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August 2017 Archives

Divorce is a contest

You have heard the phrase contested divorce. It points out a salient fact: that in dissolving a marriage, you have to split up everything - the money you saved, the home you made together, even the children you brought into the world.

Housing Proximity and Alimony in Divorce

The Utah Court of Appeals issued a decision addressing whether a trial court can establish a proximity requirement for having the parties live within a given distance of each other; the concept of equalization and incomes in determining alimony; and, in the award of partial attorney fees. The Court of Appeals affirmed the proximity requirement (that the parties had to live within 25 miles of each other), and the denial of an award of partial attorney fees.The Court of Appeals remanded on the alimony issue stating that the trial court's explanation of its equalization was inadequate, and that it erred in using wife's gross income while only using husband's net income. It also suggested that the trial court review allocating the tax consequences of the alimony award as a matter of equity.

Modifying Stipulated Alimony in Divorce

The Utah Court of Appeals issued a decision concerning this issue and addressed what constitutes a new income stream to justify a substantial change in circumstances to allow for a modification of alimony. The issue surrounded the sale of property which was awarded to the wife. The Court affirmed the trial court's decision that husband failed to show a substantial change in circumstances that was not foreseeable at the time of the original divorce. This is an important case exploring the "foreseeable" aspects intertwined with potential changes in circumstances, having potential dire consequences in hoping to change alimony "down the road".The case is MacDonald v. MacDonald.#alimony #property #divorceproperty #inheritance #separateproperty #jointproperty #wealth #marriage

Homestead Exemption in Divorce

The Utah Court of Appeals issued a decision discussing the application of Utah's Homestead Exemption in a divorce action dividing property, reaffirming that such does not apply in an action between a husband and wife. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's decision that the husband was not entitle to a homestead exemption on the property in issue, or on the proceeds from its sale. The case is White v. White.#divorce #property #divorceproperty  #separateproperty #jointproperty #wealth #marriage

Alimony in Divorce - Actual expenses vs. standard of living.

The Utah Court of Appeals issued a new decision on this alimony issue. The main issue was that of the pre-divorce standard of living and the concept of equalization of the post-divorce standards of living rather than just going on the recipient's needs. The trial court erred in not establishing the base standard of living, instead going to simply the needs of the parties. The trial court's decision was vacated and the case remanded for the trial court to reassess its alimony award.The case is Rule v. Rule.

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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