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

Be Proactive - during your divorce and afterward.

Many people contact me to learn about options in divorce (or after), and receive answers to their "what if's", but then don't want to pursue the matter. Such things as knowing that there are problems with visitation (Changing visitation), child support (Changing Support), or custody, and you know that the other side is complaining, or making threats about the problem.

You have the option to actually file the appropriate motions and seek changes or clarification of the issues; and, if the other side is threatening to hold you in contempt be proactive is bring the problem to the court first -- before the other side files pleadings telling the court how nasty you are in your failure to comply with the letter of the orders because those orders no longer work. Enforcing Orders

A recent example: A couple, with children, are divorced. The custodial parent moves with the children, thereby affecting the other parent's visitation. Sure, the other parent starts complaining, making nasty phone calls to you, and threatens to take custody away if you don't meet all of that other person's demands. Plus, you actually are technically in violation of the current visitation orders because of the distance -- but the other person also refuses to discuss, let alone assist with, transportation.

Instead of waiting for the other side to take you to court screaming that you are a nasty horrible person and that you should be held in contempt and have to pay the other's sides attorney fees, why not simply present the matter to the court, with your ideas on how to fix the problem? Let's face it, if you go to the judge and say that some part of the orders is not working and have an idea of how to fix that problem, wouldn't the judge think you to be a responsible parent? On the other hand, if the other side gets in there, with all of the complaints and nasty words, isn't the judge going to look at you a bit cross-eyed?

Be proactive. Handle problems when they are small. And don't let the other side bully you into agreeing to anything you don't understand or agree with.

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I am David R. Hartwig, Esq., a Salt Lake City attorney with extensive experience helping parents resolve simple or high-conflict custody issues reaching arrangements that work for children and parents. Child custody involves parent-time and visitation schedules, and can affect support. I help in all of these areas, providing comprehensive service clients need to achieve their custody goals.

Factors In Child Custody Decisions

As an experienced Utah child custody lawyer, I understand that custody cases may become a contentious issue even years after an order is finalized. The trend in Utah toward joint custody often creates messy, unworkable situations, which ultimately lead to enforcement issues when parents do not abide by their custody orders.

The best interests of the child must be considered, including:

• Whether joint legal or physical custody will benefit the child's physical, psychological and emotional needs, or the child's development

• The parents' ability to give first priority to the child's welfare, and reach shared decisions in the child's best interest

• Whether each parent is capable of encouraging and accepting a positive relationship between the child and the other parent

• Whether both parents participated in raising the child before the divorce

• The distance between the parents' homes

• The parents' maturity and their willingness and ability to protect the child from conflict that may arise between the parents

• The parents' ability to cooperate with each other and make decisions jointly

• Any history of, or potential for, child abuse, spouse abuse, or kidnapping

• Any other factors the court finds relevant

Despite the complicated and sensitive nature of custody matters, I have helped many clients successfully establish custody orders.

Get Help With Your Child Custody Issue

If you have a child custody issue, please contact me, David R. Hartwig, Esq. I am an experienced Salt Lake City custody lawyer dedicated to helping clients resolve complex custody issues and implement necessary custody orders. For high-conflict cases, I am also one of the few Utah child custody modification attorneys trained as a Special Master for ongoing dispute resolution.


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