West Jordan was on of the earliest Utah pioneer settlements after the founding of Salt Lake City. The community’s roots begin in the later part of 1849 when some pioneers began spreading out in the Salt Lake valley. West Jordan’s original unofficial area included most of the valley on the West Side of the Jordan River, and about a three-mile strip on the east side of the river past State Street in an area now occupied by Midvale, Sandy and the former Crescent area. West Jordan’s name captures some of the flavor of what the Mormon pioneers considered their promised land. They saw strong similarities in this arid western desert and the biblical lands. Both contained fresh water lakes (Sea of Galilee and Utah Lake) and dead salt water rivers (River Jordan and Utah River.) This similarity in geological features led to this area being referred to as a western Jordan and the southern part of the valley as the Jordan Valley.
Brigham Young reinforced this concept when he renamed the Utah River the West Jordan River, which was shortened through time and use to the Jordan River. The first settlers in the present area known as West Jordan were the Marius Ensign, Thomas Butterfield, and Samuel Egbert families. Other settlers soon followed. In 1850 Archibald Gardner and his brother Robert built a 2.5 mile millrace (canal) to bring water out of the Jordan River to the area of 7800 South. The water thus channeled was to provide a source of power for the saw mill they built the following year. Before long the population began to cluster near this general area and other enterprises were built and operated such as a flour mill, woolen mill, and tannery. Many settlers initially built dugouts to live in near the crest of the hill overlooking the river bottoms where farming was done. Although the original flour mill was burned by fire, it was rebuilt and still stands. During the 1980’s it was converted into a fine furniture and delightful gift shop before a quality restaurant was added as well as a little village complex on the adjoining land. About one hundred yards to the Southwest of the flour mill, stands the first non-log chapel in Salt Lake Valley outside Salt Lake City. It took years of construction (1861-1867) before completion and dedication by Brigham Young. This building was known as the Rock Meeting House. It served most of settlements in the south end of the valley on both sides of the river and was used for many activities besides church. In fact to help finance the roof, a grand ball was held and officers from Fort Douglas were invited to participate. Dancing was a favorite pastime of the pioneers. In addition the building was used for school and other community activities and social events. Today the structure remains basically unchanged from the way the pioneers built it. Although the city of West Jordan now owns the property, it is operated by The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, who make it available through rental to the public. Over the past three decades, its has also been used by other religions coming into the area.
The building, now known as Pioneer Hall, adjoins the West Jordan Cemetery, which is one of two in the community with pioneer origins. The second is the small Wight’s Forts cemetery located on 9000 South at 3449 West. In 1872 a major multicommunity cooperative effort was launched to build canals throughout the valley to provide water. This in turn provided the initial means for further growth in farming, settlement and other related development. West Jordan was also the site of some of the very earliest airplane flights in the west, which commenced in 1909 and continued through 14 March 1910. These experimental flights were made by L. R. Culver about six years after the Wright brothers flew their airplane at Kitty Hawk in 1903. Culver, a farmhand, built the aircraft in a farm equipment shed near 1700 West and 9000 South. At first a glider was constructed, then a motor was added to power the craft. His most successful flight was about fifty feet off the ground and lasted for about fifteen to twenty minutes. Much of Utah’s sugar beet history and production was centered in West Jordan due to the large sugar factory built and operated in the community for many years. West Jordan also had been known for its fur industry, which has mostly disappeared due to urbanization. In the sports world, several West Jordan boxers gained national and international recognition, ranking and titles under the management of Marvin Jenson. Most notably native-son Gene Fullmer twice won the World Middle Weight Boxing Championship. Other fighters of note include AAU champions Floyd Richardson and Rex Layne (also a top professional contender), Olympic champion Jay Lambert, and Gene Fullmer’s brother Don, who also fought for the Middle-weight championship. In politics, West Jordan was the home of Jean M. Westwood, when she was chosen to chair the National Democratic party on 14 July 1972, the first woman in America to chair a major national political party. It was 10 January 1941 before the town of West Jordan, with a population of less than 2,000, was officially incorporated. In the late 1960s the community began growing at such a rate it became one of the fastest growing small communities in the United States. By 1990 the population had reached 42,912. During this time the community has developed a degree of economic diversity with segments of industrial and commercial development along with its population growth. In the process, over a dozen community parks have been acquired and developed. This push to strengthen quality of life for citizens is also reflected in a recent successful proposal that brought it together with its sister city, South Jordan, to win the location site for a new 100-acre Salt Lake Community College campus, which will be built straddling the cities’ shared border.
Utah Lawmakers Clarify Role Of Fault In Divorce Alimony Awards
In many marriages, one partner makes more significant financial contributions to the relationship. When the marriage ends in divorce, this partner may be required to pay spousal support, otherwise known as alimony, so that the other partner can maintain a standard of living more similar to that enjoyed during the marriage. In West Jordan, Utah, courts may consider many factors in deciding whether to award spousal support, such as the recipient’s earning capacity and current financial situation, the individual paying alimony’s ability to provide spousal support, the length of the marriage, and whether the recipient helped increase the individual paying alimony’s earning capacity during the marriage by supporting him or her through higher education. Interestingly, while West Jordan Utah is a no-fault divorce state (meaning that neither party has to show wrongdoing to dissolve the marriage), Utah courts can consider fault when setting alimony. However, courts had long struggled with how to properly define fault in making a spousal support award. Now, thanks to a new law passed in the West Jordan Utah legislature, judges will have an easier time determining what qualifies as wrongdoing when setting an alimony award.
The initiative to define fault in setting alimony started as House Bill 338, and after approval in the state House and Senate, became law in Title 30, Chapter 3, and Section 5 of the Utah Code. The fault determination is two-part: first, one or more acts of specifically listed wrongful conduct must have been engaged in during the marriage, and second, the act or acts must have “substantially contributed to the breakup of the marriage relationship” (In other words, the wrongful conduct must have played an important role in causing the divorce).
The wrongful conduct listed in the statute includes:
• Having sex with anyone other than the person’s spouse
• Physically harming, or attempting to cause harm, to the other spouse or to children who were still minors
• Causing the other spouse or the minor children to fear life threatening harm (this fear must be reasonable under the circumstances, meaning that in the same situation a normally prudent person would have feared life threatening harm)
• Undermining, in a significant manner, the financial stability of the spouse or of the children
Generally, conduct must have been knowing and intentional to come into play in an alimony decision. For example, a spouse who accidentally caused his or her spouse and children to reasonably fear life threatening harm by being involved in an auto accident while driving the family car would likely not have to worry about such an incident being used as leverage in a spousal support determination. If fault is at issue, the court may, in its discretion, close the proceedings, and may also seal the records when the proceedings are complete.
Alimony In West Jordan, Utah
Under Utah law, the court may award alimony to either spouse. The court will examine the circumstances in the case, including whether either party’s behavior caused the marital failure. Alimony may be granted on a temporary basis as well as permanently after entry of the divorce decree. The longer the marriage, the more likely alimony will be awarded. Utah courts determine alimony on a case-by-case basis by looking at the financial situation of each spouse. The courts generally compare the earning capacities. The court requests a financial statement from both spouses to assess their financial needs and conditions. The court then examines the income and debts of the payor spouse. These factors are crucial in determining if alimony will be awarded, and how much alimony the recipient receives. Alimony may be reviewed and modified if the parties’ conditions change. Alimony terminates automatically upon remarriage or cohabitation by the recipient. The party seeking modification due to change of circumstances must provide proof of changed circumstances.
The court may consider the marital misconduct of the parties – fault – in determining alimony. Except in unusual circumstances, Utah courts do not order alimony for a period that exceeds the length of the marriage. The court considers the standard of living that existed at separation. For short marriages with no children, the court may consider the standard of living that existed when the marriage began. A party who pays alimony is allowed to claim the payments as a deduction on federal tax forms. The party receiving alimony is required to claim it as income on federal tax forms.
Types of Alimony In West Jordan
Courts may order temporary, short- and long-term alimony. Temporary alimony is granted at the discretion of the court during the divorce proceedings and before the final decree. Short-term alimony may be granted to allow the receiving party time to gain necessary skills. Long-term, or permanent, alimony may be granted to a spouse who has significant needs, and is usually reserved for lengthy marriages.
Factors Considered by the Court
Alimony in West Jordan Utah is discretionary. According to the Utah Code – Sections: 30-3-3, 30-3-5, the court considers at least the following factors in determining the length of time and amount of alimony to be awarded:
• the financial condition and needs of the recipient spouse;
• the earning capacity or income potential;
• the reasonability of the paying spouse to pay;
• the duration of the marriage;
• whether the recipient spouse has custody of minor children requiring support;
• whether the recipient spouse worked in a business owned or operated by the payor spouse; and
• whether the desiring spouse contributed to the earning capacity of the paying spouse.
Utah Marital Property Laws
During marriage, couples acquire the rights to some of the property and assets, as well as debts, acquired by one or both of them. Marital property doesn’t include things that are considered “separate property” owned by either spouse, for example, property owned before marriage, inheritance, gifts, property specifically excluded by valid prenuptial agreements, and property gained after legally separating. In addition, keep in mind that you are also on the hook still for your separate debts from before marriage.
Equitable Distribution vs. Community Property
There are two ways states divide marital property: equitable distribution and community property. Utah is an equitable distribution or common law state, which is the majority marital property legal system. This means marital property in West Jordan Utah isn’t automatically assumed to be owned by both spouses and therefore should be divided equally in a divorce. In West Jordan Utah, marital property is divided “equitably” or fairly, which may not be an even 50-50. Usually for longer marriages, it is about 50% to each party. For short-term marriages, the court generally puts people back to their position before the marriage, such as giving people what they had before the marriage and typically what they made during the marriage. Parties can agree on how they want to divide the property outside of court, but a judge will review it to ensure it’s fair.
The Pros And Cons Of Hiring A Divorce Attorney In West Jordan, Utah
Divorce is a tough time for everyone. Even if you think that you can go at it alone, it is always a good idea to have someone by your side. A divorce attorney provides you with the legal and emotional support you need to get through such a difficult time in your life. Although it is always advised to hire a divorce attorney to help you throughout the divorce process, there are some reasons why a person would not want to hire one. If you have decided to get a divorce and are wondering whether it is vital to hire a divorce attorney, you need to read on. Just like with any other legal procedure, there are both pros and cons of hiring a divorce attorney. It is important to know about these before you consider hiring one. The following are some of the pros of hiring a divorce attorney.
Pros Of Hiring A Divorce Attorney
Knows The Procedure
Divorce attorneys are specialized in family law, especially the part which focuses on divorce. They are up to date with regards to all the latest developments in divorce law. Each state has different laws and having a divorce attorney helps ensure that you someone on your side who knows the entire procedure. The divorce lawyer would know exactly how a divorce would be handled in the jurisdiction of your residence. There are many rules and regulations in every state. This is why when you have a divorce attorney working for you, you get to take advantage of his or her expertise.
Handles The Paperwork
Just like any other legal procedure, there are a lot of paperwork involved in a divorce. The divorce attorney would know when and how to file motions and petitions at the court. Keep in mind that there is a ton of paperwork that is involved in a divorce and it determines the outcome of your divorce. Therefore, when you hire a divorce attorney, you can be rest assured knowing that the attorney would know what to file, when to file, and what to request.
Negotiations are something that experienced divorce attorneys excel in. It can be tough to negotiate important issues like child custody, spousal support, and property division on your own. Furthermore, it state has its own laws that relate to these issues. Hence, you need to hire a divorce attorney as he or she will skillfully negotiate the terms of the divorce settlement.
Familiar With The Local Court
The local judge does not care if it is your first time defending yourself in court. You will be treated just like any other lawyer. However, when you hire a divorce attorney, he or she would know local attorneys and judges, and would also be familiar with the local court procedure. This will help improve your chances of receiving a verdict that in your best interests. Moreover, navigating the court system on your own can be extremely difficult, but with a divorce attorney, you do not have to worry about that.
Saves Money In The Long Run
Despite the high fees, there is a reason why people seek the help of a divorce attorney. When you hire a divorce attorney, you get to hire someone who has the experience and expertise needed to professionally fight for your best interests. Thus, you will end up saving a lot of money in the long-run. Moreover, important issues such as child custody and spousal payments would not be dragged on for years. Instead, the attorney will help ensure that everything is settled in your best interests. Hence, you will save a lot of money.
Impartial Expert Advice
When you hire a divorce attorney, you have an impartial third party whom you can ask for expert advice. As the attorney would not be emotionally invested in your case, you will receive expert advice that is unbiased and solely focuses on the legal issues. Besides, you do not need to worry about the lawyer making any decisions based on emotions. It is strictly business with a divorce attorney.
Finally, one of the main reasons why people hire a divorce attorney in the first place is because it is less stressful when you have an experienced professional fighting for your best interests. Having a good divorce attorney will lessen the level of stress you might be facing. Hence, hiring a divorce attorney is good for your mental health and wellbeing.
Cons Of Hiring A Divorce Attorney
Although it is great to have a divorce attorney by your side, it might not always be a good idea to hire one. Some of the cons associated with hiring a divorce lawyer are mentioned below.
May Cause Drama
If you hire a divorce attorney without consulting with your spouse or at least informing him or her, you can expect a lot of drama. Your spouse might read hiring an attorney as a sign that you do not trust him or her, and are only in it for yourself. Moreover, your spouse would think that since you have a lawyer, you would take serious action against him or her. Thus, it could potentially ruin what is left of your relationship with your partner. This is something that you have to consider before you hire a divorce attorney.
There is no denying that hiring a divorce attorney is expensive. There are a ton of fees and extra costs that you have to pay, especially if the divorce is drawn out and messy. But, at the same time, it is always a good idea to have professional legal assistance when things get messy. You need to consider the cost as a one-time cost unlike the costs you would have to pay consecutively in the future, once the verdict has been reached. You might end up with heavy spousal support payments and difficulty in getting to visit your child.
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!
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506