Divorce Attorneys in Ogden, Utah
Divorce is a daunting, overwhelming, and emotional rollercoaster. Studies have shown the emotional impact of divorce is the equivalent of the loss of a loved one. Not only are you trying to adjust to your new role of divorcee and/or single parent you are forced to make major decisions about your future that will impact you for years.
Our firm has significant experience dealing with divorce matters including custody, parent-time, child support, alimony, division of assets, and division of debts. We know the law and we know what you are entitled to without needlessly prolonging your case. With our firm, you can be confident you are receiving the best representation possible and can therefore focus on adjusting to these new life changes.
Whether you are in a contentious battle with your spouse or you are on amicable terms, it is important that you hire an attorney with divorce experience. Your future and the future of your children is important so do not fall victim to inexperience or the belief you can handle this on your own.
If you and your spouse have a mutual agreement on the terms of your divorce, it is wise to talk with an attorney to draft your Decree of Divorce so your agreement contains the language that is intended and appropriate under the law. Poorly drafted Decrees of Divorce are costlier to modify then spending the money upfront to have it appropriately drafted the first time. With our firm, you can be confident that we have the experience and knowledge to get you the best results possible and that the terms of your agreement are accurately reflected in your Decree of Divorce.
Utah is a no fault divorce state. This means that even if you do not want a divorce, if your spouse does, he or she can still seek a divorce without needing a reason for the divorce. Utah divorce court is a Court of Equity. This means that the judge will follow the statutes and case law governing divorce, but has discretion to make an “equitable” order.
Utah does not have a separate divorce court, therefore the judges assigned to your case are also assigned to other civil and criminal matters that arise in the Utah district court. Divorce matters are also assigned domestic relations Commissioners who conduct preliminary matters such as temporary orders hearings, pre-trial conferences, and discovery disputes. Commissioners provide recommendations that become the order of the court, unless objected to by either party.
A contested divorce means that the parties are not in agreement on at least one issue. While most divorce matters settle prior to reaching trial, either party may request a trial where a judge will make a final decision should the matter remain unresolved.
An uncontested divorce means the parties are in agreement on all the issues involved in their divorce. They simply need their agreement drafted in conformity with Utah law and all the proper documentation filed to finalize the divorce.
Utah has jurisdiction over your divorce in the county you or your spouse have resided in the three months prior to filing for divorce.
30 Day Waiting Period:
Once a Petition for Divorce is filed there is a 30-day waiting period that must lapse before the divorce can be finalized. The purpose of the statute is to provide people adequate time to consider if divorce is the best option. This 30-day requirement can be waived, but it requires “extraordinary circumstances.”
Divorce Education and Orientation Courses:
In every divorce matter where the parties have minor children, the parties are required to attend the Divorce Education and Orientation Courses before a divorce can be finalized. The courses can be taken online. The court may waive this requirement if it determines course attendance and completion are not necessary, appropriate, feasible, or in the best interest of the parties.
Division of Marital Debts:
Debts are typically divided equitably, which is not always equally. Generally, secured debt will go with the asset it is attached to and therefore is paid by the person who is awarded the asset. Unsecured debt is allocated taking into account what the final financial circumstances will be of each party. Knowledge of the accumulation of the debts is also a relevant factor. If the debt is shown to have been used for the benefit of the family it will be considered marital debt and divisible.
Division of Marital Assets:
When dividing the property in the marital estate the court will endeavor to allocate it equally. The marital estate should be distinguished from what is separate property. Generally marital property is anything accumulated during the marriage regardless of how it was acquired or in whose name it was acquired or maintained with only a few exceptions. After identifying property as marital, the court must consider whether there are exceptional circumstances that overcome the general presumption that marital property be divided equally, assign values to each item of marital property so that a distribution strategy can be implemented, and distribute the marital assets consistent with the distribution strategy.
The law does recognize separate property as well, which will typically be awarded to the acquiring spouse. Separate property is anything that you came to the marriage with as well as any inheritance or gift you received during the marriage. That being said, separate property may lose its separate character, through commingling or if the other spouse has by his or her efforts or expense contributed to the enhancement, maintenance, or protection of that property.
Division of Business Interests:
Utah is home to many small and large business owners. Our firm has experience representing divorcing business owners and the spouses of business owners. We know what information is relevant for determining income, what assets are involved, how the company should be valued, and if the company needs to be divided.