Tag: DivorceAmerican Fork

Utah Domestic Violence Coalition advocates for two proposed bills

Fox 13 News Reports:

Source: Fox13 News SALT LAKE CITY — Survivors of domestic violence are sharing their stories and hoping Utah lawmakers will pass two bills to advocate for victims.

Sarah Larsen, a domestic abuse survivor, said it’s an issue that often doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

“I feel like there’s such a stigma, there’s so much shame that’s attached to it, it’s hidden and at times out here in Utah too it sometimes gets shoved under the rug a little bit,” she said. “People don’t want to see it’s going on in their community.”

Advocates and survivors are hoping to raise awareness on what the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition is calling an epidemic.

“Since the year 2000, at least 42 percent of all homicides in Utah have been domestic violence related, so we’re really here just to get awareness out,” said Cly’ta Berg, Chair of the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition.

Larsen said victims of domestic abuse often conceal the signs.

“There’s such a fear that goes along with this, and so you’re able to cover it, and you hide it from your family members and from people who are close to you,” she said. “You just know how to hide it from them.”

Survivors are pushing for lawmakers to pass two bills.

One is a bill sponsored by House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City. His bill would restrict access to firearms for anyone convicted of domestic violence.

The second is a bill from Rep. Lowry Snow, R-St. George, that would make it so strangulation is included in the definition for the crime of aggravated assault. Utah is one of nine states without a strangulation law in effect.

“A police officer cannot physically hold the person, but if you are in a domestic partnership, they can strangle you,” Berg said. “So it’s against the law for a police officer, but a civilian you can.”

The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition is also asking for $939,000 from the state to expand the Lethality Assessment Program.

The program is protocol based. Victims answer a series of questions to show the severity of violence they are facing. It also gives officers standard training on how to refer victims to help.

“I think for those people who have loved ones who are in this situation: Don’t be so quick to judge,” Larsen advised. “I’ve had people say, ‘Just leave. Get out.’ But it’s not that easy.”

Support is available 24/7 in Utah for those dealing with domestic violence. Visit the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition online or call 1-800-897-5465 for resources and assistance. In an emergency, dial 911.

 

Source: Fox13 News

 

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Divorce: Remaking Your Life Blog Stevens & Gailey

Divorce: Remaking Your Life

Divorce: Remaking Your Life

Divorce is never an easy decision. It affects not only the couple, but also those around them. From children to in-laws and friends it affects everyone. Divorce lawyer in utah

The holiday’s are rapidly approaching and if you’ve recently gone through a divorce, you’re likely feeling like you’d rather avoid the holiday’s. This guide can help you to remake your life and look forward to the holiday’s and other seasonal occasions with joy. Here’s how. Divorce attorney ogden utah

Don’t Isolate

It’s easy to want to hide under the covers and avoid the holiday’s. Perhaps it’s not your “turn” this holiday with the kids or you’re feeling left out of former holiday activities.  This is something that no one warned you about of even thinks might be difficult for you, your children or your former friends and family. Salt lake city divorce

Getting through the first holiday season alone might be a bit challenging, but it can be done with determination and some simple goals. Don’t let yourself sit around feeling sorry for yourself, find something that means something to you and do it.

Some people will opt for a hobbies such as photography, woodworking, crafting and a host of other things. Most have said their first gift to themselves on Christmas after a divorce is something you used to love, wanted to try or feel like it might take your mind off the events.

This is a perfect time to provide service in your community. Its always a good philosophy that when you think that you have things bad you can always find someone who needs you. Needs your help, your smile, your warmth and kindness. There are many charities and event organizers that will help you by helping others.

Focus on special gifts such as a memory book or photo album for the kids if you’re not with them this holiday. Get plenty of rest and focus on you for a change. The number one thing during this time is to remember that you have always been in charge of you happiness. Its time to listen to yourself and build on the positives you have.

Divorce: Remaking Your Life

Find New Traditions

Your new traditions might vary according to which one of you has the kids the first year. If it’s not your year with the kids, don’t mope around. Don’t let the kids see you sad either. Encourage the kids to enjoy time with their other parent and plan to celebrate earlier or later with the kids. Your Divorce Lawyer American Fork  Divorce Lawyer Ogden may have some helpful tips on parenting plans.

Meanwhile, plan a new tradition. If you’re not with the kids plan to help someone else. A shut in, the elderly, a homeless shelter etc. This will keep your mind occupied and help you to focus on something else that will be beneficial.

Maybe it is your time to take a short vacation that you want to take. Many people find it relaxing to sit poolside, in a tropical location or spend the day watching the snowfall in a cozy cabin next to a fire. Whatever you choice is it’s your gift to you.  While you may be alone or with a companion it is starting your new tradition on your terms to help fill in on the times that you are not with your children and or your former life partner, family and friends.  Some people prefer this as they have time to just do things that they like to do. It can help the healing process. Make sure you check out the local restaurants and activities before you book your travel. Surprisingly this is a popular option for most and you will find others with the same thought! A new found friend is always the best holiday gift.

Go to a friends house or help a lonely neighbor. Whatever you do, focus on something besides feeling like  the party of one. Get up, Get dressed and make a difference in someone else’s life.  It’s easy to get caught up in feeling sorry for yourself so plan to stay busy.

Create a new tradition that will help keep you focused and occupied. You’ll look back on it with fond memories one day. Maybe one year you and your children (if you have them) can do a special trip that you plan together. Its nice for everyone to create a good mix of the old and new.

Keep Friends And Family

Often during a divorce well meaning friends and family will side with one party or the other. You can avoid this very easily by not saying anything negative about the other party. The other word of wisdom is to make sure that you brush off the gossip. Make sure to ask your Divorce Attorney American Fork Divorce Attorney Ogden about some helpful tips to remember in your conversation with family and friends.

Instead, simply say that there were differences that couldn’t be worked out or that you’re both good people but you simply aren’t compatible. Often these tactics will help to disarm their comments.

Remember just like children, friends and family have loved you both for a substantial time. They may feel torn and like they have to choose. the best advice is to just get through it as cordially as possible. Acknowledge their feelings and assure them of their place in your life still.

Focus on those that you were closer too and avoid trying to please everyone. You’re going to have some opposition no matter who was at fault so be sure to steady yourself and focus on those that you know love you regardless.

Don’t get caught up in the conflict further by trying to prove that one party is right over the other party. It takes two people to make a couple and sometimes it just isn’t working. Its important that you continue to be the person that they have always loved and trusted. Sometimes it might be difficult to shy away from throwing mud. Overtime things will settle and who remains and carries through with you was really the only person that should have been there in the first place.

Lastly, enjoy your holiday. Plan to have a wonderful time with whomever happens along your way during the holiday season. Don’t dwell on the losses but instead celebrate all the positive aspects of the holiday. Focus on yourself and healing and remember that no one can tell you how to grieve your losses. Its individual. Take your time and do it right.

One day you’ll emerge full of life and energy and happiness, until then, find things to be grateful for and remember that you’re going to get through this difficult time in your life. It just takes a few days and some positive changes.

Divorce: Remaking Your Life

contested Divorce in Utah

4 Tips For Coping With Utah Divorce

When you decide to get a divorce everything runs through your mind. All of the things you have done right in your marriage seem to turn from once happy and content memories to  becoming distant memories tainted with sadness. Maybe you went to premarital counseling before making your decision to marry and even attempted a few sessions of marital counseling before making your decision to divorce. There will be a mix of emotions. The good the bad and then the counseling. You have legal counsel, mental health counselors, the neighbor across the street who thinks she is the counselor and sometimes random strangers who also think that their opinion is at a premium price and the end all be all. The long and the short of it is that only you know your family and the behavior of your soon to be former spouse. Sometimes the opinion of others whether close or admired from afar need to be tabled until you can really determine if it is best for your individual situation. An American Fork Divorce Attorney can help guide you with some good plans for families like yours. There are many options and your Ogden Divorce Attorney can help you explore those options. Divorce utah right to know

When you get divorced, unlike any other time in your life, you are fighting to be uncommitted and untied from your former relationship. You can literally walk away from a job or a friend but you can’t just pack up and leave your once loved life, home and this is especially true when children are involved. When you are at the beginning of a marriage you can do everything humanly possible to prepare for the future, even premarital counseling.  People change, environments change, jobs change, educations change and normal life happens. Salt lake city divorce

Here are a few tips to help you cope with the feelings of doing all the right things and finding yourself going through a divorce:

  • Get rid of “The Perfect or Easy” Divorce: People can look in on a marriage and think that its perfect and others will try to convince you on how simple it is to resolve the problems in a marriage and others how fast a divorce can be with the right attorney. The fact is that perfect kids, perfect homes, perfect kitchens, nice cars, money, love and fidelity are not always what they seem to be. The same is true with divorce. Even in the most “perfect” of marriages there are stressing factors. Marriage is focused work and sometimes that work is difficult, taxing and out rightly frustrating. The difference is the commitment to the marriage and a continued desire for a joint life with your spouse. When that level of commitment changes and divorce is necessary remember that each divorce, like each marriage and family, is unique and very individual. That one person that you found out of the entire human race to join you will become a difficult thorn in your side for a short period of time until your legal issues and a formalized plan for the second chapter of your joint life together is started and finalized. It might not be the chapter you intended during your premarital counseling but do remember it is important to review, take your time and make sure the plans and documents are long term solutions which are viable for both parties. Divorce lawyer in utah
  • Look Objectively:Sometimes taking the emotions out of an experience can result in a successful decision. A simple exercise of taking the names out of the scenario and looking at it as if it was an absolute stranger could really help you look at the demands objectively and with a little more merit and less emotion. A clean look at things and a commitment to yourself to hold off for 24 hours before agreeing to any major decisions can help alleviate a lot of heartache in the long run. Objectively thinking can save you a lot of time and money when you can avoid having to write and re-write documents many times.
  • Have A Set of Personal Goals:Some of the best distractions to current circumstances are new goals. Something to look forward to. These need to be unrelated to the divorce, your children or changing everything about you. They could be related to health, fitness, talents, hobbies, education or other classes. Start with baby steps and with things that are realistic. Many successful people will use the S.M.A.R.T. method. Specific Measurable Attainable, Realistic and Time bound. Smart goals will result in success and better future goals. So pick up that pen and set a few just for you. Family attorneys in utah
  • Steer Clear of Romanticism:One of the first things that excites and scares people is the idea of dating again. For a lot of people it is a very scary thought to think about dating after many years of being with the same person. For others it is exciting and very tempting. During your divorce a lot of emotions are not realistic or valid. Sometimes you feel empowered with the new found independence. The decision to begin being romantically intertwined in relationships with other may hinder the ability you have to make good logical decisions. Often times it can cause distress in the proceedings for the other spouse resulting in lengthy litigation and costly addendums. Making new friends and joining social groups is a surefire way to re-introduce yourself to living single.  In some cases it can make your divorce more difficult when others become involved in the life and decisions you are still making. Since most relationships out of a new divorce do not result in marriages that last it is wise to not allow the new love interest to interject their wishes or feelings into your divorce. A better approach would be to join activity groups, support groups and do charity work. With time you can begin dating. There is no rush. Take your time and enjoy being on your own for a while before settling back in.  As nice as it is to rediscover who you are and what you are all about in a relationship it is best to proceed with caution. Your American Fork Divorce Lawyer can help you decide if starting relationships is the right move during your divorce. Ask your Ogden Divorce Lawyer during your consultation. Utah divorce lawyer

Divorce is difficult no matter how your marriage was planned, executed or lived. Sometimes the only thing you can do is get through today and plan for tomorrow with the best resources you have. With these simple yet attainable steps you can cope a little better along this bumpy journey.

A Child Guide To Utah Divorce

A Child Guide To Utah Divorce

A Child Guide To Divorce

Ogden Divorce Lawyer Series

After you have made the decision to divorce you may find it tough to really understand yourself what is about to happen to you and your family. It can be difficult to explain to your children and your family. Here is a small guide that may help you understand a loving and appropriate way to talk to your children about your divorce. As always, the best use and wisdom may be sought through counseling. Keep these things in mind when talking with your children. Child custody laws in utah

Children who are under the age of 18 months are not exempt from feeling sadness, anxiety, frustration or anger. Children of this age have limited language skills however they do have the ability to sense the environment around them and their caregivers. Often babies and young toddlers may regress or have developmental delays. They may become intolerable or extra clingy. Emotional outbursts are not uncommon. Due to the language difficulties and how young they are the best thing you can do is provide as much consistency and calmness as possible. The more predictable your behavior is the better the child will respond.   Routines are key at this age. Make sure security items are available. Adequate sleep for both the parents and the children will also ease tensions. Nutrition is very important as well as routine eating. The more consistent you and your child are the easier the transition will be into the new family structure. Custody lawyers in utah

When the child is a toddler it is important to understand the primary social bond is with both of the child’s parents. Anything from illness, death, divorce or even moving can disrupt their little world. It can make things very difficult to understand or accept. Children of this age think that the world revolves around them. It really does! From the time there little feet hit the floor, the parents are chasing them from one end of the day to the other. This is the age group where children believe that they are the reason for the breakup of the family. The tantrums may increase and they may want a lot more attention that you can provide or feel necessary. Some children will begin to regress back to earlier developmental stages such as wetting themselves after potty training, thumb sucking and sleep arrangements that are demanding.  During this transition it is hopeful that the parents can work together. Developing routines and predictable environments will help the child know what to expect. Quality time and finding extracurricular activities will help the child to have an outlet. Reassurance that the child is not responsible for the breakup is important. To approach that subject, seek the advice of a knowledgeable counselor. Discussing the child’s feelings is important if the child is ready and emotionally capable. Divorce lawyer in utahFamily attorneys in utah

If your child is a preschooler be prepared for a power struggle. These little fire crackers do not like change. They do not care if the change is for the better, they just want everything to always be the same. Children of this age often feel out of control because they can’t change the outcome. As with toddlers they also feel responsible for their parent’s divorce or separation. They have a really hard time understanding the future a lack the control. They hold feelings inside and have sad unpleasant thoughts that are often brought out in nightmares. Utah child custody laws

Being open and positive can help the child appropriate their feelings. The better the parents are the more the children will mimic positive moods and attitudes. Some books are available to help children understand. All children need to feel safe and that their relationship with both parents will continue normally. Once a visitation schedule is set make sure it’s consistent and routines are still established and followed. Utah divorce lawyers

The school age kids have a more difficult time understanding the concept of divorce. Sometimes children of this age feel as if they are the ones being divorced. A lot of children in this age group believe if they are model children their parents will get back together and will often worry about the other parent dying or being ill. Some Children in this group think that they can fix the marriage and make it work.

In a lot of cases children will identify one parent over the other as the responsible parent for the divorce. They will be mean and express in different areas of rebellion. Sometimes they might fight, become anxious, withdrawn, depressed or even just plain angry. Physical symptoms may manifest such as stomachaches, headaches and will make up excuses to stay home from school, church or family events. Divorce utah right to know

In order to rebuild these little adults you have to restore their feelings of loss and rejection. They really are grieving the loss of their family. It’s important to rebuild their sense of security and reaffirm their safety. This is accomplished by each parent having one on one time with the child and encouraging real conversations about their feelings. It’s very important the child understand that blaming the opposite parent for the divorce is never appropriate and that no one is abandoning the child. Children like routines, structure and predictability. The more consistent and open things are the better off the child will respond. At this age self-esteem through team sports, friendships, school and events are all very important things. Encourage the child to participate. Salt lake city divorce

If your child is withdrawing it’s important to seek counseling.

Your Ogden Divorce Lawyer or American Fork Divorce Lawyer may be able to recommend a therapist for you. Ask your Ogden Divorce Attorney or American Fork Divorce Attorney Today.

In-Kind Child Support Payments

In-Kind Child Support Payments

One question that comes up every now and then is whether a child support payor is entitled to a credit against their child support and/or alimony obligations for “in-kind” goods and services they have provided to their ex. For example, if instead of writing their ex a $500 check for child support they instead agree to pay their ex’s mortgage, utility bill, or all their children’s medical bills.

The answer depends on whether there is a support order in place yet or not. If there is, you must strictly comply with that order and usually are not entitled to any credit for “in-kind” goods or services you provide. But, if no order is in place, then you may be entitled to a credit for any “in-kind” support you can prove that you provided.

In Knudson v. Utah State Dept. of Social Serv., 660 P.2d 258 (Utah 1983), the Utah Supreme Court held that a divorced father was entitled to a credit against child support for voluntarily paying his ex’s wife mortgage payment during the pendency of their divorce. There was no child support in place at the time. The Court explained that:

In-Kind Child Support Payments

“Obligors commonly fulfill their support obligations by a variety of means, including services or commodities in kind. While it may be administratively difficult to ascertain the value of such support in some cases, as the Department argues, we think reality and fairness and even sound administration demand it. As concerns the Public Support of Children Act, the Department of Social Services should shape its administration to measure the reality of parental support, rather than attempt to reshape reality to serve its administration. The measure of the obligor’s credit should be the value of what he has furnished. … Because the admitted value of the housing already provided by appellant (over $1,500) is well in excess of the amount of reimbursement ordered by the Department ($729), we resolve this case without remanding for another proceeding by holding as a matter of law that the Department was not entitled to any reimbursement from the appellant.”

Conversely, in Ross v. Ross, 592 P.2d 600, 603-604 (Utah 1979), the Utah Supreme Court rejectedan obligor’s request for a credit for in-kind goods and services he had been providing to his ex. A child support order was already in place at the time. The Court wrote that:

“Plaintiff next contends that from the time of the divorce to the time this action was brought he made certain voluntary expenditures in behalf of defendant and the children and should be given credit for such payments against the alimony and support arrearages. Plaintiff is not entitled, however to credit for expenditures made on behalf of the children or defendant which do not specifically conform to the terms of the decree. To do so would permit plaintiff to vary the terms of the decree and to usurp from defendant the right to determine the manner in which the money should be spent. Only if the defendant has consented to the plaintiff’s voluntary expenditures as an alternative manner of satisfying his alimony and child support obligation, can plaintiff receive credit for such expenditures.”

The distinction between these two cases was whether a child support order was already in place. The Knudson court explained that when no court or administrative order is in place an obligor can seek a credit for in-kind services provided to the support obligee.

Here is an example of when this rule could come in handy. Suppose you have an unmarried couple who have a child together. The parents do not live together, but the father ensures the child never goes without. He always pays the mother’s rent, buys her groceries and diapers, and pays for all the child’s medical and daycare expenses without asking the mother to reimburse him a penny. Then, one day the parents have a falling out and the mother files suit demanding 4-years worth of retroactive child support (which she is entitled to do under Utah law). The “in-kind” contribution rule would be a saving grace to a father under such circumstances provided he could show that he had in fact been supporting his child all along.

In-Kind Child Support Payments