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David R. Hartwig, Esq.
Family Law & Divorce
Attorney & Counselor at Law
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DIY Divorce. Do I have to go to court?

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2016 | Uncategorized

Simple answer is: it depends. Most divorce cases are settled, either through the attorneys, or in mediation. But, both of those options require that you and your spouse agree on all the issues in your divorce. If you do not agree, then yes, you will need to go to court for a trial.

No matter what, understand that a divorce is a legal action – there will be a court case filed. In Utah, family law cases are privileged, so they are not “public” record.

You may also want to go to court while you and your spouse are working things out. The reason being that you may want to obtain temporary orders for custody; parent-time; child support; use of the family home; and to determine who pays what. Any such temporary orders would control your divorce case until such time as the final decree is entered.

Besides having various issues settled, on a temporary basis, going to court for temporary orders can be useful if the other side decides to use self-help to gain access to the children, simple takes the children, or acts in inappropriate ways violating those temporary orders. In that case, you can return to the court and ask that the offending party be admonished, or punished, for the inappropriate actions, including the possibility of being awarded your attorney fees for having to bring the motion.

So, no matter what, you will have to have a court case in order to actually get divorced in Utah, and actually get your Decree of Divorce. Whether you actually go to court depends on your needs, and your situation at the time.

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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