details of guidelines used by the court in settlement of financial claims, and in cases involving children will be familiar with the different kinds of arrangement which can be made.

One or both parties to a marriage may be deterred from proceedings because of the uncertain outcome of the financial applications they may make or of their applications in relation to the children; they should always be aware of the time, energy and costs which will be consumed. Separation may be an easier alternative in the short or medium term; divorce after all is not compulsory. On the other hand if, having obtained all the necessary information and advice, it is essential for the well-being of the family and the individuals to proceed, negotiations to lead to a divorce should begin.

The rates of solicitors vary according to location, the experience of the solicitor and his or her reputation. The most experienced are not necessarily the best, and the cheapest may not be inexperienced, but when charging, more experienced solicitors will cost more than newly qualified solicitors, and solicitors cost more than trainees. However, more experienced solicitors may do the work more quickly and may adopt an overall approach that will lead to less tension and lower costs. What no solicitor can do is to control the conduct of the case unilaterally. If opposed by a solicitor who is determinedly litigious or if his or her client will not try to compromise in order to achieve a settlement, costs will inevitably increase. If junior staff are employed they should be strictly supervised. The partners of a firm are professionally liable for negligence, that is, failing in their duty to their clients, with the result of loss or damage. This liability extends to liability for the work of their staff.

A matter may be resolved before it is heard. If so, costs will be one of the terms to be agreed. Frequently, after a case has been contested and the parties reach an agreement to avoid a hearing there is an agreement that there should be no order as to costs. A judge at the end of a contested hearing may also make no order as to costs. There are many varieties of order. Where it is necessary to make an application for a financial questionnaire to be answered, the spouse making the application will seek costs against the other. It may be necessary to take steps to obtain or enforce orders in relation to affidavit or other evidence. Where the applicant has merit on his or her side, costs may be awarded in his or her favour or they may be ‘reserved’. In that case an order for them must be asked at the eventual hearing. There are of course cases where there is nothing to be lost by making plain in the affidavit evidence filed at the court what an applicant or respondent’s position is; and the terms offered or the terms which he or she is prepared to accept can then be set out in the affidavit.

The value of a sensible offer, open or without prejudice, is that it can protect the party making it from payment of the subsequent costs of the other party. If the offer is rejected and if the order made by the court is not as favourable to the other party as the offer would have been, the party who made the offer can seek costs from the date the offer was made.
Costs are a matter entirely in the court’s discretion and because the outcome is uncertain each litigant has to budget for meeting his or her costs as the case progresses. Where at the end of the case, having paid his or her own costs throughout, a litigant is ordered to pay the opponent’s costs he or she may well have to sell some of the assets recovered in order to do so.

Child Support

Divorce can swiftly end a marriage, but the economic consequences can last a lifetime. As with many aspects of family law, the law governing the economic consequences of divorce underwent a dramatic shift during the twentieth century. In broad brush, husbands lost exclusive control and ownership of property during and after marriage; more and more they had to share ownership during marriage with wives, who had strong claims to property upon dissolution; the common-law tradition that relied on strict (and unequal) gender roles shifted to a more egalitarian approach. Yet even under the modern rules, women suffer more financially than men after divorce.

These changes, despite their importance, took place quietly, with little fanfare. Also, in a way, modern law was shaped not only by the way in which gender roles have changed, but by the way they have remained the same for many couples. The common-law system assumed that women would stay home as housewives and this was mostly true. Modern law has to take into account the persistence of traditional patterns, in which still more women than men never work, quit working, or work less in order to keep house and raise children, and therefore have less wealth and earning power than their husbands.

There are two basic questions: who gets what right now (property division), and should either spouse share in the other’s future earnings (spousal support). The answers are far from simple. These issues are “the main concern in divorce negotiation in lawyers’ offices and the major time in litigation,” particularly since no-fault divorce eliminated most fights about whether a marriage would dissolve

Property Rights Of Husband And Wife

The common-law system of marital property had two defining features: coverture during marriage, and a title-based system of distribution at divorce. The principle of coverture suspended the wife’s legal identity during marriage. For all practical purposes, husbands controlled family property. Husbands were supposed to support their wives, but the doctrine of marital privacy usually made this duty all but unenforceable.3 However, once coverture was abolished by the Married Women’s Property Acts, married women could own property, and earn money, in their own right.
But what happened after a divorce? The common-law system revolved around a basic, if crude, principle: eat what you kill. In so-called separate property states, everything in the husband’s name went with him; everything in the wife’s name with her. Spouses, in other words, did not acquire ownership rights in one another’s property simply because they were married.

When combined with coverture, the title-based system was potentially devastating for wives. Although the system spoke of “separate property,” coverture prevented wives from holding or acquiring separate property during marriage. They had usually turned premarital property over to their husbands upon marriage, and any property acquired during marriage was at least initially in his name as well. Thus, when the time came to divide property, a court could award most or all of the property to the husband. Some courts, it seems, often split property between spouses—disguised as “alimony,” or simply by ignoring formal law. But without a system that clearly authorized redistributing property, wives could be left destitute.
Coverture disappeared, but the title-based system remained. The shift from an agricultural to a wage economy further stratified gender roles. In an industrial society, men, by and large, brought home the bacon; women worked at home. A woman who brought property into the marriage kept hold of it, but most women had no such property. South Carolina (once it allowed divorce at all) was unique in applying a “special equity” doctrine, which allowed courts to grant a wife a share of her husband’s property upon divorce if she could prove she had made financial or other contributions that helped her husband acquire it. This was an exception to the rule that ownership flowed from title, but did nothing to alter the basic problem— wives had little chance as an initial matter to hold or acquire title to property. Equitable distribution is the “modern” answer to the unfairness of the traditional system of allocating property at divorce. A judge, basically, can ignore legal title, and redistribute property in the name of fairness. Many states had “some form of equitable distribution as early as the 1930s.” But these early statutes were vague and left everything to judicial discretion. Fault was the dominant guiding principle in property division, as it was in alimony law.

With the spread of no-fault divorce in the 1970s, a broader approach to equitable distribution took hold in all separate property states. Equitable distribution statutes have survived any number of legal challenges; courts have uniformly ruled that states have the power to reallocate property between husband and wife upon dissolution of marriage. By the mid-1980s, the common-law system of allocating property at divorce based solely on title was finished.

During a divorce proceeding, property is retroactively labeled as “separate property” or “marital property,” depending on when and how it was acquired. “Marital property” is defined much like “community property”: property earned by either spouse during marriage. Separate property, more or less, is everything else. Once a couple’s property has been inventoried and classified, each piece is assigned a value and allocated according to the statutory guidelines.

Although either party to a marriage could initiate a divorce action, in reality the large majority of those seeking fault-based divorces were men. The reasons for this were probably many, but two, in particular, are often cited. First, men were less stigmatized for being divorced, and many quickly remarried anyway. Second, and perhaps more significant, more married men could “afford” to get divorced while most married women, with little earned income and often children to be cared for, did not have the luxury of being unhappy in their marriages and seeking fulfillment elsewhere. Of course, in extreme cases some women were compelled to leave a marriage, and some did. But in most cases it was the men who sought to be divorced, and often a suitable ground had to be fabricated.

Because of the nature of the fault system of divorce, a wife typically had substantial leverage over a husband seeking divorce because he often needed her cooperation to try to demonstrate the presence of fault grounds in order to obtain his divorce. Assuming that the wife was not guilty of a genuine fault ground, she would use her leverage to coerce a desirable financial settlement in the divorce proceeding. Child custody was rarely an issue since everyone assumed, in the usual case, that the mother would retain custody. At the same time, however, she also had a greater need for support for herself and the children. Thus the wife might offer to cooperate with a consent decree if her husband was willing to meet certain financial conditions. This meant that she would not contest that there were statutory grounds for the divorce, but rather consent that they were, in fact, present. In essence, the man would buy his wife’s agreement to the divorce by offering her an adequate economic package.

Development Of No-Fault Laws

In Utah today you can apply for a divorce under Utah no fault divorce law. Speak to an experienced West Jordan Utah divorce lawyer if you are seeking a non fault divorce.

In 1970, California became the first state in the country to adopt a no-fault-based ground for divorce. Since that time, virtually every other state has passed some form of no-fault legislation. Now commonly known as no-fault divorce, any married person seeking a divorce can file such a petition with or without the consent of a spouse. The petition alleges, in essence, that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage and that a divorce is sought on that basis. The traditional “fault” grounds may or may not be present, and when the case is heard both parties have an opportunity to complain of the misdeeds of the other.

The no-fault system has developed as a part of a significant divorce-law reform whose purpose was to end the charade of perjured testimony and falsified evidence that permitted consent decrees under the fault system. In practice, no-fault has had a significant negative economic impact on the women and children of divorce. When a husband who wants to end his marriage can simply file a petition alleging that the marriage is irretrievably damaged, he leaves his wife without a defense to such an allegation and without a bargaining tool to provide for herself and her children.

Although initially hailed as a rational and responsive measure to an issue that substantially affected the lives of many, no-fault divorce resulted in many unanticipated consequences, primarily for children and those women whose occupation was that of a homemaker. In fact, the fallout of no-fault divorce has been so disastrous for women and children that in many cases it has severely reduced or totally eliminated their ability to obtain the financial security customarily granted to them.

Another major consequence of the reform of the divorce laws has been that child custody practices have changed. In earlier days, child custody was almost automatically awarded to the mother unless she was deemed unfit. This favored stay-at-home mothers whose “occupation” was to raise their children. The mothers and children were generally assured of a support award, primarily because mothers were the primary caretakers, and maternal custody resulted in continuity of child care.

Today women who seek to stay at home and be supported by their ex-husbands face an uphill battle. First, economic circumstances often make it prohibitive, because many divorced fathers cannot even support themselves, let alone pay adequate child support and support two households without a second income. The consequence has been that mothers must return to the work force, at least on a part-time basis. Second, many men are now contesting the assumption that women should automatically become the sole custodians of children. Alternative arrangements, such as joint child custody, challenge the need for mothers to be full-time homemakers, even if their ex-husbands can afford to maintain them in that role.

A third factor in the difficulty women have in continuing as homemakers following divorce is their ex-husbands’ resentment. Women have almost always been awarded custody of their children under both the fault and no-fault based systems of divorce because the “fault” or “innocence” of a party still has a bearing on child custody. Courts make custody decisions on the basis of what is best for the children. Any allegations against either party of cruelty, intoxication, desertion, or any of the other legal grounds will likely affect the court’s award of child custody. In many cases, the wife is the “innocent” party, at least with respect to the legal grounds that courts recognize. Men perpetrate most of the physical and/or psychological abuse; men more often desert a family, etc. As a result, women have always had an advantage in retaining child custody, but more often today, men resent paying support without a fair opportunity to assert custodial rights.

No-Fault Divorce

The mechanics of no-fault law are that either spouse is entitled to assert that irreconcilable differences have caused an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Exactly what constitutes an irretrievable breakdown under a particular no-fault statute is unclear, but generally one or both parties will allege serious marital discord that makes it impossible to continue to function as husband and wife. In most states a no-fault divorce can be granted even if one party does not agree to it, or indeed, if only one party shows up at the hearing. The implication is that no fault is ascribed to either party, i.e., the breakdown of the marriage was not precipitated by cruelty on the part of either partner nor did other fault grounds exist. In practice, the designation of the grounds for a divorce is often negotiated by the parties. It is not uncommon, for example, for one partner to file for divorce based upon a fault grounds and ultimately reach a settlement of the financial issues and change the petition for divorce to a no-fault proceeding.

Under traditional fault rules, courts usually awarded alimony to an “innocent” spouse for life. Fault-based awards would generally be increased periodically to reflect the increased cost of living and, if necessary, would be modified if the original award was insufficient to support the dependents.

No-fault laws made divorce available largely without reference to spousal conduct and typically, though unofficially, upon the request of only one spouse. The no-fault movement, however, did not eliminate fault from divorce proceedings. While fault is no longer the exclusive path to divorce, many states simply added a no-fault ground to their existing fault-based laws, offering parties alternative grounds for divorce—fault or no-fault. Even among states that disallow fault as a ground for divorce, marital fault may affect the economic consequences of divorce. While the concept of marital fault thus did not disappear with the appearance of no-fault divorce, the wildly popular no-fault philosophy significantly undercut fault-based rationales for alimony.

Central to the no-fault movement was a vision of divorce as an opportunity for a fresh start and a clean break. Since no one was to blame for the marital breakup, no one should suffer unnecessarily. At least in principle, no-fault divorce thus aims to provide each spouse with an opportunity to begin life anew, as free as possible from any lingering marital entanglements—emotional or financial. With this goal came final abandonment, at least in principle, of any shreds of the old English view of a husband’s lifetime legal and moral responsibility for his wife.
At the heart of the no-fault reforms is the partnership notion that marriage is an association of individuals who may dissolve their relationship at will, compel the liquidation and distribution of their property, and upon winding up their affairs, leave the relationship with no further obligations to one another. This scheme initially held great appeal both for proponents of easy access to divorce and for women’s rights advocates whose equality rhetoric disavowed the need for male financial support. Unexpectedly, however, no-fault reforms unmasked the reality that many caregivers were “just a man away from poverty.”

Under no-fault law, the court’s greatest emphasis is on two factors: (1) the wife’s employability, and (2) the duration of the marriage. Temporary (“transitional” or “rehabilitative”) alimony has become much more common than permanent alimony. This type of award is frequently granted to wives (usually) who may have left the work force or a training program to assume the responsibilities of being a married woman and mother. With few or outdated skills, she is given a limited period of time and support to “rehabilitate” herself and re-enter the work force. Under the nofault system, modifications and increases in support are the exception.
Today transitional awards are common and are intended primarily to enable a dependent spouse to get back on her feet and obtain the education or training necessary to return her to the work place. In reality, that purpose is rarely accomplished, particularly in the relatively short period of time that is allocated.

Under the no-fault divorce laws, the average awards are smaller. In part, this may be the result of the altered bargaining position of women in no-fault divorce situations, but it is also likely that many judges presume that many women will, in fact, secure suitable employment after the divorce; the awards are set accordingly. Here again, in reality more often than not the courts underestimate the difficulty that a homemaker faces in finding a job that will make her self-sufficient.

In many instances, alimony is virtually unheard of for women who are divorced in the early years of marriage (i.e., short-term marriages) under the current no-fault laws. Unless a woman has children at home and her husband is willing and able to maintain her as a primary caretaker, even women with children (except, perhaps, very young ones) will usually be expected to be self-supporting within a short period of time. Professional women in particular are rarely awarded alimony, even if they choose to be at home with the children and their husbands can afford to support them. The consequence is that motherhood is no longer a secure occupation, even in a household that can afford it, and stay-at home mothers have no guarantee that they will continue to be supported in that role after a divorce.

Women and children of divorce suffer economically for a number of intangible reasons as well. In order for a woman to get a decent financial settlement, she has to have substantial knowledge of the family’s financial picture. A woman who is ignorant about her husband’s assets, income, investments, and expenses risks being taken advantage of by self-interested husbands and unscrupulous divorce lawyers. At the same time, many women are unrealistic about their own needs, particularly if they have not participated in paying bills and balancing the accounts. Their own lawyers, who should assist them and provide guidance based on experience with divorce situations, do not always take the time and pay attention to a particular client’s individual circumstances.

Another “intangible” factor is that people in divorce are too often so emotionally shattered that they simply do not have the wherewithal to pursue the financial aspects of the divorce with the necessary vigor to protect themselves and their children. More often than not, it is the women who are in this position. Sometimes, particularly in recent years, a husband will contest child custody, primarily to coerce a better financial settlement. In other cases women do not understand the economic consequences of divorce until it is too late. And in still other cases, one party or the other (but mostly the woman) is willing to accept a smaller than adequate award simply to avoid the fight, to avoid going to court, to maintain a better relationship with the soon-to-be ex-spouse, or to assuage a guilty conscience resulting from walking away from a marriage and family. Too often it is the children who pay the price for the parent’s right to exit peacefully.

Finally, as already mentioned, in an increasing number of cases there is simply not enough income to go around and support two households. Even when previously unemployed wives return to work, once child care costs are factored in, the net result is little more money than if they weren’t working. In a time of high unemployment, overburdened social programs, frequent divorces, and an alarming federal deficit, it is of little surprise that there is a scurry to find solutions.

Child support orders involve both legally establishing a parent as responsible for the support of his child and setting the award amount.
In some divorces, the responsibility of emotionally supporting the children throughout this traumatic time falls on one parent. This can be one of the most difficult parts of the divorce. Children soon learn that the treatment they receive from each parent will be different, as no two parents are exactly alike. If only one parent is approaching the discussions and issues surrounding the divorce in an appropriate manner, there’s not a lot you can do about it.

Extreme cases, where one parent is causing the children psychological or emotional agony and pain, may warrant legal intervention.

A parent can file for a restraining order, ask the court to reduce the time spent with that parent, or request supervised visitation. Sometimes parents may need to resort to these methods in order to prevent further damage. But unless the situation is severe, it’s best for parents to allow children ample access to both of them, even if one parent is not handling the divorce in what the other believes is a gentle and sensitive manner with the children. Children quickly recognize which parent is helping to ease their pain and which parent is contributing to it. They also learn different things from each parent; perhaps the child learns resiliency and responsibility from the way dad deals with the divorce, and selfishness and anger from mom’s reactions and behaviors. Experiencing this range of (not always so nice) responses is unfortunate, but it is also a minicourse on the real world. If at least one person is parenting the children in a healthy manner, this person can help them develop ways to cope with the poor responses of the other parent.

Naturally you want to protect your children from any negativity or emotional pain. However, this is impossible. Sad situations and unexpected traumatic events can occur at any time. The old adage “Life is unfair” holds undeniably true. You cannot fully protect children from the pain of life, and the pain of divorce is no easier to protect against, especially when one parent is not particularly invested in doing so, even for the kids’ sake.

Although one parent cannot control his or her ex-spouse’s actions (or lack thereof), he or she can work daily to ensure that the children’s experiences with the ex-spouse will be happy and healthy ones. It’s important to channel any frustrations in a healthy way. You can turn those frustrations into your own commitment to work patiently and diligently through your divorce with your children’s best interests in mind and at heart.

A serious mistake divorcing parents frequently make is to assume things about the other parent. For instance, let’s take a dad who is frustrated with a mom who has given the children inappropriate information about an affair that led up to their divorce. The dad is angry and shocked that the mother would use such poor judgment in telling the children the details of the affair. The father is making the (wrong) assumption that the mother ever had the ability to gauge good judgment in the first place.

Perhaps if the father looked back in time, he might recall that the mother was the one buying beer for her teenager long before he was of legal drinking age, and then letting her nine-year-old watch R-rated movies. The father’s error is in assuming the mother knows what good judgment is and then basing his expectations of her on this assumption. Do not have expectations now for your ex-spouse that he or she was unable to meet before the initiation of your divorce. It’s better to work on addressing any problem areas anew with your ex-spouse than to build on resentment from age-old trouble spots.

Sometimes a divorcing parent assumes the other parent doesn’t care about the children, based on that parent’s choice of action or inaction. But often, parents make poor choices not because they don’t care about their children but because they are caught up in their own emotional place. These parents often cannot see past this place to consider the best interests of their children.

Divorce has an inevitable fallout. It causes profound disruption—both internally and externally in almost all areas of life. With divorce come pervasive losses, an overload of major and minor life changes, a seemingly endless array of unfamiliar practical problems, and intense and wildly fluctuating emotions. Divorce demands the restructuring of relationships with former partners, with friends, and even with children, as a single parent. It necessitates the forging of a new identity and the building of a new lifestyle, and it motivates self-exploration and reappraisal. Divorce is synonymous with disruption, change, readjustment, and reorganization—and consequently with stress. Stress is generally worse for spouses who are left, particularly if they are unprepared for separation. Believing they have lost control over their lives, they often feel as if they are pawns at the mercy of their former partners. However, divorce is inevitably stressful for both spouses. With the exception of the death of a spouse, divorce has been identified as the most broadly disruptive and stressful event that people face in our society. There is convincing evidence that the stress caused by separation and divorce can have a number of negative repercussions for you. Ineffective coping will complicate your life even further. In fact, how you cope with your stress may be more important to your morale and functioning than the severity of your stress.

To many people, coping with stress means taking tranquilizers, drinking, smoking, or abusing other drugs. However, these methods will create further stress on your body. Fortunately, other stress-reducing methods have been found that will not further complicate your life and are more effective, too.

This causes physiological changes in your body. Therefore, some of the most effective strategies to combat it are physiological in nature. Don’t minimize their importance or underestimate what they can do for you. They are well worth learning and incorporating into your life. Not only will they be helpful now; they will help you through any stressful period in the future.

Sadness is a normal, expected, and healthy emotion in divorce. Even when a relationship has seriously deteriorated in recent years, there is plenty to be sad about at its end. At one time the relationship had been good, the partner had been cherished, and hopeful plans had been made for a lifetime together. These past good memories are mixed with the recent bad ones, and usually there is some wistfulness about what was and what might have been. Besides this, a past and a whole way of life has been left behind, as well as a good chunk of each partner’s identity. A home, possessions, continuous contact with children, and other relationships may have been left behind as well. For many divorcing men and women, the sadness is overwhelming. They feel out of control. They can’t eat, sleep, or concentrate. They feel drained and helpless and fear they will never stop crying. The worst of the pain is likely to peak during the first several months. It is likely to have leveled off by the end of the first year. Some people shut out their feelings of sadness and loss. “Why should I be sad? I’m happy to be out of a bad marriage.” They dismiss their losses as insignificant, bury their sorrow, and assume an air of nonchalance. These are folks who are likely to have problems completing their emotional divorce. When any marriage ends, there are inevitable losses. Before the door can be completely closed on the marriage, these losses need to be acknowledged and good-byes said to them. The death of a relationship needs to be mourned just as any death does. Doing so does not mean you have to be sad the marriage is over. It simply helps you close the door permanently and get on with your life.
For many divorcing men and women, one of the most incomprehensible and frustrating feelings they experience is the continued pull toward an ex-spouse. Ex-partners think and wonder about one another and seek news about the other’s activities. Some make excuses to call or stop by, some actively miss their former mates, some even pine for them. It is not only those who are left who experience this pull. Lawyers experience it, too, and many find it incomprehensible.

Just what is attachment? It is a sort of emotional bonding and a feeling of connectedness, a feeling of ease in the other’s presence and restlessness when the other is inaccessible. Attachment can paralyze a spouse with fear when he or she even thinks about leaving the unhappy marriage. It can cause a spouse to fight any and all settlement agreements in order to delay the final divorce. It can prevent a spouse from taking steps toward starting a new life.

Attachment persists far longer than does love, and it persists despite conflict and antagonism. Proximity alone appears to be enough to sustain it. It seems to fade only gradually, without contact and sometimes with the help of a new love.

Given the widespread feelings of attachment, it is not surprising that divorcing partners so often have intensely ambivalent feelings about one another. They vacillate between longing and anger, between love and hate. What does it all mean? they wonder. Are they doing the right thing by divorcing? Some go through periods of dating each other again. Some resume sexual relations.

After marriages end, divorcing men and women usually have an urgent need to think and talk about their marriages. They go through the same events over and over again: what each partner said and did; what triggered each significant event and fight; what each partner could have done differently; where it may have gone wrong; who was to blame. Often it becomes such a consuming obsession that people question their sanity.

You are no doubt concerned about how your divorce may affect your children. To give you a straight answer, parental divorce is very painful to children, and most do experience problems for a while. Does divorce cause long-term problems? A significant minority of children do develop long-term emotional, behavioral, social, or academic problems, even some who appeared to be doing well during the crisis itself. The majority, however, are not troubled with lasting problems, and some even develop greater psychological strength because of the divorce.

To children, divorce does not mean the second chance that it so often means to one or both parents. Rather, it means the loss of their family— the entity that provides them with support, stability, security, and continuity in an often unpredictable world. Children assume that their family is a given and that their parents are permanent. After all, their family and parents are what provide for their needs. In their eyes, their family is intricately woven with survival.

Many children feel rejected, perceiving that the parent is leaving them as well as the spouse. The majority of children are intensely sad and feel a deep sense of loss—of their family, their security, even their daily routines and family traditions. Even most of those who never had a close relationship with their departing parent now long for that parent. Many children have little control over their tears. Anger is a fairly common reaction among children. Many feel betrayed by the very people they have trusted to protect and care for them. They feel no one is considering their needs, and they feel powerless to alter the situation that is completely disrupting their worlds. Some angry children hide their anger, fearing it will further upset or alienate their parents. Others have explosive outbursts. Some act out their anger in temper tantrums, noncompliance, aggressiveness, destructiveness, rebelliousness, or sexual promiscuity. From children’s perspectives, the one positive aspect of divorce is that it may put an end to the fighting and tension with which they have been living. But studies find that conflict between parents usually escalates after separation, as hurt and embittered parents must work out details about parenting arrangements, support, and property, and as many begin to date. Distressed and bewildered children hear their mothers called whores, drunken bitches, and rotten mothers, and their fathers called liars, bastards, and terrible fathers.

When parents separate, the world as their children know it begins to change and often ends. Daily life is transformed. Children lose daily contact with one parent, and the great majority long for that parent, whether or not the relationship had been close. Often early visits are infrequent and follow no predictable schedule on which children can depend, increasing their fears of abandonment. Will this visit be the last?

At the same time, many youngsters also experience a sharp drop in contact with busy and overwhelmed custody-retaining parents, leaving children feeling isolated and intensely lonely at the very time they need reassurance and support the most. Many children find themselves for the first time spending long hours in day care or alone after school. Even some rather young children must get themselves off to school and prepare their own meals.

Money also becomes tighter, now that two homes must be maintained, and often becomes a source of conflict between parents. Anxiety over money is easily transmitted to children, whose vigilance alerts them to each new problem in their lives. Things once taken for granted can no longer be afforded. What will the future hold? What plans will no longer be possible? It is not uncommon for families to move and for children to be forced to find a way to cope with losing their home, school, and friends at a time when their lives are already in turmoil.

Each of these changes requires children to adapt anew at a time when many of them are already taxed near the limits of their capacities. However, the worst changes from children’s perspectives are the dramatic changes in their mothers and fathers and in their relationships with them.

Will My Old Parents Please Return?

For many children, the parents they come to know after separation do not seem to be the same people they have known all their lives. Many parents’ behavior becomes unfamiliar and unpredictable. Bewildered youngsters commonly observe rage, tirades, wide mood swings, lethargy, new pursuits, changed appearances, increased drinking and smoking, and drug use. Some become painfully aware for the first time of their parents’ sexuality, as a number of new “friends” share their parents’ beds. Some keep a vigilant watch on a parent who they fear may commit suicide.

The rapid and dramatic changes in parents, occurring at the same time that children’s lives are in turmoil, are bewildering and frightening to children—younger and older alike. Ordinarily when children are in crisis, they can rely on the security, stability, and support offered by their families—these provide a protective cushion that softens the impact of the crisis. This is what happened with the British children who stayed with their parents throughout the wartime bombings. The children looked to that “reserve account” of theirs—their parents—to help them through the turmoil so they could emerge unscathed.

During the stressful postseparation period, however, a large percentage of parents are so overwhelmed by their own stress, emotions, and new demands for rebuilding their lives that either they do not recognize their children’s neediness and distress or they simply do not have the emotional resources to tend to them.

The distinction between an unhappy marriage and one which has irretrievably broken down can only be made by those who have already divorced. Ironically, the fact of divorce is not proof that the marriage did irretrievably break down. It is not unknown for unhappily married couples to divorce because their unhappiness is unresolved although the marriage relationship may not have broken down. Conversely, many husbands and wives stay together for financial convenience or because they consider it to be in the best interests of the children even though their emotional relationship has ceased to be of any significance.

Every married individual, or couple if they are able to discuss their problems together, has to consider whether a relationship has ended. In recent years the relevance of their financial condition has usually been at the forefront of their problems. It is essential they should consider whether difficult financial circumstances exacerbate other problems. If there is no prospect of the financial situation being improved they have to consider how divorce will resolve it.

For instance, if a warring couple are in arrears with mortgage payments on their home, a voluntary sale is more likely to produce a better offer than a forced sale by the building society, but it is unlikely that two homes can be purchased with the proceeds. Perhaps debt counselling in this situation should precede marriage counselling.

Matrimonial counselling should enable a couple to decide whether they can bear to live together in an attempt to recreate their relationship. Often there is no question of joint consultation: if one partner has decided to leave, and is convinced that the marriage is at an end, he or she will not necessarily accept the need for counselling. The partner who remains will be in urgent need of counselling in order to learn to accept the situation or to learn how to persist in trying to save the marriage. He or she may however be forced into proceedings to prevent the other from taking unwise financial decisions such as emptying a bank account.

Legal advice should be obtained at an early stage before any final decisions are taken. Divorce is, after all, a legal process. No responsible solicitor or other adviser will recommend that divorce be undertaken lightly because its consequences, unless they can be agreed, may be unforeseeable. Too frequently, couples separate and make separate arrangements without finding out whether the agreed solution is feasible. Of course if a marriage between financially independent partners ends in circumstances where there are no dependent children it may be that that neither wishes to incur the costs of legal advice; and the only significant asset may be a home which is to be sold and its proceeds equally divided. Many eventualities can be anticipated which should be considered and prepared for in advance. It would be unfortunate if, having divorced on an agreed basis, the husband or wife were later to lose work or earning capacity and find that there was no possibility of claiming maintenance from the other. Equally, if a claim for maintenance was made in a petition and was not dismissed later by an agreed order, the later inheritance of money by the other party could result in a financial claim being pursued.
There are limits to what divorce and financial proceedings can achieve. One purpose of early legal advice is to obtain information as to the likely range of settlement which, in each case, it may be possible to expect. If a client is prepared to discuss matters with his or her spouse in an attempt to resolve matters it may be useful to refer the couple to mediation. Mediation is a process designed to help couples resolve their disputes in relation to children and money. There are many different models, some involving one mediator and others two. It can take place before or during the divorce and financial proceedings. It may result in no agreement at all or agreement on some or all issues. Each party should always obtain independent legal advice from an experienced West Jordan Utah divorce lawyer on the proposed terms of settlement.

Statutes concerned with matrimonial law, like court decisions on how they apply to different cases, are the center of a web of legislation on other subjects—housing, insolvency, company law and property law—which, depending on the circumstances, can have a decisive effect on the outcome of matrimonial disputes. Utah divorce law is complex. Always seek the assistance of an experienced West Jordan Utah divorce lawyer.

West Jordan Utah Divorce Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help with a divorce in Utah, whether that includes divorce, divorce modification, child support, child support modification, child custody, child custody modification, change in terms, or any other type of family law, please call Ascent Law LLC (801) 676-5506 for your Free Consultation. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

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West Jordan, Utah

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
West Jordan, Utah
City
Location in Salt Lake County and the state of Utah

Location in Salt Lake County and the state of Utah
Coordinates: 40°36′23″N 111°58′34″WCoordinates40°36′23″N 111°58′34″W
Country United States
State Utah
County Salt Lake
Settled 1848
Incorporated 1941
Named for Jordan River
Government

 
 • Mayor Dirk Burton [1]
Area

 • Total 32.33 sq mi (83.73 km2)
 • Land 32.33 sq mi (83.73 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation

 
4,373 ft (1,333 m)
Population

 (2020)
 • Total 116,961
 • Density 3,617.72/sq mi (1,396.88/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
ZIP codes
84081, 84084, 84088
Area code(s) 385, 801
FIPS code 49-82950[3]
GNIS feature ID 1434086[4]
Website www.westjordan.utah.gov

West Jordan is a city in Salt Lake County, Utah, United States. It is a suburb of Salt Lake City and has a mixed economy. According to the 2020 Census, the city had a population of 116,961,[5] placing it as the third most populous in the state.[6] The city occupies the southwest end of the Salt Lake Valley at an elevation of 4,330 feet (1,320 m). Named after the nearby Jordan River, the limits of the city begin on the river’s western bank and end in the eastern foothills of the Oquirrh Mountains, where Kennecott Copper Mine, the world’s largest man-made excavation, is located.

Settled in the mid-19th century, the city has developed into its own regional center. As of 2012, the city has four major retail centers; with Jordan Landing being one of the largest mixed-use planned developments in the Intermountain West.[7] Companies headquartered in West Jordan include Mountain America Credit Union, Lynco Sales & Service, SME Steel, and Cyprus Credit Union. The city has one major hospital, Jordan Valley Medical Center, and a campus of Salt Lake Community College.

City landmarks include Gardner Village, established in 1850, and South Valley Regional Airport, formerly known as “Salt Lake Airport #2”. The airport serves general aviation operations as well as a base for the 211th Aviation Regiment of the Utah Army National Guard flying Apache and Black Hawk helicopters.

West Jordan, Utah

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John Logan

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We've gotten divorce and child custody work from Ascent Law since the beginning because of my ex. We love this divorce firm! Staff is gentle, friendly and skilled. Tanya knows her stuff. Nicole is good and Ryan is fun. Really, all the staff here are careful, kind and flexible. They always answer all my questions, explain what they're doing and provide great legal services. I personally think they are the best for divorce in Utah.

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Jacqueline Hunting

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I have had an excellent experience with Ascent Law, Michael Reed is an absolutely incredible attorney. He is 100% honest and straight forward through the entire legal process of things, he also has a wonderful approach to helping better understand certain agreements, rights, and legal standing of matters, to where it was easy to know whats going on the entire process. I appreciate the competency, genuine effort put forth, and assistance I received from Ascent and attorney Michael Reed, and I will be calling these guys if ever I have the need again for their legal assistance! 5star review Wonderful attorneys!

Ascent Law LLC Reviews

Anthony Ziegler

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This review is well deserved for Ryan and Josh. New clients should know they are worth the 5 star rating we give them. We needed 2 sessions from them because of the complexity of the matter, but they are both very passionate about his helping others in need.  My sister needed bankruptcy and I needed divorce.  Sometimes they go hand in hand but a large shout out to this team - also Nicole is one of the sweetest people you ever did meet - she offered me warm cookies!

Ascent Law LLC Reviews

Thomas Parkin

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Mike Anderson and his colleagues & staff are knowledgeable, attentive and caring. In a difficult and complex case that eventually went to trial, Mike was the voice of reason and the confidence I needed. His courtroom abilities are amazing and I felt his defense of me was incredible. His quick thinking and expertise allowed for a positive result when I felt the World was crumbling. His compassion, after the case, has helped me return to a good life. I trust Mike and his staff. They are friendly and very good at what they do.

Ascent Law LLC Reviews

Yeran Merry

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I worked with Attorney Alex and Paralegal Ami in my divorce case. I got to know the team very well over the course of two years. I cannot think of a better team to have worked with. Ami and Alex are not only exceptional law professions who are very knowledgeable and thorough, they are also the best human beings who empathize with the emotions I was experiencing. Alex was conscious of my budget and worked efficiently to try to reduce unnecessary legal expenses. My case also involved some dealings with a foreign country that Alex and his team had previously dealt with.  They did an amazing job addressing cultural barriers in a very respectful manner and did not fall short in quality of work or in standards when dealing with some of these new challenges. Ami deserves a medal for being extremely professional, calming, and compassionate when it is needed most.  When you need family law attorneys, call this firm. I now feel I can move forward with grace and dignity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Avoiding a Divorce

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

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

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

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Child’s School Consistency in Divorce

Child's School Consistency in Divorce

Although it’s somewhat rare, it’s not unheard of for one parent to enroll children in a different school without the permission of the other parent or the court. Obviously, this is usually a problem when the two parents are separated or divorced. In some cases, children even go entirely un-enrolled because the parents have such contentious arguments about which school a child should attend.

It is an unfortunate reality that children sometimes get caught in the crossfire of a contentious divorce. Parents must make every effort to keep their children’s lives as normal and stable as possible, especially when it comes to their education.

Below are a few basic rules all parents should remember regarding this issue:

  • Consistency is crucial: A school is not just the building at which you drop off your kids. It is filled with important relationships your children have built with friends, teachers and staff. Their comfort in their school can help them through what is, even in the best cases, a stressful and turbulent home life.
  • Keep children in their school, if possible: If you can, keep your children in the schools they were already attending, unless both parents agree a move is for the better. Again, having this consistency and maintaining those relationships that have already been built is crucial.
  • Consider expenses: If your children have been attending private school before your divorce, there is a chance you will have to move your children to public school. Private school is often one of the first expenses to be removed after a divorce, as it can become too much for parents to handle.

Study Indicates Living with Partner Before Marriage Increases Likelihood of Divorce

If you have wondered whether living together before marriage has an impact on the quality of marriage, a new study from the Center for Marital and Family Studies indicates that it does. According to the survey performed by the organization targeting couples that have been married for fewer than 10 years, there appears to be a greater likelihood of divorce among couples that lived together before marriage.

The men who responded in the survey rated themselves as being “considerably lower” in how much they are dedicated to their spouses. Other studies performed by the organization have yielded the same findings for women, though to a smaller degree.

Meanwhile, survey respondents that were committed to marrying each other before they began living together did not experience the same lower levels of commitment exhibited in the cohabiting partners.

Researchers at the center posit that some of the men surveyed may have married their spouse even though they might not have done so had they not lived together. The term used was “deciding, not sliding.” The group of people not cohabiting had decided that they were going to be married, whereas the people living together were more likely to “slide” into a marriage because it was the natural next step.

Other statistics reflect the same conclusion. In 2010, the divorce rate for couples cohabiting before engagement was even 8 percent higher than couples cohabiting after engagement but before marriage.

The problem with living together, according to the researchers, is that it seems to be more difficult to “disentangle” yourself from the relationship should it appear to be coming to an end. Therefore it’s easier for people to try to fix the relationship, even if it doesn’t appear that it’s going to work.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Common Divorce Myths

Common Divorce Myths

Common Divorce Myths

People who are going through their first divorce never quite know exactly what to expect. We may know others who have gone through the process, but every divorce is different and there are many types of challenges that may arise.

There are a number of myths and misconceptions surrounding the divorce process that may make individuals even more anxious than they already would be. Here are a few of those myths:

  • Visitation can be denied. Just because a former partner falls behind on child support payments does not mean he or she may be denied visitation access. Visitation and child support are entirely separate issues.
  • Divorce itself can be denied. Although you do need to file a divorce petition with a judge, the judge cannot deny your request. There are certain steps you will have to go through, but if you want a divorce, you will most likely get it.
  • Mothers always get custody. While it is true that more mothers get primary custody than fathers, this is not because of any inherent bias in the law. The judge will give custody to whichever parent is deemed more fit to have full or primary custody of the children.
  • Child support may be avoided. Every child has a right to financial support. You cannot avoid this responsibility, and attempting to do so could land you in serious legal and financial trouble.
  • Adultery drastically affects a divorce outcome. Although cheating on a spouse could lead to the divorce happening in the first place, it does not mean you are more likely to lose out during the division of marital assets and property.
  • Assets will be split down the middle. Assets are split equitably — not necessarily equally. There are many factors judges consider when it comes to dividing property, and in this case, “fair” is not necessarily “equal.”

Annulment: When is it an Option?

Just like a divorce, a civil annulment ends a marriage. However, the effect of an annulment is that the law will not recognize the marriage as ever having existed.

It is not easy to get an annulment. Your marriage can only be annulled on certain grounds, such as:

  • One spouse was not of sound mind at the commencement of the marriage and was thereby unable to give consent due to mental impairment or the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • One spouse was forced into the marriage against his or her will, whether by threat of physical force or some form of extortion or coercion

  • One spouse made fraudulent statements, without which the other spouse would not have agreed to marry that person
  • One spouse had a physical impairment unknown to the other spouse that prevented the couple from being able to consummate the marriage
  • The marriage itself was illegal and automatically invalid for reasons such as bigamy, one spouse being under the age of consent or the marriage being incestuous

Advantages and disadvantages of annulment

Before you consider seeking an annulment, it is important to consider the pros and cons of doing so.

In terms of advantages, the law will treat the marriage as though it never existed, which means you will not have to worry about issues such as property division. If children are involved, the court will still have to consider support and custody arrangements, as annulments do not affect whether children born during the marriage are considered legitimate.

The major disadvantage of an annulment is that proving you have the grounds for one can be difficult and expensive. You must be able to prove, without question, that one of the above grounds existed at the time of the wedding, which could take some significant investigation and court time. There are also time limits on annulments, meaning your opportunity may have passed.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Negotiating Divorce in Utah

There are some situations in which only one spouse will take part in the divorce proceedings. This could be for a variety of reasons — one spouse may live in a different state, for example, or simply be resistant to the divorce occurring. When only one spouse participates in court, the process is called an ex parte divorce. The divorce will still be valid, so long as you meet certain requirements.

Negotiating Divorce in Utah

First, you must meet the residency requirements of a divorce. You must file your divorce within the state or county that you permanently live, or where you have been present for a certain period of time according to state law. This time period could be anywhere from six weeks to a full year.

Under an ex parte divorce, you have an exception to the normal rule of jurisdiction. This means that the divorce court can have power over a person’s legal rights even if they lack a relationship with the state in question.

Next, you must give notice to your spouse of your intent to file divorce. A person working as a “process server,” typically a local law enforcement officer, delivers this notice. If you do not know where your spouse is currently located, you may have to look into other options to ensure that they get notice of the divorce action.

Once the process has been completed, courts are required to honor divorces that were obtained even in another state.

How to Negotiate a Fair Alimony Arrangement

Like any other aspect of your divorce, you can negotiate an alimony arrangement outside of the courtroom. Doing so allows you to have more control over your future, while also avoiding the expensive, time-consuming process associated with litigation.

Each spouse in a divorce must provide certain financial disclosures at the outset of the divorce, even if it’s obvious which spouse will be making the alimony payments. To determine an appropriate amount of alimony, you will need to consider the following:

  • Separate assets your spouse owns: You are entitled to know the value of any assets your spouse owns independently of you. This includes any assets gained before the marriage.
  • General income and expense reports: A detailed income and expense report will give you a clear picture of how your spouse is spending money. Major disparities in spending and income must be addressed in alimony discussions, especially if one spouse has a lot of money to spend on luxury items.
  • Bonuses and benefits: Additional income is available from overtime and bonuses. This may be unpredictable, but should still be included when calculating alimony. Know if your spouse receives certain work-related benefits such as sick pay, unused vacation pay, health insurance benefits, vehicles paid for by the company or any similar benefits.
  • The needs of the person receiving alimony: The purpose of alimony is to provide the spouse receiving payments with the support he or she needs to maintain a reasonably decent standard of living. Just because there is a large disparity of income does not mean the recipient is going to get large sums of money each month.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Baby Boomers Have the Most Divorces

Baby Boomers Have the Most Divorces

As a divorce lawyer, I’m constantly reviewing information and statistics about divorce. As the divorce rate continues to decline among Gen-Xers and Millennials, it’s the Baby Boomers who are still getting divorced at the highest rates.

According to researchers, students, and professors from the University of Maryland, the average marriage is lasting longer than ever, and young people are divorcing less often. This could have quite a bit to do with people being far more cautious in their approach to marriage, as the average age of people getting married for the first time is also higher than ever. Between the 1940s and 1970s, a woman in her first marriage was just over 20 years old on average. Now, she is just over 27. So people are getting married much older now. The Baby Boomer Generation got married a lot younger so that’s on reason that people think divorce is more common among them.

Baby Boomers keeping divorce rates up

Although overall divorce rates are steadily decreasing, they are still as high as they are primarily because of the Baby Boomers. From 1990 to 2012, the divorce rate for people between 55 and 64 year olds more than doubled as Baby Boomers entered retirement age. The divorce rate for people 65 and older more than tripled.

It will take some time to determine whether Millennials are, in fact, simply better at maintaining their relationships for life. The average time it takes for first marriages to end in divorce is 12 years. However, based on how many fewer Gen-Xers have divorced than Baby Boomers, it would seem like today’s young couples are going to continue the trend of fewer divorces overall.

Why Divorce is Better than Being Trapped in a Bad Marriage

There’s a certain stigma associated with divorce that many people have a hard time shaking. Those who are stuck in bad relationships often delay filing for divorce simply because they focus on negative questions, such as “what will other people think?” or “what if this decision ruins my children’s lives?”

Although it’s quite normal to have concerns and fears related to divorce, dissolving your marriage may be a much better option than staying in a toxic relationship. Here are some reasons why:

  • You can set a better example for your kids: While there are many challenges associated with being a single parent, the last thing you want to show your kids is that it is normal to put up with an unhealthy relationship. Children are going to grow up to look for the kinds of relationships they experienced and saw as a young child. Don’t model a bad relationship for them.
  • You can focus on yourself: After you get divorced, you can get back to focusing on yourself, learning who you are and living for you. You are still able to be a great parent, but you may also find a new appreciation for life.
  • You can escape danger: It is especially important to get a divorce if your spouse is at all abusive, whether physically, emotionally or financially. You should never have to accept an abusive relationship. Get out as soon as you can and escape the danger and fear you’re experiencing.
  • You can find a better fit for you: After spending some time alone and finding yourself, you can put effort into finding a partner who is actually good for you and strengthens and empowers you. You deserve to find someone who truly makes you happy.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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401k in Divorce

Retirement plans like 401(k)s are plans companies offer to their employees. This means that a 401(k) is not an asset you and your spouse jointly own — it is instead a benefit offered to one person by his or her employer.

401k in Divorce

A common question in divorce cases is whether you can split the payouts of a retirement account if you do not work for the same employer as your spouse. The answer is yes, but only if you meet the requirements of the federal laws pertaining 401(k)s, known as ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) and the Internal Revenue Code.

Federal law does not allow an employee’s 401(k) to be assigned to another person, even a spouse. This law ensures the benefits will go to the employee upon his or her retirement.

There is, however, an exception for an “alternate payee.” If the proper procedures are followed in compliance with ERISA, the local divorce court may order distributions to the spouse.

How this process works

After the divorce court determines the 401(k) will be split, the court must approve a special order, called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). This is the tool used to transfer assets from the person who owns the 401(k) to his or her former spouse. This is the only means by which an individual can receive nontaxable payouts through his or her former partner’s 401(k).

In most cases, the portion of that 401(k) that goes to the spouse will be transferred to the spouse’s own individual retirement account (IRA) to avoid taxation. A QDRO may also be used to assign part of a 401(k) to a child or a dependent to satisfy child support obligations.

Tips for Summer Visitation for Divorced Parents

During the summer months, your children likely do not have nearly as much routine in their schedules as they do between the months of September and May. As such, you might find it necessary to adjust your custody and visitation schedules so that you can accommodate your children’s needs and your own work schedule.

Below are a few tips for summer visitation for divorced parents:

  • Prepare yourself for longer visitations: If you are the custodial parent, prepare yourself for your child to have longer visitation times with the other parent. This is a normal arrangement for divorced parents — your child might go on a vacation with your former partner, for example. Make sure you know where your child will be and how to contact him or her. Get an itinerary for the vacation and be sure the other parent knows your child’s capabilities for activities such as hiking, swimming and biking.
  • Keep in touch: When your child does go away for longer visitations during the summer, stay in touch. If he or she has a cell phone, you can call a few times per week to check in and make sure everything is going well. Unless you feel your child is in danger, don’t try to stay constantly connected to your child. Doing so could cause unnecessary conflict with your child and/or the other parent.
  • Prepare your child: Depending on your child’s age and how long you have been divorced, he or she might not have spent more than a couple days away from you before. For these longer summer visitations, be sure your child understands he or she will be with their other parent, and that you two will be together again soon. Do not say anything about the separation being difficult for you — focus instead on preparing your child to have fun.

Free Consultation with a Utah Divorce Attorney

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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