Midway Utah Divorce Attorney

Midway Utah Divorce Attorney

Within the state of Utah there are numerous beautiful mountain valleys; few are as picturesque as Heber Valley, some fifty highway miles east of Salt Lake City. Historically, the first white Americans to visit the area just east of Mount Timpanogos were members of a fur trapping brigade led by Etienne Provost in 1824. For many years the valley was referred to as Provo or upper Provo; the river running south through the valley still bears the name of that explorer. It was the completion of a wagon road through Provo Canyon in 1858 that brought the first Mormon settlers to the area. The following spring, a number of families (most from Utah County) began locating farther to the west along Snake Creek, establishing two small communities. The first was a mile and a half south of present Midway; the second was about three miles north of the first. The more northern settlement was called Mound City due to the numerous nearby limestone formations. Among the early family names of settlers were Robey, Epperson, Bronson, McCarroll, and Smith.

By 1861 there were approximately fifty families living west of the Provo River. In 1866, because of Indian hostilities, territorial governor Brigham Young encouraged settlers to construct forts for protection. The two Snake Creek settlements reached an agreement to build a fort halfway or midway between the two existing communities hence the name Midway. During the 1860s and 1870s a large number of Swiss immigrants arrived. Swiss names such as Gertsch, Huber, Kohler, Probst, Zenger, Durtschi, and Abegglen, among others, are still found in Midway. From the beginning, Midway’s industry was based on livestock and farming; however, the pioneers’ need for building materials quickly became paramount. Sawmills were established by the early 1860s. Three principal operators were Henry T. Coleman, John Watkins, and Moroni Blood. Lime, limestone or “pot stone” blocks, and brick also were soon manufactured. In 1861 John H. Van Wagoner constructed the first commercial gristmill. Retail stores soon were developed by enterprising residents; one, the Bonner Mercantile Store, was constructed in 1879 and is still in use today. A second long-running retail business was founded by Henry T. Coleman and Simon Epperson. Established in 1910 and originally called “the Midway Drug Store,” that confectionery and grocery outlet was operated until 1986 by the Coleman family (who also owned an adjacent movie theater initially called the Star and later the Rio). Blacksmiths, livery stables, boarding houses, and other businesses were also part of the community’s economy. Moreover, by the 1880s nearby mines, particularly those in Park City, began to play an important economic role in many Midway households, and did so into the late 1960s. Midway was incorporated 1 June 1891 with Alvah J. Alexander elected as president; board members were also elected. The town was a proclaimed third-class city in 1971. The mayor-and-council system was then initiated, with Wilburn F. Huffaker being the first city mayor.

Education and the establishment of schools began very early in Midway history. By 1867 the community had organized a school board of trustees to improve the existing log school. Over the next forty-five years several schools were organized, both public and private, in an effort to meet educational needs. In 1912 a new schoolhouse, using native “potrock,” was built on the public square. This facility was used until 1975 when the new Midway Elementary School was dedicated. Important civic improvements were made in the 1930s and 1940s. A concrete sidewalk program began in 1938, and the Midway Recreation Center, usually referred to as the “Town Hall,” was dedicated in June 1941; both were Great Depression-era WPA projects. The east section of the center now houses the local post office, which had been established in December 1864; Salas Smith was the first postmaster. The most active civic organization promoting the community has been the Midway Booster Club. Established in 1947 through the efforts of Luke’s Hot Pots Resort owners Joseph B. and Pauline S. Erwin and a number of local enthusiastic supporters, the club has had a very significant role in various city improvements and activities. This has been particularly true with the popular Midway Swiss Days festivities held each fall. Music also has always been a strong community tradition.

Getting Started With Your Divorce In Midway, Utah

If you’re thinking of ending your marriage, it would be wise to first familiarize yourself with the basic concepts of divorce.

Residency Requirements for Divorce

First things first you need to make sure you meet your state’s residency requirements before you file your petition (formal written request) for divorce. If you don’t, you won’t be able to start the divorce process. Each state sets its own laws regarding residency. The main factor in residency requirement laws is the period of time you’ve lived within the state where you plan to get divorced. Some states will let you file for divorce without a waiting period, if you currently live in the state. Others may require you to be a resident for anywhere up to a year before you can proceed with a divorce.

Grounds for Divorce In Midway, Utah

Divorce grounds are the legal reasons on which you’re basing your request that the court end your marriage. Grounds fall into two categories: fault-based and no-fault.
Fault-based grounds are those that require you to prove that your spouse did something wrong, which caused the divorce. Some typical grounds in this category are adultery, extreme cruelty (physical or mental), and desertion. Today, there aren’t many benefits to filing for a fault-based divorce. However, if your state views fault as a factor in determining alimony or division of marital property, it’s something to consider.
No-fault divorce is primarily based on “irreconcilable differences” or the “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” In short, these basically mean that you and your spouse can’t get along anymore, and there’s no reasonable prospect that you’ll reconcile. No-fault has become the avenue of choice in most divorces. There are various reasons for this. Because you don’t have to prove your spouse did something wrong, there’s typically less anxiety and tension during the divorce process. This is a big benefit, especially if there are children involved. Also, when you don’t have to fight about fault, the divorce may move more quickly. And, less arguing almost always translates into lower legal fees.

Child Custody and Parenting Time (Visitation) In Midway, Utah

Custody is frequently a hotbed issue in a divorce. But it’s important to note that custody isn’t the all-or-nothing proposition many people think it is. In deciding custody and parenting time issues, the law requires judges to think in terms of the best interests of the child. To the degree possible, that usually means having both parents actively involved in the child’s life. In light of this, “joint legal custody” is often the ideal outcome of a custody case. In this scenario, both parents have a say in the most important decisions in a child’s life, such as education, religious upbringing, and non-emergency medical treatment. “Sole legal custody” means only one parent is the decision-maker, but that’s much more the exception than the rule today. Joint legal custody doesn’t necessarily translate into “joint physical custody,” where a child lives with each parent anywhere from a few days a week to literally six months a year. For any number of reasons, joint physical custody may not be feasible or advisable. In that case, a court will award physical custody to one parent (“sole physical custody”), but normally provide the other parent with a parenting time schedule. A typical parenting schedule will have a parent spending time with the child one or two evenings a week, and every other weekend, perhaps with extended time during the summer. But judges will look at parenting time on a case-by-case basis, and try to tailor a plan that best suits both parents’ schedules.

Divorce and Child Support in Midway UT

Both parents are responsible for financially supporting their children. All states utilize child support guidelines to calculate how much money a parent must contribute. The amount of support owed is primarily based on a parent’s income, as well as the amount of time the parent will be spending with the child. Child support will usually also encompass other elements, such as a child’s medical needs (like health insurance and medical bills not covered by insurance).

Alimony in a Divorce Midway Utah

The laws regarding alimony, which is also known as “spousal support” or “maintenance,” have evolved over the years. The current trend is away from lifetime or permanent alimony, which is now typically reserved only for long-term marriages generally considered to be anywhere from 10 to 20 or more years, depending on your state. In the current divorce environment, you’re more apt to see court award alimony for a limited duration. For example, one type of limited spousal support is called “rehabilitative” alimony. Judges will award this for a period of time they believe will allow a spouse to viably enter the workforce, or perhaps learn certain skills that will make the spouse more employable. The object is to have the spouse become self-sufficient. Another type of short-term spousal support is “reimbursement” alimony, often awarded in short marriages where one spouse contributed to the other’s pursuit of a college or graduate school degree. The theory is that contributing spouses deserve to be repaid for the effort and costs they expended in furthering the other spouse’s education.

Some common factors a court considers when awarding alimony are:
• a spouse’s actual need, and the other spouse’s ability to pay
• the length of the marriage
• each spouse’s age and health (both physical and emotional)
• each spouse’s earning capacity and level of education
• parental responsibilities for the children
• the division of marital property between the spouses, and
• income available to either spouse through investment of that spouse’s assets.

Distribution of Property in Midway Utah Divorce

In most divorces, couples will have to divide property and debts. The general rule is that family courts will divide a couple’s marital property—meaning property they acquired during the marriage. This would include assets such as real estate, bank accounts, and so forth. How a court goes about doing this depends on whether you live in an “equitable distribution” state or a “community property” state. Most states follow the principle of equitable distribution. This means that the court will divide the marital property between you and your spouse based on the facts of your case. Whatever the judge feels is fair in your particular set of circumstances will determine how the judge distributes the property—it’s not guaranteed that each spouse will get an equal amount. In a community property state, the court will divide all marital assets on a 50-50 basis, unless there is some reason to deviate from this standard rule. In both equitable distribution states and community property states, you usually get to keep any property that you own separately. Separate property generally includes any assets you owned before the marriage and some types of property you may have acquired during the marriage, such as gifts and inheritances. If something is confirmed as “separate property,” it will remain exclusively yours and won’t be divided between you and your spouse during the divorce. But note that if you commingled separate property with joint (or community) property during the marriage, in all likelihood that separate property will lose its protected status, and will be subject to division during the divorce. To try and avoid this result, keep your separate property in an individual account and/or keep all records of transactions involving your separate assets. Divorce can be a very complex subject, so consider consulting with a local divorce lawyer before proceeding.

Different Types of Separation: Trial, Permanent, and Legal Separation
A separation isn’t the same as a divorce. Separation means that you are living apart from your spouse, but you’re still legally married until you get a judgment of divorce from a court (even if you already have a judgment of separation). However, generally a separation does affect the financial responsibilities between you and your spouse before the divorce is final. There are three different types of separation. In most states, only one (legal separation) changes your legal status but all three of them have the potential to affect your legal rights.

Trial Separation

If you and your spouse need a break from the relationship, you may choose to live apart while you decide between divorce or reconciliation. While you’re separated, the same legal rules apply as when you are married, in terms of ownership of property. For example, money you earn and property you buy are likely to still be considered jointly owned by you and your spouse, depending on your state’s rules about property ownership. If you and your spouse are hoping to reconcile, it’s a good idea to write an informal agreement about some issues that will surely come up. For example, you will need to decide whether or not you will continue to share a joint bank account or credit cards and how you’ll budget your spending, which of you will stay in the family home, how expenses will be shared, and the like. If you have kids, you’ll need to decide how and when each of you will spend time with them. If you both decide there’s no going back, your trial separation turns into a permanent one.

Permanent Separation

When you live apart from your spouse without intending to reconcile but you are not divorced, you are considered permanently separated. In some states, living apart can change property rights between spouses if you don’t intend to get back together, then assets and debts acquired during the separation belong only to the spouse who acquires them. Once you are permanently separated, you are no longer responsible for any debts that your spouse incurs. Similarly, you’re no longer entitled to any share of property or income that your spouse acquires or earns. Because it can significantly affect how your property and money are divided, the date of permanent separation is sometimes hotly contested in a divorce. For example, if your spouse left in a huff and spent a month sleeping on a friend’s couch, but you didn’t discuss divorce until the month had passed and neither of you intended to divorce before then, the date of separation is somewhat questionable. If during that month your spouse received a big bonus at work, who it belongs to is also arguable. If you move out of the house and don’t expect any long-term reconciliation with your spouse, there may be consequences to going out or spending the night together just for old times’ sake. If you do briefly reconcile, you risk changing the date of separation and becoming responsible for your spouse’s financial actions during a period when you thought you were responsible only for yourself. Once you’re separated and have made basic agreements about your joint assets and debts, you don’t have to divorce right away. Some people stay married because of insurance and inertia can be a factor, too.

Legal Separation

In some (not all) states, you can get a legal separation by filing a request in family court. Being legally separated is a different legal status from being divorced or married you’re no longer married, but you’re not divorced either, and you can’t remarry. But the court’s order granting the legal separation includes orders about property division, alimony, and child custody and support, just as a divorce would. People choose legal separation instead of divorce because of religious beliefs, a desire to keep the family together legally for the sake of children, the need for one spouse to keep the health insurance benefits that would be lost with a divorce, or simple aversion to divorcing despite the desire to live separate lives. Some people live very happily in a state of legal separation for many years. (If you’re considering a legal separation instead of divorce so that you can keep insurance benefits, check the insurance plan before making the decision. Some consider a legal separation the same as a divorce for purposes of terminating health benefits.)

Lawyer For Divorce In Midway Utah

When you need to get divorced and you live in Midway Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

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