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Posts tagged "divorce"

In Divorce Be Careful What you Post - 2

I've already written about being careful what you post on social media. But you also need to be careful what you post on any of the various legal opinion sites. It is amazing some the the admissions people make on the various legal opinion sites. I've seen admissions of infidelity and affairs; hiding of assets; transferring funds fraudulently to avoid having to disclose those funds; child neglect and abuse; domestic violence; fraudulently entering a marriage; and even criminal activity. I've even seen a post where a person admitted to setting fire to the house because he didn't want a divorce (and fraudulently filing an insurance claim on top of it).All of those admissions could subject the writer to civil ,and even criminal, prosecution and damages. That information is public, and could be traced back to you. There is no confidentiality on those sites, and generally there is no confidentiality until you actually enter into a relationship with an attorney.Be very careful what you do post.

Grandparent visitation in Utah - an update.

This issue, grandparents' visitation, still appears to have conflict associated with it, despite an earlier post. I have even read some posts from other attorney sites that add to the confusion. The Utah statute remains unchanged. A grandparent can file a petition for visitation if the petitioner's child has died, has been missing for an extended period of time, or is a non-custodial parent by way of a divorce or legal separation (in the case of a divorce or legal separation, the grandparent can even join the divorce or legal separation action). But, over a year ago, the Utah Supreme Court issued a decision making it much more difficult for a grandparent to succeed with that petition. That case is Jones v. Jones. In Jones, started with the fact that a parent's right to decide who has a right of visitation with her child is "fundamental" under the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. That means that the parent's right is protected, except in the limited circumstance in which an infringement of it is shown to be "narrowly tailored" to protect a "compelling governmental interest." That means that parents, as a general rule, have the final say in who has a right to interact with their children on a regular basis. All of that Constitutional protection leads to the fact that the mere (but unquestioned) significance of the grandparental relationship will not be enough to override a parent's fundamental right to raise a child as the parent sees fit. Neither does a vague sense that the child would be better off with grandparents in the grandchild's life suffice. Grandparent visitation orders must be limited to the exceptional case where the failure to override the parent's wishes would cause substantial harm to the child. That exceptional case is presumed to be the case where the grandparents' role is akin to that of a parent--where the grandparent has filled the role of "custodian or caregiver" or something similar. Then, a grandparent might succeed with the petition.

Contemplating, or in a divorce: Guidelines for using social media and texts

If you are thinking about a divorce, or going through one, you need to be careful with what you do and say online. More than one-third of divorce attorneys rely heavily on social media for evidence in divorce cases, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and more than 60 percent of online evidence in divorces comes from Facebook alone. And, about 99 percent have used text messages in divorce cases.

Could your spouse be hiding assets in advance of your divorce?

Your divorce started out amicably, or so you thought. But you're starting to feel concerned about your financial situation. Perhaps your spouse has started to spend more money, there are unexplained purchases or your combined income has started to drop for no apparent reason.

Does your divorce attorney return you calls, or explain things? Be proactive!

Despite having previously published a post about the need for attorneys to be responsive by returning client calls and emails, as well as taking the time to explain things to clients involved in divorce, family law, or other cases, and provide copies of all pleadings and papers to the client. I have experienced a recent resurgence in people consulting me due to those kinds of problems. In the past couple of weeks four people have contacted me because their attorneys do not return their calls or emails, and when I ask questions about their cases, those people don't know what is going on with their case, or even have copies of the case pleadings and papers. They also have not received bills, so they don't know where their money is going.

DIY Divorce. Do I have to go to court?

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.

What are the benefits of hiring a divorce attorney?

When it is apparent your marriage just is not going to work out, you might start looking for information about the divorce process. Like many others, you turn to the internet for help. Some of the results you find may lead you to think that it is not necessary to have an attorney to help you with your divorce; instead, you decide to try to handle it on your own. You could not be making a bigger mistake.

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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