Tag: Utah Divorce

Online Divorce Education Class Now an Option in Utah

An exciting new change has happened for Divorce Education in Utah. In the State of Utah it is mandatory for all parties with minor children. . Ask your Ogden Family Law Attorney or American Fork Divorce Lawyer about when you will be able to get this class underway during your divorce.

According to the Utah Courts Website you can now take your divorce education class online.  Ask your Ogden Divorce Lawyer or your American Fork Divorce Attorney if this is a good option for You.

Listed below are the requirements and links for taking the mandatory divorce education class  This comes directly from the Utah Court Website

Completing the course requirements

In order for you to receive credit for these courses you must complete an approved class. The divorce orientation class may be completed through an approved live class or through the approved online provider listed below. The divorce education class must be completed through an approved live class. The schedule for live classes is located on the course calendars below. As discussed below, the fee for a live class may be different from the fee for the online class. The court will not accept certificates from parties who take an online course from an unapproved provider.

Attending the Online Divorce Orientation Class

If you choose, you can now attend the Divorce Orientation class online. Please note that you will still be required to attend a live Divorce Education course to complete the course requirement. This is the only approved online course accepted by the Utah courts. The cost for this course is $30.00. For more information or to take the online course, please click on the link below.

Course Locations

If you need an interpreter, simply request one, and one will be provided without charge. For information and forms/

You may attend the courses in any location regardless of where the divorce or temporary separation case is filed. You do not need an appointment. Registration takes about 15 minutes, so please arrive early. You may bring a support person with you.

  • Children are not allowed.
  • Late arrivals will not be admitted.
  • Intoxicated and disruptive people will not be admitted.
  • If you have a divorce or temporary separation case pending, bring your case number with you, or you will have to provide it to the instructor later.

If a course is held in a courthouse, you will have to pass through airport-type security to enter the building, so do not bring anything that might be considered a weapon or contraband.

For most locations, free parking is available and entry into the building is obvious. Access to the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City (maps.google.com) may be less obvious. There is an underground pay-lot at the courthouse, which is accessible only from 400 South, eastbound, and it is not open on Saturday. Limited metered street parking is available nearby.

  • For weekday daytime courses, enter the building through the East or West entrance.
  • For weekday evening courses, enter the building through the East entrance.
  • For Saturday courses, enter the building through the West entrance.

If you have questions, call the district court clerk. For a list of courthouses and telephone numbers, see our Court Directory.

Notifying the other parent of the education requirements

The petitioner must serve notice of the education requirements on the respondent.

Fees

The fee for the divorce orientation course is $30 per person. However, the fee for the divorce orientation class will be discounted $15 for a petitioner who attends a live class within 30 days of filing the petition, and will be discounted $15 for a respondent who attends a live class within 30 days of being served with the petition. The fee for the online course will not be discounted. The fee for the divorce education course is $35 per person. The fees for the live courses are paid to the person teaching the class.

Cash is the only form of payment accepted for the live courses.

If you cannot afford to pay the fees you may ask the judge to waive them. The fee waiver applies only to the live courses. The process includes submitting a detailed description of your income, property, and debts. If the judge grants the request to waive the fees, you must give a copy of the signed order to the person teaching the class. For more information and forms to waive fees, see our page on Fees and Fee Waiver.

Education requirements for parents with minor children

Parents with minor children are required to complete certain education requirements. These requirements do not apply to parents with no minor children.

Parents in a divorce case or a temporary separation case must attend an orientation course. The petitioner must attend the orientation course no more than 60 days after the petition is filed. The respondent must attend the course no more than 30 days after being served with the petition. If a party wants any temporary orders the court will not consider a motion for a temporary order until the party completes the orientation courses.

Parents in a divorce case must also attend an education course. The court may require unmarried parents in a visitation or custody proceeding to attend the education course.

The court will not issue a decree until both parties have completed the course requirements and have presented a certificate of course completion to the court. You should complete the courses as soon as possible but no later than 60 days after filing the petition if you are the petitioner, or, if you are the respondent, no later than 30 days after being served with notice of the course requirements.
Lists of the dates and times for the courses are found in the section on Completing the course requirements.

Purpose of the orientation course

The orientation course educates parents about divorce and its alternatives. The course informs parents about:

  • Resources to improve or strengthen the marriage.
  • Resources to resolve custody and support issues without filing for divorce.
  • The positive and negative consequences of divorce.
  • Procedural options in a divorce, including mediation, collaborative law, and litigation.
  • The divorce process.
  • Post-divorce resources.

Purpose of the education course

The education course teaches parents to understand their children’s reactions to their divorce and to help their children adjust. Parents learn how children of different ages express their pain and loss and the best parenting methods for helping them cope during and after the divorce. Some of the topics discussed are:

  • Grieving stages common to divorce.
  • How children experience divorce. What to expect from a child based on the child’s developmental age, and how to help a child adjust to the divorce.
  • Helpful ways to communicate with a child about the divorce. What children need to know and what they don’t need to know.
  • Parental behavior that promotes good self-esteem in children. Encouraging and supporting expression of your child’s feelings.
  • How and why conflict between parents creates stress for children. How to decrease the conflict children are exposed to.
  • Why children need continued and meaningful relationships with both parents during and after a divorce. Helpful ways to share parenting responsibilities and encourage cooperative behavior with both parents.
  • The financial and legal aspects of divorce.

If you have any further questions feel free to ask your Ogden Divorce Attorney or your American Fork Family Law Attorney.

Source: Ut Courts Website 04/21/2016

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.

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

After a Divorce Should I Modify My Estate Plan?

Generally, in Utah, once a divorce decree is final and the parties are officially divorced, provisions for the former spouse in the estate plan are automatically revoked. Pursuant to Utah Code §75-2-804  all revocable gifts made to the former spouse and the former spouse’s relatives are revoked upon divorce.  Thus, divorce revokes all gifts made to the former spouse and the former spouse’s relatives in a will, in a revocable (living) trust, in a retirement plan beneficiary designation, on a pay-on-death (POD) account, and in a life insurance policy beneficiary designation (where the insured spouse owns the policy).    It should be noted that the divorce does not revoke gifts to one’s own children, even though they are also the former spouse’s children. Divorce lawyer in utah

After a Divorce Should I Modify My Estate Plan?

In addition, section 75-2-804  provides that a divorce revokes any nomination of the former spouse or a relative of the former spouse as a personal representative in a will, and any nomination of the former spouse or a relative of the former spouse as a successor trustee under a revocable trust. Divorce salt lake city

It should be noted that irrevocable gifts and irrevocable fiduciary nominations are not revoked by divorce.  Thus, the provisions of an irrevocable trust remain intact, notwithstanding the divorce, unless the terms of the trust expressly provide otherwise.

After a Divorce Should I Modify My Estate Plan?

The automatic revocation provisions are designed to accomplish what most people would want for their estate plans upon divorce.  They are intended to “fix” the divorced person’s estate plan even if he or she does not get around to actually revising the plan before he or she dies.  It is nonetheless important to routinely consult an attorney and to regularly revise your estate plan after getting divorced in order to ensure that your assets will be distributed in the manner you intend. Filing for divorce in utah

For more information and a free consultation contact one of our lawyers today.

After a Divorce Should I Modify My Estate Plan?

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