If you and your spouse are considering a divorce, speak to an experienced Ogden Utah family lawyer. You may be better off trying divorce mediation. In Utah divorce mediation is becoming very popular and that’s not without reason.
In every divorce, the husband and the wife are responsible for the effect of their divorce on everyone who has been or is in their world. Most husbands and wives do not understand this, however. In fact, not until the growth of divorce mediation have husbands and wives begun to understand their responsibility for the effects of their divorces on others. Most husbands and wives do not understand that they, and they alone, have the power to make the effect of their divorce on everyone in their world either positive or negative.
Husbands and wives, who choose to be responsible for the effects of their divorce on everyone in their world, can make that choice based upon the method they use to make all of the decisions in their divorce. They are getting divorced to make things better, not worse for themselves, their children, and everyone else in their world.
Divorcing spouses should consider mediation. Mediation allows the parents to control the process and terms of their divorce. Otherwise, a judge with limited exposure to the couple and their children will make legally binding decisions that will affect their family forever. Couples who mediate their divorce report much greater satisfaction than couples who litigate their divorce. Not only do spouses learn how to resolve their conflicts themselves (thus saving them time and money they would pay to lawyers), their children benefit by being around parents who are amicable and cooperative. Speak to an experienced Ogden Utah family lawyer if you want to try divorce mediation.
Not all couples can mediate their differences. Couples in which one spouse still wants to be married, one spouse abuses the other, or one spouse is controlled by a parent or new spouse are not suited for mediation. For couples who can profit from mediation, the mediator will require that both parents be open and disclosing about their finances, that they agree not to subpoena the mediator or records for any subsequent court hearing, and that they be civil toward each other around their children. The goal of mediation is to arrive at a just and fair agreement about how the children will be cared for (physically and economically), whom the children will live with for how long each week, and whether, how much one parent will provide money for the other in terms of child or spousal support. An experienced Ogden Utah family lawyer can help you in your divorce mediation.
Divorce mediation is an alternate way for people to obtain a divorce settlement. It is based upon new thinking about divorce and conflict resolution. Instead of relying on the traditional adversarial court process, by first commencing a lawsuit and then settling on the courthouse steps a year or two later just before trial (and after spending thousands of dollars preparing for trial), mediation relies on the ability of divorcing couples to discuss and work out their own agreements with the help, encouragement, and guidance (but not advice) of a professional mediator. The process offers divorcing couples new and very different choices that are better and less destructive than adversarial choices. These choices have been invented by the practicing divorce mediators who have learned in the trenches what works and what does not work with high conflict couples in the midst of painful divorce. Mediation offers these couples the opportunity to learn how to cooperate with each other, rather than encouraging them to compete as adversaries when negotiating and living with a divorce settlement. It offers them the opportunity to use attorneys, therapists, and accountants, not as hired guns, but as experts who assist the couple to achieve fair and workable results. To the surprise of many, mediation actually becomes a vehicle to teach cooperation and to create healing.
Divorce mediation is different than traditional divorce procedures, even when traditional steps taken by attorneys lead to a settlement of the case without a trial. In fact, what occurs in divorce mediation is 180 degrees from the adversarial process at virtually every point. The philosophy of mediation is that all sides should achieve a victorious outcome, in contrast to the adversarial divorce philosophy of winner prevails due to the loser having a weaker case. Even with collaborative attorneys, the traditional approach still follows the win-lose assumptions of the court system that one parent gets the children and the house and the other parent makes child support payments. Even when attorneys stop short of using the total firepower of the adversarial process, people operating within the framework of adversarial thinking still make divorce decisions by competing to determine whose case is stronger.
In the adversarial divorce process, each person usually hires an attorney and that attorney is required by the canons of ethics to advance the case strictly on behalf of their client. Given that mind-set, the attorney will represent the client by presenting the facts and law in the light most favorable to the client. This is not called stretching the truth; in legal parlance it is zealous advocacy. The attorney who represents the other spouse will, of course, do the same. It is no surprise they have different predictions about what their clients are entitled to. The differences in their predictions may not be huge, but the differences are usually enough to stoke the competitive adversarial fires for some time to come.
Because the lawyer also may not know what to expect of the other side in the early stages of representation, one of the first instructions a lawyer gives to a client is to not speak with the other spouse. This suggestion is designed to prevent sharing information that could be useful to the other side in a trial.
Of course, if one spouse is unwilling to sit down with the other at the mediation table, it may be necessary to commence the legal action. If your divorce mediation does not work, an experienced Ogden Utah family lawyer can help you get a divorce through a court order.
Another problem with the adversarial approach is that it encourages spouses not to trust each other. The major assumptions of the adversarial divorce process are that the other side will not tell the truth about the marital estate, will hide assets, and will inflate liabilities. Each person may be encouraged to listen to their dark side, to believe that the other party is an unfit parent who will try to get out of their legal obligation to pay support. This cultivation of one’s fears usually sets off the other person. Fueled by their fear, each tries to outmaneuver the other. Because neither side trusts the other, the attorneys need to send interrogatories to the other side. Interrogatories are a set of questions that ask for any and all information each side believes it needs in order to proceed. Sending interrogatories tends to be a game of keep away, because each attorney is permitted to advise their client to answer the questions with as little information as possible. After each side has completed this exercise, and neither has gained any helpful information from the other side, the attorneys request depositions. Depositions are another way of trying to obtain information, except that these require the other person to answer questions under oath with a court reporter recording everything that is said. Once again, each person is advised by their attorney to give as little information as the rules allow. Because one side has deposed the other, then the other does the same.
The most egregious of all battles is the custody battle, for what could be more important than one’s children? If the parents are fighting over who will get the children, attorneys will ask each client to find friends, relatives, and others to help discredit the other parent. To accomplish this, the friends, relatives, and others are asked to sign affidavits, which are negative statements about the other parent’s ability to parent the children. These affidavits are used to prove a parent has acted against the best interests of his or her children in the past, as a basis for awarding custody of the children to the more fit parent. The affidavits contaminate the well water for many years to come, making it difficult for parents to cooperate as they must after the divorce.
Spouses without children may have a continuing relationship because of the financial dependency of one upon the other, called alimony. As part of their divorce negotiations, they establish the details of how much will be paid, for how long, and any special circumstances that would end or continue maintenance.
Spouses with children of any age will need to establish a businesslike relationship to continue their parenting relationship, which a divorce does not sever. For example, they may have agreements about parenting minor children, and how they will conduct themselves in each other’s presence at the children’s special events in the future.
Concerns about parenting are at the center of the growing recognition that divorce, as it has been conducted in the court system, harms children. Divorce mediation demonstrates a preferred approach that is less harmful to children, and therefore, is more than a passing fad. Almost two million children each year experience their parents’ divorce. In addition, with the explosion of unwed births, a growing number of children whose parents are not married experience the conflict between their parents who try to raise them in separate homes. Divorce mediation and mediation with unmarried parents provide hope for these children, because mediation helps strengthen and improve parental relationships for parents who live in two separate places. Providing a means to address the issues of separate parenting is of paramount importance in a country where such arrangements are now the norm. An experienced Ogden Utah family lawyer can help you prepare a parenting agreement.
In adversarial divorce, when expert information or advice is needed, each attorney hires an expert to issue an opinion, and if necessary, to testify in a light most favorable to their side in court. With each expert reinforcing the side of the attorney who hired him, there is still a contest between the opposing opinions of the experts.
In mediation, when an expert opinion is needed, the mediator gives the couple a few names. The clients then interview the experts and agree on one they will mutually employ to give an opinion as a neutral expert. The professional neutral expert will usually send the couple an engagement letter that explains their role as a neutral in the mediation process. The neutral expert asks the couple to agree not to call the expert as a witness should the matter result in court action. The expert also asks the couple to pay the expert’s fee either by each paying one half or having the fees paid out of joint monies.
Call A Ogden Utah Family Lawyer
Divorce is a complex process, especially if the spouses can’t reach an agreement on the main issues in a divorce – property distribution, child custody, child support and alimony. When you are fighting a divorce battle you will be emotionally drained. Your ability to take sound legal decisions will be affected. That’s why you need an expert to advise you. Who could be a better expert than an experienced Ogden Utah family lawyer. The lawyer will ensure that you take legally sound decisions .
You need someone who understands your case and is sympathetic to you. If you and your attorney are not on the same page, it’s highly unlikely that you will succeed in the litigation. So before you hire an attorney for your divorce, spend some time talking to the attorney about the case. This will help you decide if the two of you are on the same page. The last thing you want to do is change your attorney halfway through the trial.
Ogden Utah Family Attorney Free Consultation
When you need help with guardianship, divorce, child custody, adoption or other family law matter, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506