Financial Planning After Divorce

After a divorce, it can take some time to adjust to your new financial situation. There is less money coming in, but still plenty of expenses to monitor. To that end, it’s important to sit down and closely analyze how a divorce will affect you financially before it is actually made official.

Financial Planning After Divorce

Here are some financial planning considerations to keep in mind as you prepare for life after divorce:

  • Thoroughly analyze your expenses. Many people do not completely realize the financial impact of their divorce until after it happens. To avoid being shocked, sit down and list out every one of your sources of income and your expenses. This will give you an accurate picture of what you can expect your financial state to look like after your divorce.
  • Consider your career. Are you going to need to find another job or embark on a new career to make ends meet? If so, you should start looking into your options right away so you are prepared once the divorce is finalized. Also consider any training you might need for a new career.
  • Figure out your living situation. It might not be realistic to hang on to the family home. Thus, you need to consider where you are going to be living. Will you rent an apartment? Do you have another place lined up? Will you be able to sell the home quickly?
  • Consider what you are losing. You’re not just losing an income. You are also potentially losing health insurance and a variety of benefits, including retirement benefits. All of these benefits should factor into your detailed financial analysis.

Tips for Keeping Your Divorce Relatively Inexpensive

In addition to being stressful for a variety of reasons, divorce can be an expensive process. Between the legal fees, property division, debt responsibilities and other costs, it’s possible you will come away from your divorce with some work to do in terms of rebuilding your financial health and stability.

However, there are some tactics you can use to help keep costs down in the divorce process. The following are just a few of them:

  • Negotiate as much as possible: This might be easier said than done in a contentious divorce, as your former spouse might not be willing to negotiate on certain (or any) issues. But whenever possible, negotiating allows you to compromise and avoid some expenses.
  • List your priorities: Create a full list of priority issues in your divorce, and determine how much you want to negotiate on those issues. This helps you form a plan of action for your negotiations and allows you to set priorities.
  • Be thorough with your record keeping: With the large amount of paperwork associated with a divorce (and marriage), it’s easy to lose track of some items. Be as thorough and meticulous with your record keeping as possible, and keep track of all correspondence, research, court orders, notes and other documents.

Seeking an Annulment in Utah

We’ve written about the difference between getting an annulment or divorce as well as an annulment in Utah. Though annulments have the effect of ending a marriage, they are different in various ways from divorce. Divorce dissolves a marriage, while an annulment declares it void.

Marriage is a legal contract. Just like any other contract, there are certain requires that the contract must meet in order for it to be considered valid. If one of the spouses can show that there was some material issue with the marriage contract, he or she may be successful in annulling the marriage.

Under Utah law, there are five grounds for annulment. The first is that one or both of the spouses was under the age of 18 at the time of the marriage. In order to legally enter into a contract, a person must be an adult (18 years old) at the time. If he or she is not, the contract is not necessarily void, but it is voidable.

A marriage can be annulled if one or both of the spouses was unable to consent due to mental incapacity. This can include any circumstances where one or both of the spouses is unable to give legal consent, such as if one were drunk at the time of the wedding, for example. If one of the spouses can prove that they were mental incapacitated at the time of the wedding, the marriage might be voided. In the same vein as mental incapacitation, if one of the spouses has been mentally ill for at least five years, the other may seek an annulment.

Sexual intercourse is considered part of the legal agreement of a marriage. If one of the spouses is physically unable to partake in sexual intercourse, the marriage may be annulled.

Finally, if a spouse can prove that the marriage was obtained through duress, coercion or fraud, it may be voided. For instance, if one of the spouses was threatened in order to obtain the marriage, this marriage would voidable.

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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How to Deal with an Angry Spouse During Divorce

How to Deal with an Angry Spouse During Divorce

In some cases, a divorce can get rather contentious. I’ve seen it as a family lawyer.

If you have reason to believe your soon-to-be-former spouse will react with anger, or if you have already experienced this response, it is important to know how to deal with these issues appropriately.

Here are a few examples of what you might expect from an angry spouse and how you should respond:

  • False accusations of abuse. In some situations, one spouse might falsely accuse the other of abuse and seek a restraining order as a means of gaining leverage in the divorce process. You can prevent this from happening by simply refusing to get into any sort of conflict, whether it’s in person, over the phone or via email.
  • Not fulfilling verbal agreements. You might believe you’ve reached an understanding with your spouse about a certain issue, but suddenly he or she reverses course. To prevent this from happening, get every agreement in writing and signed by your spouse. If the other person goes back on his or her word, the document then provides evidence.
  • Limit access to money or assets. Some individuals try to limit their spouse’s access to marital assets. Before you file for divorce, make sure your name is on all of the assets the two of you own together, including bank accounts, credit card accounts, retirement accounts and mortgages. Open your own credit accounts separately as soon as you can to avoid your former spouse damaging your credit.
  • Spying. Your former partner may be tracking all of your activities, including what you are doing online. Do not say or do anything that could compromise you or give your spouse ammunition to use against you during court proceedings.
  • Actual physical or verbal abuse. If your spouse’s anger escalates to the point where he or she becomes truly abusive, it’s time to get law enforcement involved. At this point, the situation has become more serious than you needing to protect your best interests in the divorce — you and your kids could be in actual danger.

Rules to Help You Communicate with Your Former Spouse After Divorce

Although many people who go through a divorce would very much like to never have to see or talk to their former partner ever again, this is unfortunately not a realistic scenario for most couples. If, for example, you have children together, you need to keep in touch regularly if you have any hope of consistent parenting.

Here are some ground rules that can help you to more effectively communicate after a contentious divorce in what is typically an awkward and unpleasant situation:

  • Be smart about how you communicate. Whenever possible, keep all communication in writing if you know there might be a disagreement. If you have to make phone calls, keep them as brief as possible and only talk about what you need to discuss. The longer the communication, the more likely an argument will occur.
  • Stay impersonal. Never discuss any personal issues, as this opens the door up to emotional entanglements. Keep everything strictly business.
  • Do not send messages through children. This can cause a lot of long-term emotional damage to kids. Any communication between the two of you should be conducted directly, rather through an intermediary like your children.
  • Have your own life. You are divorced, which means you no longer need to be concerned about where your former spouse is going, what he or she is doing or thinking or who he or she is seeing. Keeping your lives as separate from each other as possible is the best course of action, and will help you to stay businesslike during your communication.
  • Analyze your relationships with your former partner’s family. If you had been married for some time, it is understandable to want to maintain relationships with your former in-laws. However, it is important you never discuss your former spouse, and maintain the relationship primarily as a friendship.

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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6 Ways to Protect Yourself During a Utah Divorce

6 Ways to Protect Yourself During a Utah Divorce

Sometimes a divorce is the only option. But don’t rush into it without doing a few things to protect yourself. If you are still communicating with your spouse, it may be smart to discuss a mediated divorce. If not, keeping the following in mind can help:

  • Speak with an attorney. Many divorce attorneys offer free consultations. This is your time to meet with various attorneys not only to decide which lawyer to hire, but to get a better idea out of what you can expect in your divorce.
  • If you have children, don’t move out. Moving out could ruin your chance of gaining custody in the future.
  • Do not sign anything that you’re unsure of. Even informal written agreements can come back to haunt you in court. Always speak with your lawyer before signing anything.
  • Cancel joint credit cards. Be sure to tell your spouse you are canceling a credit card, but also protect yourself against any ludicrous charges that might be made after the separation.
  • Secure records. It is a good idea to secure and make copies of your financial records, including tax returns, credit card statements, loan applications and pay stubs. Also, protect important personal records such as Social Security cards and birth certificates.
  • Make a budget. Divorces aren’t always easy on your wallet. Consider making a budget to help you keep your finances under control during the proceedings.

A Study Finds that 79 Percent of Separations End in Divorce

A new study from researchers at Ohio State University reveals that approximately 79 percent of married couples that separate end up getting divorced.

According to researcher Dmitry Tumin, the majority of separations in America last for one year or less, though some can drag on for many years. While some separations remain unresolved and a few lead to reconciliation, the vast majority end in divorce. I’ve personally seen this as a divorce lawyer. It is very common practice, even in Utah.

The researchers found that the average amount of time for a first separation is approximately four years. For respondents that divorce after separating the average length is three years, and for those who reunite, the average length is two years. There was not a single instance in the study of a couple reuniting after three years of separation. Correspondingly, those separations that last for less than a year are significantly more likely to end in couples reuniting, which means that the longer the separation goes, the more likely it is that a divorce will eventually occur.

These findings, while not particularly surprising, may be of interest for people who are considering separation. Many people separate in hopes that time apart will do their relationship some good, but in reality, it would seem that not much changes during the course of a separation.

There can be some benefits to a separation, including tax breaks and less financial and emotional strain due to divorce court proceedings. However, for some people, separation may seem as though they are simply delaying the inevitable.

What Are My Options If I Want to Get a Divorce?

Most people fear divorce. They do not know what to expect and they are afraid of what may happen during and after the dissolution of their marriage. They are afraid of the costs of divorce and of the large amount of time that may be needed to end their marriage. So instead of facing the problems in their marriage, some choose to stay in a loveless relationship that drains them emotionally, physically and financially. But that only works for a time.

If you reach the point where you would like to get out of your marriage, you should understand that there are a number of ways to go about getting a divorce. While the process may be difficult, it is usually worth the effort.

But forceful attorneys know how to negotiate for a fair resolution of these difficult issues. Sometimes, mediation is the best approach, and experienced divorce lawyers can guide you through the mediation process keeping you out of court while protecting your rights and doing what is best for your family. Most divorces do not go to trial, but with a skilled divorce attorney in your corner you can make sure your rights are protected throughout the divorce process.

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 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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4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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How to Negotiate a Contract

Individuals and companies negotiate and enter into contracts fairly frequently in the course of business. Some business agreements may be simple enough for the typical person to draft, and may just be a verbal agreement and a handshake, while others may require the help of a skilled contract attorney. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you have a business lawyer review and/or draft the contract before you sign it.

In either case, the ideal end result is confidence that you have negotiated the best terms for your business and created a well-drafted agreement that will avoid any dispute or potential litigation. Below, you’ll find tips on negotiating and writing a sound business contract.

How to Negotiate a Contract

Strategies for Negotiating a Contract

Certain fundamental strategies will assist you in the day-to-day negotiation that all businesspersons perform, in contracts and other business transactions. Remember, those with whom your business is negotiating also will be working hard to leverage the deal in their favor.

The following are a few suggestions to get you started on the road to effective negotiation tactics:

  • You should always have clear objectives. It helps to make a list of goals before meeting the other party.
  • Build a relationship of trust with the other party.  Trust will aid communication.
  • Establish Rapport with them – talk to them about what they are interested in – for example, if you see a picture of them fishing, talk to them about fishing before you get the nitty gritty of the contract.
  • It is important to go to a negotiation having done your research. Know relevant law, facts, and figures.
  • Consider what you really need to get from the other party, and also decide in what areas you are willing to compromise.
  • Be sure that you get small yeses from them in the beginning – the more they say yes to you the better it is – for example – it’s a nice day, isn’t it?  Yes, it is…
  • You may want to have a first draft of an agreement written before meeting with the other party.
  • Try to keep the discussion ordered when meeting with the other party.  Make a checklist of topics that should be reached during the negotiation.
  • Listen to the other party and their concerns.

Business Torts and Business Law

Intentional acts in which one party unlawfully causes another party some degree of economic loss are referred to as “business torts” (or “economic torts” in the broader sense). These types of torts do not arise from financial losses related to personal injury, emotional distress, or damaged property. Instead, business torts involve an intangible financial loss from some other cause of action, such as a conspiracy to fix prices, interfere with a contract, or otherwise restrain trade. The types of intangible losses that result from business torts include a loss of customers, inability to operate in the market, or damage to your organization’s reputation.

Restraint of trade is not a tort in and of itself, but rather a legal doctrine (based on common law) that relates to a relatively broad and fluid range of torts. For example, tortious interference is a type of business tort in which one party interferes with a contract or business relationship. The party directly impacted by the interference may seek damages limited to the specific transaction by filing a tortious interference claim. However, the plaintiff may also file a restraint of trade claim if they are able to prove that the interference hindered their ability to conduct business in a broader sense. If the interference of a contract damaged the company’s reputation, for instance, then it may give rise to a restraint of trade claim.

Some acts that give rise to a restraint of trade claim may seem entirely legal. For instance, two competing business owners discussing their pricing plans over a round of golf are exercising their freedom of speech. They may not come out and say it, but the subtext of the conversation may be construed as a conspiracy to fix prices if that is ultimately the result of this conversation. Thus, a third competitor who is driven out of business by the resulting price-fixing may file a restraint of trade claim.

What to do Before You Negotiate a Contract

Since contracts are legally binding and don’t always go according to plan, it makes sense to negotiate shrewdly, understand all of the terms in a contract, and make sure you’re prepared should the agreement go south. Consider speaking with a business and commercial law attorney before negotiating or signing a contract.

Free Consultation with a Utah Business Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have a business law issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free business law 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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Brachial Plexus Injury Lawyer in Utah

Ever visited the doctor for a routine checkup and walked out of the office with a diagnosis for something that you can’t even properly pronounce? More than likely, something similar has occurred throughout the course of your life. Speaking of puzzling medical terms and scientific names for illnesses, as of late, many people have asked themselves the following: what on earth is brachial plexus injury (BPI)?

Brachial Plexus Injury Lawyer in Utah

Many people in South Jordan and throughout Utah don’t really understand what BPI is, even though it’s a rather common injury. Johns Hopkins Medicine gives a clear definition of BPI: “An umbrella term for a variety of conditions that may impair function of the brachial plexus nerve network.”

The majority of these injuries are caused by trauma, like severe auto accidents. In the human body, the brachial plexus is basically a cluster of nerves in the neck region of the spinal cord that controls the shoulders, arms and hands. This group administers motions in the arms, hands and wrists. Without these nerves, we wouldn’t be able to do even the simplest of tasks, like typing on a keyboard or lifting weights at the gym.

When someone in West Jordan or elsewhere in Utah has a BPI, he or she will likely experience a loss of sensation in the affected areas. The symptoms and severity varies in everyone, because each and every body handles pain differently. Sometimes, feeling and sensation will return after a few days; however, when involved in severe auto accidents, some people may have permanent nerve damage, meaning they may never be able to control arm or wrist movement again.

Of course, as with most injuries, there are different types and degrees of BPIs. Auto accidents commonly result in BPIs. If you or someone you love in Midvale Utah or other parts of Utah has had a traumatic experience, be sure to contact one of our personal injury lawyers to receive the professional guidance and answers that are needed.

HOW TO AVOID BECOMING A DOG BITE VICTIM

Every year, over 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs. One in every five of these people require medical attention. With so many dog bites occurring each year, how can you protect yourself from becoming bitten? Even the most seemingly-friendly canines can act unpredictably at times, inflicting both pain and injury.

Every dog bite lawyer from Salt lake City to the Midwest has heard stories of relatively mellow canines reacting poorly in certain situations. Here’s how you can become more aware of potentially hazardous situations involving canines and avoid being bitten.

Avoid Sudden, Unpredictable Movements

A dog’s reaction to sudden, unpredictable movements may differ slightly depending on the breed. Moving in a quick, frightening and/or erratic way can trigger a canine’s defense mechanism, causing it to act impulsively — and in some cases, bite either you or the person closest to it. Whether you need to contact a dog bite lawyer in St. George or on the East Coast, remember that you aren’t responsible for the actions of another person’s animal.

You can prevent such an incident by avoiding quick movements around a canine that you’re not familiar with. In the event that you are bitten, it’s critical to remember that the fault still lies with the owner of the dog.

Recognize When a Dog Becomes Territorial

Dogs are exceptionally territorial creatures; if they believe that someone or something is invading their space, they’ll be more likely to attack. If you intentionally or unintentionally invade a dog’s space without first familiarizing yourself with the animal, then you put yourself at heightened risk for being bitten.

You can avoid this situation by approaching an unknown canine cautiously and by becoming acutely aware of its personal space. Every dog bite lawyer from Sandy Utah to Bountiful Utah will warn of the dangers involved with impeding on a canine’s personal space. Becoming significantly aware of the territorial nature of most canines can help you avoid a nasty bite or attack.

Free Initial Consultation with a Brachial Plexus Injury Lawyer in Utah

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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10 Reasons to Have a Will

Having a will is arguably one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Not only can a will legally protect your spouse, children, and assets, it can also spell out exactly how you would like things handled after you have passed on.

10 Reasons to Have a Will

While each person’s situation varies, here are the top ten reasons to have a will.

1) You decide how your estate will be distributed. A will is a legally-binding document that lets you determine how you would like your estate to be handled upon your death. If you die without a will, there is no guarantee that your intended desires will be carried out. Having a will helps minimize any family fights about your estate that may arise, and also determines the “who, what, and when” of your estate.

2) You decide who will take care of your minor children. A will allows you to make an informed decision about who should take care of your minor children. Absent a will, the court will take it upon itself to choose among family members or a state-appointed guardian. Having a will allows you to appoint the person you want to raise your children or, better, make sure it is not someone you do not want to raise your children.

3) To avoid a lengthy probate process. Contrary to common belief, all estates must go through the probate process, with or without a will. Having a will, however, speeds up the probate process and informs the court how you’d like your estate divided. Probate courts serve the purpose of “administering your estate”, and when you die without a will (known as dying “intestate”), the court will decide how to divide estate without your input, which can also cause long, unnecessary delays.

4) Minimize estate taxes. Another reason to have a will is because it allows you to minimize your estate taxes. The value of what you give away to family members or charity will reduce the value of your estate when it’s time to pay estate taxes.

5) You decide who will wind up the affairs of your estate. Executors make sure all your affairs are in order, including paying off bills, canceling your credit cards, and notifying the bank and other business establishments. Because executors play the biggest role in the administration of your estate, you’ll want to be sure to appoint someone who is honest, trustworthy, and organized (which may or may not always be a family member).

6) You can disinherit individuals who would otherwise stand to inherit. Most people do not realize they can disinherit individuals out of their will. Yes, you may wish to disinherit individuals who may otherwise inherit your estate if you die without a will. Because wills specifically outline how you would like your estate distributed, absent a will your estate may end up on the wrong hands or in the hands of someone you did not intend (such as an ex-spouse with whom you had a bitter divorce).

7) Make gifts and donations. The ability to make gifts is a good reason to have a will because it allows your legacy to live on and reflect your personal values and interests. In addition, gifts up to $13,000 are excluded from estate tax, so you’re also increasing the value of your estate for your heirs and beneficiaries to enjoy. Be sure to check the current laws for your year to learn the most up-to-date gift tax exclusions.

8) Avoid greater legal challenges. If you die without a will, part or all of your estate may pass to someone you did not intend. For example, one case involved the estate of a deceased son who was awarded over $1 million from a wrongful death lawsuit. When the son died, the son’s father – who had not been a part of his son’s life for over 32 years – stood to inherit the entire estate, leaving close relatives and siblings out of the picture!

9) Because you can change your mind if your life circumstances change. A good reason for having a will is that you can change it at any time while you’re still alive. Life changes, such as births, deaths, and divorce, can create situations where changing your will are necessary.

10) Because tomorrow is not promised. Procrastination and the unwillingness to accept death as part of life are common reasons for not having a will. Sometimes the realization that wills are necessary comes too late – such as when an unexpected death or disability occurs. To avoid the added stress on families during an already emotional time, it may be wise to meet with an estate planning lawyer to help you draw up a basic estate plan at the minimum, before it’s too late. Be sure to read What Not To Include When Making a Will for more wills information.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

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

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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Living Will

The term “living will” is a bit of a misnomer, as living wills are not wills in the traditional sense. A typical will takes effect upon a person’s death, providing instructions such as for the distribution of his or her property and other assets. A living will, on the other hand, allows a person to specify medical treatment and care instructions that take effect while he or she is still living. This is a part of estate planning. For example, if a person becomes mentally incapacitated or otherwise unable to make or communicate health care decisions, a living will provides family members and hospital personnel with the person’s medical care instructions and preferences. This section provides information and resources related to living wills and other health care directives. You’ll also find an overview of state living will laws, a sample living will form, and a discussion of a health care power of attorney.

What Is a Living Will?

A living will is a legal document that contains a person’s medical care and treatment instructions. The purpose of a living will is to allow a person to express health care decisions while he or she is mentally able to do so. In general, health care providers are required to obey the instructions contained in a person’s living will.

What Types of Procedures Are Covered in a Living Will?

States have passed laws covering living wills and other forms of health care estate plans. Because there are differences in these laws, it’s important to be fully informed of applicable regulations and requirements as you begin to plan your living will. In many states, a living will allows a person to express instructions concerning the use of a respirator to maintain breathing, the use of procedures such as blood transfusions and dialysis, and the injection of intravenous fluids and nutrients to sustain life. Keep in mind that a living will allows you to both refuse and to accept certain forms of treatment. For example, a person can refuse to undergo blood transfusions while stating an intent to receive intravenous drugs.

Benefits of Creating a Living Will Now

A person who creates a valid living will can feel secure in knowing that his or her medical care instructions will be honored. By creating a living will or other similar plan, you can avoid unwanted medical treatments and their associated costs. As an added benefit, your family members and friends will have advance knowledge of your medical and end-of-life care preferences. This can prevent emotional and harmful disputes from occurring.

Health Care Power of Attorney or a Living Will?

An alternative to drafting a living will is creating a health care power of attorney. This is a legal document that allows one person to grant another person the authority to make medical care and treatment decisions on the first person’s behalf. If you have a trusted family member or close friend who is a medical care professional, a health care power of attorney relationship can be a good idea. In Utah, you really should use the Advanced Health Care Directive that the Utah Legislature has put into place. A Utah lawyer can help you with this.

How an Attorney Can Help with your Living Will

If you have questions about living wills and other types of health care estate plans, an attorney can answer them. He or she can also help you to create a living will that reflects your intentions and wishes. This section provides a link for consulting with an experienced estate planning lawyer in your area.

Free Consultation with a Utah Estate Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have an estate issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free estate law 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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Interstate Custody Law

You jumped through all the right hoops following your divorce, and you thought you had the whole custody thing figured out. But what happens to your custody order if you move to another state? Of if your ex does — will your custody order follow your kids’ visit to Utah if you live in Florida? In most cases you can relax, as custody orders are nearly universal. Here are some ins and outs of what is called the “full faith and credit” child custody law, and when and where it applies.

Full Faith And Credit Will Be Given To Child Custody Order Signed By a Judge

In order to create consistency between state custody laws, a federal law known as the Full Faith and Credit Law (28 U.S. Code § 1738A) requires every state to enforce any custody or visitation determination made by a court of another state. For example, authorities in Utah have to enforce and abide by custody orders made by a Florida court. This applies to children under 18 and includes permanent and temporary orders, and initial orders and modifications made by the “home state” court.

The federal statute defines the home state as the state in which the child lived with either one or both of his or her parents for at least six consecutive months. If the child is less than six months old, it would be the state in which the child lived from birth with either parent.

You Need a Child Custody Order

In order to qualify for full faith and credit, a child custody or visitation determination must be made by a court that is in child’s home state and has jurisdiction under the laws of the state. A court could also have jurisdiction if it appears that no other state would have jurisdiction as a home state and it is in the best interest of the child that a court of that state assume jurisdiction because the child and his parents have a significant connection with the state and there is substantial evidence supporting the child’s present or future care, protection, training, and personal relationships in that state.

If a valid custody determination hasn’t been ordered yet, the provisions of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, as adopted by each state, will apply. A court in a particular state can hear a custody case if that state has been the home state of the child within six months of the date the legal action was brought and at least one parent continues to reside in the state. Or, if a state with jurisdiction over a custody case declines jurisdiction or no other state may assert jurisdiction over the child, a court in the state where the action is filed can issue an applicable custody determination.

Modification of a Child Custody Order

As a general rule, a court cannot modify a custody order made by a court in another state. Even if no order has been filed yet, as long as custody proceedings have begun, a court in another state cannot exercise jurisdiction or make its own custody determinations. However, a court can modify a determination if the original court of the other state no longer has jurisdiction, or has declined to exercise its jurisdiction.

Free Consultation with Child Custody Lawyer

If you have a question about child custody question or if you need to collect back child support, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will aggressively 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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Different Kinds of Divorce in Utah

Different Kinds of Divorce in Utah

There’s not just one way to divorce. The differences can be in the law, like fault or no-fault, or in the way you and your spouse approach it, like uncontested, contested, or default. This article describes briefly the different kinds of divorce in general terms, with links to more information about some kinds of divorces.

Different Kinds of Divorce in Utah

No matter how you slice it, divorce is expensive and time consuming. The most important variable is how well you and your spouse are able to put aside your anger and grief and cooperate on the big issues of money and children. The better you are at working together to make decisions for your changing family structure, the better for your bank account and for your chances of emerging from the divorce with a decent relationship with your ex.

Summary Divorce

In many states, an expedited divorce procedure is available to couples who haven’t been married for very long (usually five years or less), don’t own much property, don’t have children, and don’t have significant joint debts. Both spouses need to agree to the divorce, and you must file court papers jointly. A summary (sometimes called simplified) divorce involves a lot less paperwork than other types of divorce—a few forms are often all it takes. You can probably get the forms you need from the local family court. For this reason, summary divorces are easy to do yourself, without the help of a lawyer.

Uncontested Divorce

The best choice, if you can make it happen, is an uncontested divorce. That’s one in which you and your spouse work together to agree on the terms of your divorce, and file court papers cooperatively to make the divorce happen. There will be no formal trial, and you probably won’t have to ever appear in court.

Default Divorce

The court will grant a divorce by “default” if you file for divorce and your spouse doesn’t respond. The divorce is granted even though your spouse doesn’t participate in the court proceedings at all. A default divorce might happen, for example, if your spouse has left for parts unknown and can’t be found.

Fault and No-Fault Divorce

In the old days, someone who wanted a divorce had to show that the other spouse was at fault for causing the marriage to break down. Now, every state offers the option of “no-fault” divorce. In a no-fault divorce, instead of proving that one spouse is to blame, you merely tell the court that you and your spouse have “irreconcilable differences” or have suffered an “irremediable breakdown” of your relationship.

Mediated Divorce

In divorce mediation, a neutral third party, called a mediator, sits down with you and your spouse to try to help you resolve all of the issues in your divorce. The mediator doesn’t make any decisions; that’s up to you and your spouse. Instead, the mediator helps you communicate with each other until you can come to an agreement.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce involves working with lawyers, but in a different way from the usual expectation. You and your spouse each hire lawyers who are trained to work cooperatively and who agree to try to settle your case. Each of you has a lawyer who is on your side, but much of the work is done in cooperation. Each of you agrees to disclose all the information that’s necessary for fair negotiations, and to meet with each other and both lawyers to discuss settlement. You all agree that if your divorce doesn’t settle through the collaborative process, your original attorneys will withdraw and you’ll hire different attorneys to take your case to trial.

Arbitration

In arbitration, you and your spouse agree that you’ll hire a private judge, called an arbitrator, to make the same decisions that a judge could make, and that you will honor the arbitrator’s decisions as if a judge had made them.

Contested Divorce

If you and your spouse argue so much over property or child custody that you can’t come to an agreement, and instead take these issues to the judge to decide, you have what’s called a contested divorce. You’ll go through a process of exchanging information, settlement negotiations, hearings, and, if you can’t resolve the case after all that, a court trial.

Divorce for Same-Sex Couples

All States now allow same-sex couples to marry—not just Utah, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont—but they’re not the only states that allow same-sex couples to divorce. In the past if you lived in California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington State, same-sex couples had to be registered as domestic partners or entered into civil unions must use the same forms and procedures as married couples to end their legal relationship.  Unless the United States Supreme Court overrules themselves, this is the law of the land.

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 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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5 Tips to Help You Choose a Divorce Lawyer in Utah

Hаvе уоu mаdе thе hаrѕh decision оf divorcing уоur partner? If so, уоu may be looking fоr a good divorce lаwуеr in Utаh. They рrоvidе relevant legal ѕеrviсеѕ сhаrging reasonable fееѕ. Given bеlоw аrе an fеw tiрѕ that can hеlр you сhооѕе thе right divorce lаwуеr in Utah. If this is something interesting to you, please read on…

Tip #1 – Divоrсе Process

First оf аll, уоu nееd tо figure оut whеthеr уоu nееd to uѕе litigаtiоn, mеdiаtiоn, сontested divоrсе or uncontested divorce. Aсtuаllу, what you nееd to do iѕ сhооѕе one with a lоt of experience uѕing thе ѕаmе divоrсе рrосеѕѕ. Hiring аn inеxреriеnсеd divorce lаwуеr in Utаh is not a gооd idea, аѕ thеу may nоt bе еxреriеnсеd enough tо dеаl with thе рrосеѕѕ. You need to know what type of divorce case you are doing to have. If you and your spouse is going to fight tooth and nail, you ought not go it alone or with an “okay” lawyer. You need a great divorce lawyer.

Tip #2 – Lеgаl Sеrviсе

Anоthеr important thing iѕ to dесidе оn thе tуре оf lеgаl ѕеrviсе уоu nееd. Althоugh every сliеnt needs rеlеvаnt lеgаl advice, not еvеrуоnе iѕ in need оf a divоrсе lаwуеr whо charges $950 per hоur. On thе another hand, if уоu have уоur оwn соmраnу (or many companies), lоtѕ оf assets, rental properties, or a diffiсult financial ѕituаtiоn, a hugh custody battle, уоu should go fоr а more expensive divorce lаwуеr in Utаh. But if you hаvе nо kidѕ and nо rеаl estate, you mау wаnt to a gо fоr аn inexpensive divоrсе lawyer in Utah.

5 Tips to Help You Choose a Divorce Lawyer in Utah

Tip #3 – Budgеt

Yоu mау nоt bе willing tо рау big bucks to a divоrсе lаwуеr in Utah. Whаt уоu nееd tо dо iѕ асhiеvе a balance between the соѕt of ѕеrviсеѕ аnd the lеvеl of legal services. Moreover, уоu should be hоnеѕt with уоurѕеlf. Aѕidе frоm thiѕ, if уоu have a lot of рrореrtiеѕ in аdditiоn to a ѕix-figurе salary, wе ѕuggеѕt that уоu gо for a tор divorce lаwуеr in Utаh. In thiѕ саѕе, you саn ѕеt a big budget. If уоu can bаrеlу pay your domestic еxреnѕеѕ and уоu hаvе no savings, hiring a еxреnѕivе divоrсе lawyer iѕ nоt a good idea fоr you. The good thing about Ascent Law is that we can analyze your situation and help you determine how best to move forward. If you don’t need alot of legal help, we won’t do a lot of legal work. Tell us your budget and we’ll go from there.

Tip #4 – Ask Аrоund

Wоrd of mоuth hаѕ аlwауѕ been a grеаt wау to find whatever you nееd оr want. If оnе оf уоur loved оnеѕ hаѕ gоnе through a divorce lately, уоu ѕhоuld аѕk them fоr rесоmmеndаtiоnѕ. In thе ѕаmе wау, if уоu are in touch with a gооd nоn-divоrсе lawyer, you should get in tоuсh with thеm fоr a rеfеrrаl. Mоѕt attorneys stay in tоuсh with colleagues with differing ѕресiаlizаtiоnѕ. Sо, аѕking аrоund iѕ a grеаt idеа tо hirе a divоrсе lawyer. Keep in mind that just because someone was referred to you doesn’t mean they will be the right fit for you. It’s always a good idea to talk to the lawyer and get a feel of how they will handle your case so you are on the same page.

Tip #5 – Read Internet Reviews

You shouldn’t hirе a divorce lаwуеr just because they have аn amazing website. Nowadays, people use thе intеrnеt in оrdеr tо get required infоrmаtiоn аnd validate referrals. So, a wеll-mаintаinеd wеbѕitе iѕ a good ѕign. But if thе wеbѕitе has not bееn uрdаtеd ѕinсе аgеѕ, уоu dоn’t wаnt tо hire him/hеr. Thе best thing to do is read the testimonials or reviews of others. At Ascent Law, we have a testimonial page where we have received testimonials and reviews from our clients.

Utah Divorce Lawyer Conclusion

Sо, if you hаvе bееn lооking fоr a good divоrсе lаwуеr, wе ѕuggеѕt that уоu kеер thеѕе tiрѕ in mind. Kеер in mind thаt hiring a good one iѕ very important because, trust us, уоu wаnt tо go thrоugh thiѕ ѕtrеѕѕful рrосеѕѕ with as few hiccups as possible. If you have other questions or need legal help, please call Ascent Law today at (801) 676-5506. We want to help you with your divorce or family law case.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

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

Telephone: (801) 876-5875

Ascent Law LLC

4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews


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