David R. Hartwig, ESQ.
Attorney & Counselor At Law
Call Today! 801-833-0822

Divorce Archives

New Jersey Bans Participating in Avvo's Legal Services

On June 21, 2017, the Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics, Committee on Attorney Advertising, and Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law issued a Joint Opinion (ACPE Opinion 732, CAA Opinion 44, UPL Opinion 54) stating that the legal service program operated by Avvo through its website is an impermissible lawyer referral service, in violation of Rules of Professional Conduct 7.2(c) and 7.3(d), and comprises improper fee sharing with a nonlawyer in violation of Rule of Professional Conduct 5.4(a).  New Jersey lawyers may not participate in the Avvo legal service program. 

DIY Divorce -- and then your ex pulls a stunt!

You and your future ex decide to file divorce on your own -- DIY. You file the petition and then your ex pulls some stunt like filing a counterclaim, files some motion, or gets an attorney to fight you. What do you do?You can hire an attorney to help you. Or on the other hand, you can work with a legal counselor, an attorney experienced in family law you hire to help you, by educating you and coaching you on your options and how to accomplish your goals. The legal divorce counselor may, or may not, appear in your case, depending on what you decided to do. But at the very least, you have an experienced lawyer in your corner to help you out.You can then control how much you use the counselor, and you can continue in your DIY divorce case with some level of confidence.

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.

Going to court negatively impacts the children, Right?

Going to court negatively impacts the children, Right? I participate in a number of the online legal question and answer forums I often see that claim. But, it is always preceded by allegations that the other parent is not allowing visits, won't let the parent have time with the child, breaks his or her agreements to allow a visit, or demands that all schedules and agreement must be his or her way -- all without going to court. Let me be blunt. The only way parents going to court for assistance in establishing custody and parent-time orders impacts a child is if one, or both, of the parents put that child in the middle and involve the child in the case. If both parents are doing what is best for the child, then the child will not even know that there is a court case, because that case is between the adults. So, going to court to obtain orders concerning custody and parent-time should not directly impact the children. Any impact the child would be passive by way of having parents who love the child and allow the child to openly love each parent -- that can only be a positive impact. Plus, going to court will provide a set, consistent, and predictable schedule for parent-time. A schedule that the parents and the child can count on, and look forward to with happiness and anticipation. So, if the other parent is already causing problems by denying access, limiting parent-time, or playing games with dates and time, that parent is already putting the child in the middle and causing the child harm by way of depriving the child time with the other parent. In those situations, the one parent needs to be an adult and take the situation to court to obtain appropriate orders, including orders to keep the child out of the case. And, I bet that it will be the offending parent who then cries that going to court will "negatively impact the child"!

How to spot legal malpractice in your family law case

Mistakes in your divorce and other family law cases can significantly impact your divorce settlement, child custody orders and other issues involved in your case. That is why it is important to work with an experienced lawyer who will protect your rights and guide you through your case.

Divorce Conflict? How to pick a Special Master?

If you are reading this, then you know that a Special Master can be used in situations where there is high-conflict in a divorce or custody case; or after the case, if the conflict continues or worsens. But, how do you find a Special Master.

Trusts in Divorce -- Smith v. Smith

A new opinion discussing divorce and allocating a family trust has been released by the Utah Court of Appeals. The case involved a family trust created by husband and wife during their marriage. The trust purported to claim that any account, asset, or other item opened, obtained, or created during the marriage was to be marital property. However, there was a provision that wife had certain property as her own.Prior to the divorce, wife received an inheritance, and placed the funds in a separate account. The divorce followed and the trial court awarded the separate account to wife. Husband appealed, claiming that under the general terms of the family trust, the account was marital property and he should have been awarded a portion of it.The key turned out to be the specific provision of the family trust that specified that all interests in wife's family holdings was wife's separate property. The lesson to take away from this is that when one is attempting to generally define rights in a trust to ensure that all of the specific provisions are consistent. This case also reinforces the fact that any such questions will be determined under contract principles.The case is Smith v. Smith

Divorce and award of business interests -- Lindsey v. Lindsey.

The Utah Court of Appeals has issued a new decision concerning the award of a premarital business interest that substantially appreciated in value during a twenty year marriage in a divorce. The husband held premarital business interests, the value of which approximately tripled during the marriage. The wife, in addition to being the home-maker, supported the husband's business efforts through performing various host duties in social settings to strengthen husband's relationships with his clientele.The interesting point is that this award was by way of a summary judgment. The trial court, on husband's motion for summary judgment, granted judgment for husband that his business interests were premarital, had not been commingled, and wife's assertions of her support did not rise to a level to show that she augmented or enhanced the value of husband's business interests.The case is Lindsey v. Lindsey.

Contact

Salt Lake City Office
1817 S. Main Street, Suite 17
Salt Lake City, UT 84115

Salt Lake City Law Office Map

South Jordan Office
10808 South River Front Parkway
#3074
South Jordan, Utah 84095

Map & Directions