Month: September 2015

Separate Property vs Marital Property

Separate Property vs Marital Property

Separate Property vs Marital Property – What Happens in a Divorce?

One of the hardest parts of getting divorced is agreeing on the splitting of assets. There are a lot of issues taken into consideration when dividing assets, including the contribution of each person previous to the marriage, during the union and since separation. It is also based on need and fairness.

Marital property is usually divided – sometimes it may be as simple as “you can keep your collection of skiing equipment, but that means I want the home entertainment system, which is of equal value”. With assets that cannot be divided up like that, such as a house or a car, the item may be sold and each person gets part of the cash. The exact laws for how this works can vary depending on where you are in the country. In general, assets that are owned by a husband and a wife together are called community property, and different states will have different ways of handling this. For example, the state of Utah is a community property state, and this means that the husband and wife are equal owners of everything that is earned by either party from the day they get married until they day they separate.

Any property that is acquired during the marriage, which was paid for by ‘community’ money, is owned equally by the husband and the wife, regardless of who made the purchase.

Debts Count Too

In community property states, it is not just assets that are considered shared between couples, but debts too. Each spouse is liable for the debts of the other – whether those debts are credit cards, traditional loans, mortgages, car loans, or other debts. This means that when a couple decides that they want to get divorced they should settle all such accounts as quickly as possible. In the eyes of the law, the couple will be responsible for debts even if the name of the other person is removed from the account. If the debt was started while the couple was together, then the couple is liable until the debt is paid off.

Separate Property vs Marital Property

What is Separate Property?

So, if anything acquired using ‘community money’ is considered ‘community property’, then what is separate property? Well, separate property is anything that one spouse formally agrees, in writing, to give up to the other spouse. This can be a complex issue, though, and it is possible for separate property and community property to become mixed up. When this happens, it is essential that the couple keeps good records, and traces payments, to show where the separate and community funds went, and where they came from.

One example of this would be if a husband puts down the initial downpayment for a house before they enter into a relationship. They then get married, and the remainder of the house is paid for with ‘community money’. When the marriage ends and the house is sold, if the husband is able to prove that they put in separate funds for the down payment, they may be entitled to be reimbursed for that payment. Your Ogden Divorce Attorney can advise you on this.

This is true for debts as well. Anything that was incurred before the couple got together is considered to be a separate debt, and this means that when the couple gets divorced, only the person who owes the debt is liable for it.

The date of separation is something that should be looked at by your American Fork Divorce Attorneycarefully, because different states have different rules regarding this. For example, some states consider separation to be the date that the spouse moves away from the marital home. Others consider it to be the date that the spouse formally agrees to end the marriage. It is important that the date is recorded accurately, because that is the date at which any future property or debt acquired is no longer considered ‘community’.

The issue is complicated, however, by the fact that the courts look for evidence of when the marriage broke down, and what is considered evidence is quite subjective. If you feel that your marriage is starting to break down, be sure to seek legal advice from an American Fork Divorce Lawyer, Sandy Divorce Lawyer, or an Ogden Divorce Lawyer as quickly as possible. Otherwise you could end up in severe financial mess. Do not leave the marital home until you have sought financial advice, unless you have reason to believe that either you or your children (if you have any) would be in danger of physical violence if you remained in the home. Do not take any action such as selling property or closing accounts without seeking advice, either, as the courts may view this as a deliberate attempt to deprive your partner of assets. It is reasonable to want to have a small emergency fund, but you should not try to hide assets from your spouse, because this would be frowned upon if it were identified during the divorce proceedings and could impact your chances of fair awarding of assets.

Separate Property vs Marital Property

Preparing For Mediation With 5 Helpful Tips

Preparing For Mediation With 5 Helpful Tips

Preparing For Mediation With 5 Helpful Tips

Working through any sort of child custody case can be a very sensitive topic for both parents. No matter what the underlying situation might be, there can be high pressure, plenty of emotion and an overwhelming worry of what could come. When you are getting ready to go into a mediation appointment in your custody case, there are some ways that you can make things a little easier so that you are nice and prepared. These are five helpful tips to get you prepared for your child custody mediation:

Never Go In Unprepared

There is nothing worse than finding out that you are not prepared, especially when it comes to something as important as child custody mediation. You can take the time to list any of the issues that you would like to discuss while you are at mediation. Write down any your fears or concerns and don’t forget to mention what you think could be done to help get some of the issues resolved.

Properly organizing all of your thoughts will help you to have a better understanding of any problems or issues that could be in the way while you are looking to get the agreement that would make you happy. Being more prepared will also give you a solid footing should you have to go into any sort of negotiation with the other parent.

Preparing For Mediation With 5 Helpful Tips

What Are You Asking For?

You may have been thinking about it, but you may not know exactly how to get your point across when it comes to what you are looking for the results of mediation to be. Would you like to have more custody than you do now, or would you simply want to share joint custody? There are sample parenting plans that you can download online or ask your American Fork Divorce Attorney. This will help you to determine what may work best for you. Always take into consideration any of the vacations, holidays, school programs and schedules that your children currently have.

Voice Your Concerns

No matter how difficult it might be, you need to be able to voice any concerns that you have. After all, as one of the parents in the situation, you need to be a voice for your child. If you are worried about your child(ren) being with the other parent for long periods of time due to abuse in the past, you need to be able to make this known. Maybe you are worried about a back and forth schedule during the week because of their ages or work schedules. No matter what the issues might be, mediation is the perfect time to lay it all out on the table so that you can hopefully have a chance to talk about every aspect in a safe and civil manner.

Gather The Right Documents

If there is anything on file that you want to present during mediation, you need to make sure that you have it with you and give it to your Ogden Divorce Attorney or your American Fork Divorce Lawyer. This could be anything from your child’s report cards or a police report. Basically, you want to have all of the necessary documentation to back up any and all concerns that you have when it comes to custody or visitation scheduling. The more paperwork and physical evidence that you have, the easier it will be to go through the mediation session and it will cut down on the he said, she said conversations that can often times take place.

Take A Breath And Stay Calm

Whether you go in with a cool head or not, mediation can be very stressful. This is even more so when one or both of the parents in the situation are known for being able to push each other’s buttons. You never want to lose your temper, as it can actually make you look volatile and irrational to the mediator that is working with you. Also, if you are able to keep a calm head, it will help you to be more open to compromise and working through the important issues for the sake of your kids. This is why it is good to have an Ogden Divorce Lawyer with you.

There are some courts that will allow your lawyer to go with you, while others are not allowed. The mediation plan should still be discussed with your lawyer and he or she can help you to gather any of the necessary paperwork that you should have on hand. Always explain as best you can what all of your concerns are so that your lawyer can work on giving you some good tips before mediation takes place. Even if you are unable to have your attorney there, he/she will be able to get on the right track for a good negotiation strategy.

All too often, a custody dispute can start to get confrontational in nature and both parents can hate one another. You never want to use custody as a bargaining chip or any sort of battleground. Instead, you will start to see the benefit of  being able to talk with one another in a civil manner. With the right mediator, you may just be surprised at exactly how much you will be able to work through to get to a  compromise.

Once you have a date for mediation, you want to take the time to use these tips to get everything worked out on one day. The combination of preparedness and calmness with help you get through the day with ease while enduring the struggle to find an agreement.

Preparing For Mediation With 5 Helpful Tips

What Does a Mediator Actually Do at Mediation?

What Does a Mediator Actually Do at Mediation?

Mediators are people who can help you when you need to make decisions with someone else, and the two parties cannot agree. Mediators cannot force people to reach an agreement, and cannot take sides. In addition, they cannot offer any legal advice. Given that knowledge, it is easy to understand why so many people think that mediation is a waste of time. What does a mediator really do?

Well, the truth is that mediators play a very important role. They help people to reach agreements without the need for a judge, and if both parties are committed to making the process work, then mediation can save time, alleviate stress, keep matters private (court proceedings become a matter of public record) and save you a lot of money too. Mediators keep a neutral role, and act as an impartial person who will ask questions and keep the discussion on track. In a scenario where a dispute is serious enough that the two parties cannot discuss it civilly alone, but the desire to reach an agreement is still there, a mediator can be very valuable.

You Guide the Process

When a dispute goes to court, the two parties lose complete control over the process and are bound by whatever the court decides. Mediators allow you to keep control over the decision making process. The mediator is there purely to stop the dispute from getting out of hand. Mediators do not grant orders, and they will not act impartially. They may give advice about non-legal matters – if their opinion is solicited; but they will never give unsolicited advice or legal council.

This makes mediation a safe space. You know that you will be asked hard questions and that the mediator will play devil’s advocate. But you also know that the mediator is there to give you a reality check, and that they will give the same reality check to the person on the other side of the discussion. You know that the mediator is not taking sides, and that they just want to see an agreement reached.

Mediators stop arguments from ruining relationships and businesses. They keep both parties focused on the issue at hand. If you have a property dispute, for example, the issue of management in your business may be clouding your judgement if you feel that the person you are in dispute with regarding the property has wronged you in that respect too. A mediator would help you focus on the issue at hand, and find a non-confrontational way of communicating what it is that you want.

Mediators don’t just focus on the letter of the law, they focus on reaching a mutually agreeable resolution to whatever the problem is.

What Does a Mediator Actually Do at Mediation?

Avoiding Court

Going to court is expensive, it takes a long time, it wastes your time and it leads to stress. Also, you cannot guarantee what the judge will rule. Unless there are millions of dollars on the line, and the case is very clear-cut, it does not make sense to risk seeing your former partner, neighbor or client in the courtroom. Most disputes can be settled like adults with calm, dispassionate discussion.

Sometimes amicable settlements can be reached and relationships can be repaired. Sometimes people can go back to doing business with each other. In many cases, though, people go their separate ways when mediation is over. While this is not ideal, it is still better than the painful and public nature of a trial.

If you choose your words carefully, and the mediator will encourage you to do this, then you will be able to reach an agreement in mediation without committing to anything during the negotiation process. Agreeing to try a visit to a mediator does not mean giving up your right to go to court at a later date if mediation does not work out. Of course, the person you visit will fight to make sure that does not happen – after all, if you end up going to court anyway then that will mean that they did not do their job properly. But, in the short term seeing a mediator makes a lot of sense.

If you have been asked by someone else to talk to a third party about a dispute before going to court, it is worth doing so. Go in with an open mind, and listen to their side of the story. Think about what you actually want. If you are seeing a lawyer already, ask them what they think your chances really are in the courtroom. Remember that while you may think you have a good case and a reasonable chance of getting what you want in court, if things go the other way it could be expensive for you.

Do not take that risk unless you are absolutely certain that you understand what is on the line and you are completely confident and sure of your decision to not negotiate. Do not let greed be the only motivation for going to court – or spite or a desire for revenge. The mediator is trying to find a mutually beneficial resolution to the dispute. It may not be the conclusion that you want the most, but it is a definite and decisive outcome, and it is one that you know will give you some benefit. Sometimes, compromising in that way makes the most sense.

A good lawyer will give realistic advice about the process, but they do also want to get a fee out of you, so read between the lines of what they are saying. Are you really sure that you will get the best possible outcome in court? Are you willing to wait the length of time that outcome would take? If not, then mediation is the best option for your case and you should give it a fair shot.

What Does a Mediator Actually Do at Mediation?

Trying to find the right attorney or law firm to talk to about your criminal or divorce case? Give us a call for your FREE consultation. An American Fork Divorce Lawyer or Ogden Divorce Attorney can speak with you for a FREE Consultation.

Ogden Office 801-436-5757 or American Fork Office: 801-641-2933.

If you need our office address they are:

Ogden Office: 298 24TH STREET, SUITE 205 OGDEN UT 84401

American Fork Office:  76 N. MERCHANT ST. AMERICAN FORK, UT 84003

Do You Feel Like Your Lawyer Is On Your Side And Fighting For You?

When you need to hire the services of a lawyer it can be a very stressful time in your life. Whether it is for personal injury, criminal defense, civil suit, or any other type of situation where a lawyer is involved, it is so important that you get the service and respect you deserve.

Some lawyers are very money hungry and only care about settling cases right away and will not fight for their clients. While other lawyers are completely honest up front and will tell you whether or not you have a legitimate case. Lawyers do not like to waste time, especially on petty cases that may not work out in their favor.

Lawyers who work on a no fee basis where they only collect money should you win your case may be brutally honest with you up front. Do not get offended because you need to keep in mind they are only going to take cases where they are reasonably sure of winning them. Lawyers are in the business to defend their clients but also make money. They want and need to be paid for their services. While they love what they do, in the end they work for the same reason we all do. To make money and help people get what they need.

The simplest way to find an Ogden Criminal Defense Attorney today is  through a good referral. If you have someone you trust that gives an honest opinion of their time spent with the lawyer, then that may be someone to check out. You will still need to find the right lawyer for your situation. Keep in mind that lawyers have all different types of specialties. Much like doctors, lawyers practice in specific types of law. So before you go an spend time with them it is important to know if they handle your type of case. It would be unfortunate to have an eye doctor treating your brain cancer or a civil attorney representing you on a federal felony. Training, education and experience are all important factors.

If you are filing for divorce you are going to need a good lawyer, especially if there are children involved. A custody battle can be traumatic on the entire family so you will need an understanding and caring lawyer. Additionally, you will be spending a lot of time with this Ogden Criminal Defense Lawyer as he or she prepares your case. In this situation you are going to have to be completely comfortable divulging all of your personal information. Nothing should be kept secret, especially in divorce cases because the other side will always use that against you.

The simplest way to figure out whether or not a lawyer is right for you is to take advantage of a free initial consultations, which almost everyone provides. During this time it is important that you are prepared to ask a lot of questions, but also equally important is that you listen to what the lawyer has to say. An American Fork Criminal Defense Attorney from our office can  form a good bond and have a connection with you. You and an American Fork Criminal Defense Lawyer can discuss what counsel can do for your case and then both of you will feel good about going forward. If not, there are many other lawyers who would be happy earn you business. Seek a lot of qualified advice to find the rightCriminal Defense Attorney  Salt Lake City for you.

You will know that you’re getting the most out of your lawyer services when you see them willing to fight for you. A lawyer that is on your side is one that is prepared, not one that is shuffling around for your paperwork every time you contact them. A lawyer on your side is happy to see you and is generally pleased with the way the case is going.

Many lawyers who are just out to get money will try and quickly settle personal injury cases in order to get paid. These lawyers usually do not have your best interests at heart. If you’ve been severely hurt in an accident you are going to need a lawyer who is willing to fight in court if necessary in order to win the case and collect a large settlement. You may not be able to work again and the quality of life may be diminished, and in that case you’re going to need your lawyer to fight until the end.

As you go through the process with your lawyer you can generally determine whether or not you made the right decision about who you hired. However, some lawyers are all about business which is okay and you need to realize that. If you need a lawyer that is more friendly and personable then that is probably someone you need to look at hiring. It all depends on your own personality, the type of case involved and what you expect.

Money can play an important role too, so if you have paid a lot for a top lawyer and aren’t getting the services you deserve, then speak up! Let this lawyer know you are dropping him if he doesn’t step it up. At that point you will know if he’s on your side or if he is in it just for the money.

With good tips and helpful advice finding the right lawyer for you is much simpler. Thanks to plenty of solid information that you can find online, use it to your advantage to help you can the service you deserve.

If you are stuck in trying to get answers or trying to find the right attorney or law firm to talk to about your criminal or divorce case, why not give us a call for your free consultation. Ogden Office 801-436-5757 or American Fork Office: 801-641-2933.

If you need our office address they are:

Ogden Office: 298 24TH STREET, SUITE 205 OGDEN UT 84401

American Fork Office:  76 N. MERCHANT ST. AMERICAN FORK, UT 84003

Finding the Right Attorney in Ogden, Salt lake City, or American Fork Utah

It happens in an instant and your life can be changed. It can be overwhelming and frustrating looking for a good attorney. The court system seems daunting and it feels like you may never see an end to the amount of hearings, documents and phone calls. Whether you are guilty or not it proves to be an expensive and exhausting adventure.

Finding the right attorney for your charges can save you not only time but also money. It is important to interview your potential attorneys and make a decision based on a few different criteria. Here are a few things to think about:

1.) Does the attorney have a good working relationship with the prosecutors or District Attorneys in your area?

**Your attorney needs to be well respected among the community and with the court. They will be able to negotiate a good outcome for you easier when they are on good terms with the opposing council.

2.) Does the attorney have a good history of defending cases like yours?

** An attorney can work on many different categories of law. It is important to talk in depth about their history of criminal defense. This will help you determine if it is a right fit for your case.

3.) How do you feel when you talk to the attorney? Do you feel like you have confidence in their ability to act on your behalf?

**You may be comfortable with the attorney and even feel like they are friendly but the most important thing is if you feel like the attorney can actually represent your case well and is willing to work for you and your best interest.

4.) Are there reviews available online? Do they have a good online presence?

** A reputable attorney will have a good online presence. They should have reviews, blogs, social media sites and other forms of online content available for your review. Research before hiring an attorney is very important.

Finding the right Attorney for you is in your hands. With a little preparation and some research you will be empowered to find someone who is capable of handling your case. If you are stuck in trying to get answers or trying to find the right attorney or law firm to talk to about your criminal or divorce case, why not give us a call for your free consultation. Ogden Office 801-436-5757 or American Fork Office: 801-641-2933.

If you need our office address they are:

Ogden Office: 298 24TH STREET, SUITE 205 OGDEN UT 84401

American Fork Office:  76 N. MERCHANT ST. AMERICAN FORK, UT 84003