West Valley City Utah Attorneys
West Valley City is a city in Salt Lake County and a suburb of Salt Lake City in the U.S. state of Utah. The population was 129,480 at the 2010 census, making it the second-largest city in Utah. The city incorporated in 1980 from a large, quickly growing unincorporated area, which was variously known as Granger, Hunter, Chesterfield, and Redwood. It is home to the Maverik Center and USANA Amphitheatre. West Valley City has a nonpartisan, strong city manager form of government, which means that the city manager is analogous to a corporation’s CEO, while the mayor fills a role similar to chairman of the board, with the City Council acting as the “board”. The mayor and six councilors are elected to four-year terms. Mayoral elections are held the same year as three of the councilors. The other three councilors are staggered two years from the mayoral. Two council seats are at-large, or citywide, and the remaining four seats represent districts of approximately 28,000 residents. Officials are not subject to term limits. As of November 2013, the most recent election was held in November, 2013. In the Utah State Legislature, West Valley City is in Senate Districts 1, 3, 5, and 12 represented by Democrat Luz Robles, Democrat Gene Davis, Democrat Karen Mayne, and Republican Daniel Thatcher and House Districts 30, 31, and 33, represented by Republican Fred Cox, Republican Sophia DiCaro, and Republican Craig Hall. Federally, West Valley City lies in the 2nd and 4th congressional districts, represented by Republican Chris Stewart and Democrat Ben McAdams. The West Valley City Police Department is administered by Chief Lee W. Russo with support from four Deputy Chiefs. With “194.5 sworn officers” and 45 civilian employees, the West Valley City Police Department responds to more than 110,000 calls for service annually, As of 2016. In 2013, the city police’s narcotics unit was disbanded due to rampant corruption among its officers. These officers were found stealing small items from seized vehicles, taking evidence, and placing tracking devices on potential suspects’ vehicles without warrants.
Divorce: Do You Need a Lawyer?
If you’re contemplating divorce, you may be overwhelmed with the amount of information available to you on the internet. It’s no surprise that in today’s internet-driven world there are thousands of blogs, self-help websites, and legal advice sites available to you. But, what happens if you listen to the wrong advice and make a mistake when filing your divorce? Or, what if you can’t interpret your state divorce laws and you lose your rights to marital property in your divorce? Although most states don’t require you to hire a lawyer, sometimes it might be the best way to protect your interests in a divorce.
Negotiate Your Divorce, Without an Attorney
Although divorce is one of the most complex and emotional legal processes in family law, not all couples require in-depth court assistance to end their marriage. If you and your spouse are on the same page about what you want for your family, you may be able to negotiate a divorce settlement on your own. When you and your spouse decide to divorce, if you can communicate, try to talk about each of your ideal outcomes for child custody, visitation, child support, property division, and alimony. It’s no surprise that children fare much better after a divorce if the parents can continue to facilitate a quality relationship with the child and each other. If you find that you’re on the same page and are both willing to put your agreement in writing, you might be able to save time and money by not hiring an attorney to go to trial for your case. However, even the most agreeable couples can hit roadblocks during the settlement process, so be prepared to consider mediation and/or hire an attorney if that happens. If you think you entered into a bad deal or agreed to something you didn’t understand, your only recourse will be to go back to court to try and change your final order. But undoing a divorce agreement is difficult and generally only allowed under very limited circumstances. Another thing to consider is hiring a consulting attorney, who can simply perform a review of your proposed divorce settlement before you sign it. It’s important to understand that when you agree to the terms of the divorce, and a judge signs your judgment; you will be bound by that agreement and court order. If you think you entered into a bad deal or agreed to something you didn’t understand, your only recourse will be to go back to court to try and change your final order. But undoing a divorce agreement is difficult and generally only allowed under very limited circumstances. For this reason, it’s wise to hire a divorce lawyer to review your settlement agreement before you sign it.
An Attorney Can Explain Your Rights
Although you might be hesitant to hire an attorney to get you through your divorce, you should understand that experienced, local divorce lawyers know the law, especially as it pertains to your state. Every state has different divorce requirements, so unless you’re confident in your ability to interpret statutes and correctly complete legal paperwork, you might consult with a family law attorney in your area. It’s a good idea to interview a few attorneys before you decide on one. You should ask whether the attorney is in favor of alternative dispute resolution or, mediation to resolve disputes. If yes, then your attorney will probably not advocate for a trial unless your spouse is uncooperative or unreasonable. If the attorney you interview doesn’t have experience with negotiations, settlements, or is a zealous advocate of litigation, you might want to move on with your search. Most attorneys will advocate for their clients while also attempting to resolve the case as quickly as possible.
Collaborative Practice for Your Divorce
While most attorneys are willing to utilize alternative divorce solutions, like mediation, some are trying a new divorce method called “collaborative practice,” which is where the clients and lawyers agree, in advance, not to litigate in court. In collaborative practice, both sides agree to share information voluntarily and work towards a settlement. In order to use this process, your spouse will need to agree to a collaborative divorce and hire a collaborative lawyer as well. Both spouses and their attorneys will sign a contract that states if the parties can’t reach an agreement using the collaborative process, each client will hire a new attorney to handle the contested case. By eliminating the option for trial, both parties (and their attorneys) will work harder to settle, which saves both time and money.
When Should You Hire an Attorney?
There are certain situations where you should always hire an attorney. If there’s a history of domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse, or sexual abuse, hiring an attorney is the best way to protect your rights. When there is a power imbalance and/or violence between partners, a fair negotiation can become impossible. If your spouse hires an attorney, you should do the same. Although you might feel like you can represent yourself in your divorce, when one side has an attorney and the other doesn’t, it often results in the unrepresented party walking away without a fair deal. Do yourself a favor, hire an attorney and level the playing field. Although no divorce is pleasant, some are outright unbearable, especially if the other party in your case is hiding assets, destroying property, wasting marital funds, or threatening you with physical or financial ruin for filing for divorce. If you find that you can’t work with your spouse, hiring a qualified attorney to represent you may be your only option. Not only will the attorney advocate for your rights throughout the divorce, but there’s also no question that you will feel some relief from the stress of your divorce knowing that you have someone in your corner.
What If I Can’t Afford an Attorney?
Depending on where you live, divorce can cost more than $25,000 when you hire an attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney, you can call your local legal aid office to see if you qualify for assistance. Most legal aid programs have limited resources, so you might only have the opportunity to speak with an attorney over the phone. In some cases, especially those involving domestic violence, legal aid can furnish an attorney to work with you for the entirety of your case. If you don’t qualify for legal aid, you may be able to find an attorney willing to take your case “pro bono,” which means for free. Some states, but not all, require attorneys to provide a specific number of pro bono hours per year. The best way to find a pro bono or low-cost attorney is to contact your state bar association and ask for referrals. Although not all attorneys have the resources to provide free services, some may offer lower prices or payment plans.
These are the main types of law you will find that our office will help you with as Ascent Law:
Finally, some family law courthouses offer clinics or volunteer legal staff who can point you to the right paperwork, review settlement agreements, and even assist in filling out paperwork. Contact your local courthouse and/or check its website to find out if there are any services you can use.
Things To Bring To Your Initial Consultation With A Divorce Lawyer
Most attorneys that practice divorce law offer a free initial consultation where you can schedule a time to meet in person with the lawyer. The guide provides you with advice on how to prepare for an efficient and effective consultation. While most divorce attorneys in West Valley City don’t specifically provide direct legal advice during this first meeting, having the right information will not only provide for an effective first meeting, it will show the attorney that you will be a well-prepared client. Let’s get to the list.
Prepare Your Schedule Of Assets And Debts
The Schedule of Assets and Debts is one of the most important documents in any divorce case. Every party in every divorce case in Utah has to complete this form before their dissolution of marriage will be granted by the court. You may as well start now and get this document completed, which will be extremely helpful for the attorney during your initial consultation.
Prepare Your Income and Expense Declaration
The Income and Expense Declaration is the other document included in the Declaration of Disclosure. The IED includes the party’s income, expenses, and must include recent pay stubs of the person filling out the form.
Prepare a List Of Questions You Want To Ask The Divorce Lawyer
On our Massachusetts divorce blog, we prepared a list of 15 questions to ask a divorce lawyer. Having a bullet-point list of questions ready to ask is imperative to managing your time with the attorney and getting the information you need.
Bring at least the most recent tax return filed by you and your spouse, if you file a joint return. If you file separate returns, try and bring your spouse’s latest tax return as well. If you can bring the last two years’ tax returns that would be greatly beneficial.
If you or your spouses are self-employed, bring as many documents as you can regarding the business operations, income and expenses. Bring a current profit and loss statement, balance sheet and any other relevant current documents. Be sure to bring the last year’s Schedule A tax return document
List Out The Relevant Facts About Your Case
As a reminder for yourself during your meeting, bring a bullet-point list of important facts about you, your family and children. This list will sort of act like a statistical analysis about your family. The list should include the date of marriage, children’s names and birthdays, and other like information.
Ask the Attorney For His Or Her Client Intake Sheet In Advance Of The Meeting- Many attorneys require clients to complete an intake sheet or survey prior to the initial consultation. You can call the attorney’s office in advance to make sure that you have time to completely fill out the form.
Information About The Other Party
Bring information about your spouse to your initial consultation, including their place of employment, pay stubs, and relevant facts about their personality. If there is a history of mental illness, bring the relevant information to your meeting.
Documents Already Filed In The Divorce Case
If a divorce case has been filed already, bring a copy of all the filed documents to your meeting. Have an extra copy to provide to the lawyer so you can both look at a copy during your meeting.
Documents And Evidence That Might Be Important
Often times dissolution of marriage cases are filed because one or both spouses were not acting properly toward the other party or the children of the marriage.
Do You Have a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement?
One of the first things your divorce lawyer will want to know is whether you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place. A prenuptial agreement is negotiated and signed before the marriage occurs; in contrast, postnuptial agreements occur after the wedding. Both of these are considered “nuptial agreements”, or agreements made in connection with a marriage. If you and your spouse have in fact signed a nuptial agreement, then it typically will dictate how your income, property, and debts will be divided during a divorce. However, nuptial agreements generally cannot limit child support or custody. When properly constructed, both pre and postnuptial agreements are considered to be legal and enforceable. If you have a nuptial agreement, then you should bring a copy of it to your divorce consultation appointment. Most importantly, if you have any concerns about the validity of the agreement, then make sure you make this known to your lawyer.
Why are You Seeking a Divorce?
Most states divorce laws allow for both no-fault and fault divorces. In a no-fault divorce, you do not have to prove that your spouse caused the conflict or separation. Instead, you simply acknowledge that you can no longer get along in the marriage. In a fault-based divorce, you must show that your spouse caused the marriage to end somehow. Common reasons for a fault divorce include spousal abuse, adultery, and abandonment. In a fault-based divorce, the underlying circumstances may impact several of your rights. These may include your right to marital property, child custody, and financial support. For instance, an abusive spouse may have difficulty obtaining sole or primary custody of a child.
Do You Have Any Children From the Marriage?
If you and your spouse have children together, you must address various issues like custody and child support during your divorce. Child-related issues can create complications in a divorce. Your lawyer will need to understand how custody, visitation, and support obligations will influence negotiations and proceedings in connection with the divorcee. They will also have to present the court with information about your children’s best interests, upbringing, and financial needs.
What Should I Bring to a Meeting with a Divorce Lawyer?
It is important to bring detailed information and certain documents to your first appointment with a divorce lawyer. He or she may want to see:
• Your marriage license;
• Your children’s birth certificates;
• Any court filings or documents related to the divorce proceeding
• Financial information about your bank accounts, assets, debt, and income;
• Any nuptial agreements; and
• Any other evidence or information related to your divorce.
This information will help the lawyer evaluate and understand your divorce claim, so that the process goes more smoothly. This includes any documents that show proof of ownership of various properties, like the deed to your home or the deed to your car.
West Valley City Lawyer
When you need a lawyer in West Valley City Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506