David R. Hartwig, ESQ.
Attorney & Counselor At Law
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May 2017 Archives

Divorce or Custody Issues? Is a Legal Coach / Counselor for You?

You might have heard about divorce counsellors, divorce coaches, and the like. But what do they do, and are they for you. A lot of times, those people are social workers, family counselors, or psychologists. They work with you to handle the stress involved in your life situation, and coping with divorce or custody issues.A Legal Coach is different - A Legal Coach or Counselor is an experienced family law attorney who has handled all of the different issues involved in divorces, paternity matters, and petitions to either change existing orders or enforce current orders. The underlying issues can include custody, parent-time or visitation, child or spousal support, retirement issues, how the house is handled, personal property, and the need for restraining orders.A Legal Coach knows the law on those issues, as well as the procedural aspects and issues involved in filings, motions, required initial disclosures, discovery, mediation, and trial if you cannot settle. A Legal Coach may not actually represent you in the legal action, allowing you to handle the majority of your case on your own if that is what you want, or the Legal Coach may enter either limited appearances, or a general appearance, in your case to assist you while working to keep fees down. The advantage though is that the Legal Coach can help you lay out your goals and plans on how to reach those goals; taking into account the overall status of your case and your situation.This education and planning phase is the most important part of your case. It allows you to know what you want, whether your goals are realistic, and the overall steps required to attain your goals. In that way you can plan your case, know what you can realistically handle, and have the assistance of an experienced attorney if things take a wrong turn, like when your spouse hires an attorney.If you start with an attorney that you feel comfortable with, and develop trust in that person because the attorney is capable of being brutally honest with you, then you'll have the confidence to handle what you can, and the knowledge to know what needs to be done. You'll will have your own trusted expert in your corner, a knowledgeable ally who already knows you and your concerns.

Nasty Custody Dispute? Want to drive the other side Crazy? Here's how:

Custody disputes can be nasty, really nasty. Be it in a divorce, a paternity action, or a subsequent action to modify prior custody orders, allegations can fly back and forth, and parents can bring up the nastiest allegations and claims. The other side will fling all kinds of garbage at you, from minor incidents to completely false claims -- and that will all be done to hurt you and make you feel defensive, if not downright combative. After all, the other party is making all of those claims to show just how terrible of a parent, and person you are. How could you not take that personally?You do have your way to fight back; a plan to not only show how all those claims are false, but also to possibly show the other party's attempts to malign you. This is a real strategy that may well not only prove all of that, but also help you win your custody claims.Here is the plan:
•    Every time junior comes home from school with a gold star on a paper, test, or project, scan, or take a picture of it and send it to the other party with a kind note, something like "thought you'd like to share in [child's name] accomplishment.
•    Every time junior comes home from school with a good grade on a paper, test, or project, scan, or take a picture of it and send it to the other party with a similar kind note.
•    Every time junior gets selected to be in a school, or other, play; joins a team or some other activity; or is to be honored in some ceremony, scan, or take a picture of the announcement and send it to the other party with a similar kind note (or, if there is nothing to copy, send an email anyway with the information included).
•    Every time you get some note or announcement about a school, or other activity, again scan it and send it to the other party; you might even want to invite that person to attend.
•    Every time you schedule any sort of medical or dental appointment, email the other party and let that person know; and, then follow up with whatever information you learn from the appointment. Just an FYI note, or something similar.
•    Send an email to the other party telling him or her just how excited junior was to hear from the other party, enjoyed the time junior spent with that person, or how much junior truly enjoyed the gift or item junior brought home.
•    Be willing to work with the other party if there as scheduling problems (so long as it does not become an obvious abuse of the current custody orders).
•    And never, never respond to any of the negativity in an emotional state; in fact, it might be better to completely ignore the insults and taunts you receive, and let your attorney handle all of that through counsel thereby documenting the other party's bad conduct.This will work in your favor. There is a rule in Utah that custody evaluators have to abide by, which includes, methods of communications between the parents, the ways in which a parent supports the child's relationship with the other parent, and just how you are willing to work with the other parent to accommodate problems or conflicts in schedules. You will be showing your love of your child, and your willingness to let your child be with, and love the other parent.

Do you know your rights as a trust beneficiary?

A trust is a legal document that allows a person, usually called a "grantor," to give their assets to another person or institution to manage, called the "trustee." The trustee holds the legal title for these assets on behalf of the beneficiary or person who is receiving the assets from the grantor.

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