Category: Divorce

Cautions with Facebook

Cautions with Facebook

Cautions with Facebook

With the seeming omnipresence of Facebook sharing and the abundance of high-quality mobile phone cameras, it’s easier than ever for parents to choke the Internet with pictures.

Here are five reasons (including a few legal ones) that you may want to keep baby pics off your Facebook account:

Cautions with Facebook
Cautions with Facebook
  1.  Your baby pictures could be used/viewed as child pornography. In some rare instances, you may actually be accused of producing child pornography: That happened to a Utah couple after a photo lab worker reported pictures of the father kissing his naked baby to police. The charges were eventually dropped, but the couple was still deported following the incident.
  2.  Potential misappropriation for commercial purposes.Pictures of your children online can easily be copied and used for unwanted purposes that you may never know about. Immoral bloggers and website owners may find and use images of your cute baby for their own commercial gain without your permission.
  3.  The Internet rarely forgets.Although many websites, Facebook included, offer users the options of deleting old posts, sometimes it’s too late.  Even if you later decide to delete your baby’s pictures from Facebook, other users may have already saved or posted the image. The image may have also been cached or stored elsewhere without your knowledge.
  4.  Your baby pic could turn into a viral meme.A less likely, but no less regrettable, risk is that a particularly cute or funny picture of your child could become a meme — an image that spreads throughout the Internet via user posting. While for Internet aficionados this may be desirable, your child may not appreciate being Internet-famous for a baby photo later in life.
  5.  Overshare overload.Keeping baby pictures off of Facebook may not only be a good choice for you and your child, but it may also spare your friends and colleagues from baby picture overload.

Cautions with Facebook

New Filing Deadlines for Divorces

There are a few basic rules you should know and keep in mind when calculating deadlines, as the Utah rules have changed as of May 1, 2014.

When to Start?

First, you should know when the time period begins, ie. what day will you count as day “one.”  The Utah Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 6 states “exclude the day of the event that triggers the period.”  For example, if you were to file a Complaint on Monday, you would begin counting on Tuesday, if you are served with a Complaint on Wednesday you should start counting on Thursday.

What about Weekends & Holidays?

When you are counting the days you should count every day, including Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.  This is a new this year.  Prior to this change, for some deadlines weekends were not included – THIS IS NO LONGER TRUE.

Additionally, if the time period ends on a weekend or legal holiday, move your deadline to the next day that is not a weekend or legal holiday.  For example, if you were counting 21 days after being served and the 21st day was on a Sunday, the deadline would actually be Monday.

Most of the time, the deadline to file something is midnight for electronic filing or mailing (postage stamp), but if you are not filing electronically and are filing by hand then you must file by the time the clerk’s office is scheduled to close.

What about Delayed Mail?

If you receive any pleadings by regular mail under Rule 5(b)(1)(A)(iv) then 3 more days are added to the end of your deadline for your time to respond.   If you send a pleading by mail, remember that the other side will be adding 3 days to the end of their deadline. For example, if you received a motion that is to be heard before a judge in the mail, then you have 14 days plus 3 more days before your response would be due.

Does it matter whether I am in front of a Judge or a Commissioner?

Pursuant to the new rules, deadlines for Judges and for Commissioners are different.  You must find out from the court – “Who will be sitting at the hearing?” If the court does not know – assume it is the judge, OR look to the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 7Rules 26 and 26.1, or Rule 101 to determine whether a judge or commissioner will be hearing the pleadings.

If the pleading is going to be heard by a judge, then you count forward, as described above. For example, if you file a Motion for Summary Judgment to  be heard by the Judge on Monday.  The opposing side will have 14 days to respond under Rule 7, and counting forward 14 days this would be a Monday also, unless it’s a holiday (then move to Tuesday). If the opposing party fails to file a response by Monday, 14 days later, then the response would be untimely.  Most of the time, you will be counting forward – Complaints and Petitions are considered before the judge.

However, commissioners count days for deadlines backwards.  In other words, ONLY WHEN A HEARING HAS BEEN SCHEDULED can you know the deadlines.  For example, if you file a Motion for Temporary Orders, you should also call the commissioner’s clerk to set a hearing so there will be a deadline for the opposing party to respond.  If the hearing is set for Friday the 25th of July, Rule 101 says that for commissioners, the due date for the opposing party to respond is 7 days in advance of that hearing. So, do not count the Friday of the hearing; begin Thursday as day “one” and count backward 7 days. In this case, that would be midnight the 18th of July, also a Friday. Note, that if the date you land on when counting is a holiday, you move in the SAME DIRECTION you were counting to the next non-weekend, non-holiday day. In this case if Friday the 18th were a holiday, the due date is now July 17th for the other party’s response – NOT Monday the 21st.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact or schdule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

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