Magna Utah Divorce Attorney

Magna Utah Divorce Attorney

Magna is a census-designated place (CDP) and township in Salt Lake County, Utah, United States. The population was 26,505 at the 2010 census, a moderate increase over the 2000 figure of 22,770. Settlement of the area began in 1851 shortly after the Mormon pioneers reached the Salt Lake Valley. Early farmers settled in 1868 at the base of the northern Oquirrh Mountains and called their community Pleasant Green. By 1900, there were about 20 families in the area. One of the first Pleasant Green pioneers was Abraham Coon, who established a livestock ranch and settlement called “Coonville” in a canyon mouth at about 5400 South. The canyon is now known as Coon Canyon, and Coon Creek flowing out of it, is one of the major Oquirrh Mountain drainages. Coon Creek flows north and west through Magna to the Great Salt Lake. The Pleasant Green Cemetery located in the Oquirrh foothills, at about 3500 South, was established in 1883. In 1890, in response to a law requiring all children to receive free public education, the first school was built in the community. The process for Magna to become a township took over 10 years. Growth and development continue to define Magna. The west bench plan will have a major impact on the future of Magna. Kennecott Land plans major development in the areas immediately surrounding Magna. The area west of Magna along I-80 is currently slated to become one of 2 major “urban centers” for Kennecott Land’s west bench development plan. The Historic Main Street underwent a major remodel in 2006. Main Street has also become a popular location for film makers. Including the Disney Corporation and films such as Disney Channel’s TV movie, Dadnapped, and some of the Halloweentown movies filmed on Magna Main Street. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 7.4 square miles (19 km2), all of it land. The community lies just to the northeast of the Oquirrh Mountains and is directly south of the Great Salt Lake.

How Does Adultery Affect A Divorce?

Adultery is grounds for divorce in Utah. However, in order to obtain a Decree of Divorce, you need only establish that you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences. This no-fault divorce law allows parties to get divorced for virtually any reason. Establishing adultery will not help you get divorced faster or otherwise alter the divorce process. Infidelity rarely alters the outcome of a divorce in any significant way. However, when the court divides marital property and awards alimony, adultery may help tip the scales in favor of the non-offending party. Utah courts are instructed to consider all relevant facts and equitable circumstances. In addition, Utah courts are permitted to consider fault when calculating alimony. Adultery may also impact custody and parent-time decisions. Past moral conduct is one of the factors the court may consider in determining who should be deemed the primary custodial parent. Moreover, Utah courts strive to place children in the most stable environment available. New relationships that have not withstood the test of time place the child at risk of further change in the future. Long hours spent away from the marital home may indicate to the court a lack of bond between parent and child and an inability to place the child’s needs above personal needs.

Understanding the Types of Divorce in Utah

Every state, including Utah, offers the option of a “no-fault” divorce, which allows one spouse to file for divorce without proving that the other spouse is to blame for the insolvency of the marriage. The Utah Courts will accept that the couple has “irreconcilable differences” or that their relationship has suffered an “irremediable breakdown” as a valid purpose for filing a divorce petition. Depending on your unique personal circumstances, the difficulty may come in the form of divorce that follows the petition.

In the State of Utah, there are three types of divorce:
• Contested divorce
• Uncontested divorce
• Default divorce

Uncontested Divorce in Magna, Utah

A contested divorce is a complicated approach to dissolving a marriage whereby the spouses disagree on the terms of their divorce, stalling its finalization.
The contested factors that delay divorce proceedings can include, but are not limited to:
• Bank accounts, property, and other assets
• Credit cards and other debts
• Living arrangements
• Parenting plans, child custody, and child support
• Spousal support
Part of the process is determining what each spouse is entitled to, based on the length of their marriage, the extent of their assets and debts, whether there is a business involved, and the ages of their children. The details of your marriage and its divorce are unique, and none of the particulars of its dissolution should be left to chance. An uncontested divorce is one where both spouses can fully agree on the terms of their divorce without the court’s intervention. Not unlike a contested divorce, each aspect of the case both temporary and permanent must be decided on before the divorce can become final.
That includes:
• The division of assets, property, and debts
• Child custody and support, when the married couple has minor children
• Spousal support, when applicable
The final decisions made by the spouses must be approved by the courts and signed by a judge to be official and final, but no formal hearing is necessary. If the spouses share minor children, they must complete the mandatory divorce education class before the divorce can be finalized by the court. If you have filed a Utah divorce petition and your spouse has not responded in the amount of time outlined on the paperwork, you do not have to wait endlessly for a response before proceeding with the final decree. If there is no response by the deadline provided on the divorce petition, the court will grant a default divorce, which will exclude your spouse from the proceedings entirely. This means he or she will not have their day in court and will not be able to share his or her side of the story. The divorce will be granted by default.

Residency and Filing Requirements

In order to file for a divorce in Utah, residency requirements must be met for the court to accept the case. If the court discovers it does not have jurisdictional rights to hear the case it will not be accepted or it will eventually be dismissed. The court may decree dissolution of the marriage contract between the petitioner and respondent where the petitioner or respondent has been an actual and bona fide resident for 3 months of this state and of the county where the action is brought. This also applies to members of the armed forces of the United States who are not legal residents of this state, where the petitioner has been stationed in this state under military orders. Unless the court, for good cause shown and set forth in the findings, otherwise orders, no hearing for decree of divorce shall be held by the court until 90 days shall have elapsed from the filing of the complaint, provided the court may make such interim orders as may be just and equitable. The 90-day period shall not apply in any case where both parties have completed the mandatory educational course for divorcing parents.

Grounds for Filing

The Petition for Divorce must declare the appropriate Utah grounds upon which the divorce is being sought. The appropriate lawful ground will be that which the parties agree upon and can substantiate, or that which the filing spouse desires to prove to the court. The divorce grounds are as follows: The court may decree dissolution of the marriage according the following grounds:
No-Fault:
a) Irreconcilable differences of the marriage;
b) When the husband and wife have lived separately under a decree of separate maintenance of any state for three consecutive years without cohabitation.
Fault:
a) Impotency of the respondent at the time of marriage;
b) Adultery committed by the respondent subsequent to marriage;
c) Willful desertion of the petitioner by the respondent for more than one year;

d) Willful neglect of the respondent to provide for the petitioner the common necessaries of life;
e) Habitual drunkenness of the respondent;
f) Conviction of the respondent for a felony;
g) Cruel treatment of the petitioner by the respondent to the extent of causing bodily injury or great mental distress to the petitioner;
h) Incurable insanity.
Primary Documents
• Petition for Divorce and Decree of Divorce: These are the essential documents needed to start and finalize a divorce according to Utah law. There are anywhere from ten to twenty other documents that may be required throughout the filing process. A few other documents that are typically filed during the process are: Cover Sheet for Civil Filing Actions, Marital Settlement Agreement, Affidavit Regarding the Children, Petitioner’s Affidavit of Jurisdiction and Grounds for Divorce, and Certificate of Divorce, Dissolution of Marriage, or Annulment.

Property Distribution

Since Utah is an “equitable distribution” state, the marital property shall be divided in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather what is fair. The court will encourage the parties to reach a settlement on property and debt issues otherwise the court will declare the property award. All of the spouses’ marital property is divided equitably upon divorce. The court will examine each case on an individual basis and determined an appropriate property award based on what is fair to each spouse. Neither spouse is personally liable for the separate debts, obligations, or liabilities of the other:
a) Contracted or incurred before marriage;
b) Contracted or incurred during marriage, except family expenses;
c) Contracted or incurred after divorce or an order for separate maintenance under this title, except the spouse is personally liable for that portion of the expenses incurred on behalf of a minor child for reasonable and necessary medical and dental expenses, and other similar necessities.

Spousal Support In Magna Utah

Not all cases involve support from one spouse to the other. The obligation of one spouse to support the other financially for a temporary or permanent basis is decided on a case-by-case basis as agreed to by the parties or at the court’s discretion. When the parties cannot come to an agreement, the court shall consider at least the following factors in determining alimony:
I. The financial condition and needs of the recipient spouse;
II. The recipient’s earning capacity or ability to produce income;
III. The ability of the payor spouse to provide support;
IV. The length of the marriage;
V. Whether the recipient spouse has custody of minor children requiring support;
VI. Whether the recipient spouse worked in a business owned or operated by the payor spouse; and
VII. Whether the recipient spouse directly contributed to any increase in the payor spouse’s skill by paying for education received by the payor spouse or allowing the payor spouse to attend school during the marriage. The court may consider the fault of the parties in determining alimony.
Counseling or Mediation Requirements:
Prior to the filing of any action for divorce, annulment, or separate maintenance, either spouse or both spouses may file a petition for conciliation in the family court division invoking the jurisdiction of the court for the purpose of preserving the marriage by effecting a reconciliation between the parties or an amicable settlement of the controversy between them so as to avoid litigation over the issues involved.

Magna Utah Child Custody

When minor children are involved in a divorce, the Utah courts will do everything possible to help lessen the emotional trauma the children may be experiencing. If the parents cannot come to an agreement regarding the issues involving the children, the court will establish the custody order at its discretion. In determining whether the best interest of a child will be served by ordering physical custody, the court shall consider the following factors:
a) Whether the physical, psychological, and emotional needs and development of the child will benefit from joint legal or physical custody;
b) The ability of the parents to give first priority to the welfare of the child and reach shared decisions in the child’s best interest;
c) Whether each parent is capable of encouraging and accepting a positive relationship between the child and the other parent, including the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other parent;
d) Whether both parents participated in raising the child before the divorce;
e) The geographical proximity of the homes of the parents;
f) The preference of the child if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent preference as to joint legal or physical custody;
g) The maturity of the parents and their willingness and ability to protect the child from conflict that may arise between the parents;
h) The past and present ability of the parents to cooperate with each other and make decisions jointly;
i) Any history of, or potential for, child abuse, spouse abuse, or kidnapping; and
j) Any other factors the court finds relevant.

The court shall, in every case, consider joint custody but may award any form of custody which is determined to be in the best interest of the child. The children may not be required by either party to testify unless the trier of fact determines that extenuating circumstances exist that would necessitate the testimony of the children be heard and there is no other reasonable method to present their testimony. The court may inquire of the children and take into consideration the children’s desires regarding future custody or parent-time schedules, but the expressed desires are not controlling and the court may determine the children’s custody or parent-time otherwise. The desires of a child 16 years of age or older shall be given added weight, but is not the single controlling factor. In awarding custody, the court shall consider, among other factors the court finds relevant, which parent is most likely to act in the best interests of the child, including allowing the child frequent and continuing contact with the noncustodial parent as the court finds appropriate. If the court finds that one parent does not desire custody of the child, or has attempted to permanently relinquish custody to a third party, it shall take that evidence into consideration in determining whether to award custody to the other parent. Neither the husband nor wife can remove the other or their children from the homestead without the consent of the other, unless the owner of the property shall in good faith provide another homestead suitable to the condition in life of the family; and if a husband or wife abandons his or her spouse, that spouse is entitled to the custody of the minor children, unless a court of competent jurisdiction shall otherwise direct.

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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