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David R. Hartwig, Esq.
Family Law & Divorce Attorney & Counselor at Law Veteran Military Discount

Additional background information on divorce and family law cases

There is the divorce process, and this provides additional background.

Divorce Waiting Period:

  • There is a 90-day waiting period that begins to run on the date the petition is filed.
  • It can be waived in certain circumstances, which we can discuss.


  • Preside over divorce, paternity, and family cases in some counties.
  • They provide for resolution of most preliminary and temporary issues.
  • Commissioners act as the "gatekeepers" for the assigned Judge. 
  • In courts where there are commissioners,
    • Most hearings will be held before a commissioner who makes a recommendation, which becomes the order.
    • If either party doesn't agree with the commissioner's recommendation, a party may "object" and request that the judge rehear the motion.
    • The judge must grant a hearing, if requested, regarding custody matters.
    • Other hearings are discretionary.
    • The commissioner's recommendation is typically given deference by the judge.

Lawyers are officers of the court.

  • I must adhere to the Rules of Professional Conduct, and the Utah Standards of Professionalism and Civility.
  • I will advocate your case using legal tools and strategy that are available, but within the Rules and Standards, and with appropriate courtesy afforded to all litigants, and court personnel.

You are an essential part of your lawsuit.

  • Please be prompt in getting information to me.
  • Please attend hearings.
  • Please do not contact opposing counsel or the court directly.
  • Please contact me to discuss a situation before you make any major decision related to issues in the case.
  • Please do not communicate with the other party without talking with me first, and always use email for all such communications so that there is a record of what is actually said.
  • Please read all pleadings and correspondence.
  • Please do not violate any court order.
  • Please be patient. This process sometimes takes a while. If you feel impatient, remember that this divorce decree will govern everything that happens with you, and your children until they are 18 years old.
  • Please do not involve your children in the divorce. The court will not condone a party who speaks negatively to the children about the other party, or about the divorce.
  • Please do not post about your case on Facebook or other websites.

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