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

DIY Divorce - Think ahead!

t still amazes me how many requests for help I read on the various services where people say they need help with this or that issue, which they never addressed in the original divorce case. Things like custody, visitation, support, property, debts, and the like, all because the person thought the other side would be nice down the road, do the right thing, or would never do what that other person is now doing.

Then, all of a sudden, the ex is acting in a contrary manner, and getting away with things because those things were never discussed, or if they were, the results of the discussion were kept out of the decree -- usually to keep the other person "happy" so that they'd sign off on the decree.

That attitude simply leads to problems and conflict down the road. The first person goes along just happy and then slam, there is a problem. And it was not addressed in the decree. So now that first person is being bullied and cajoled by the ex, and has to cave in, or face handling the problem through a court case to change the decree and add the new provisions, if possible.

Wouldn't it be better to get everything done right the first time, and avoid that down-the-road surprise and conflict? You need to get everything into the decree. If you need help looking down that road, then do get with an experienced family law attorney to help. As I've posted before, some attorneys will work with you on a limited basis.

So, do check with an experienced attorney and get the best decree upfront.

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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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