Experience You Can Trust
Divorce is a complex area of law that covers a wide variety of legal subject areas. I have practiced law in the following subject areas over my 25 plus year experience: family law, criminal defense, bankruptcy, tax controversies, and general civil practice. Having a working knowledge of these subject areas is useful when I take on a new case. I have also served as a Judge Pro Tempore, since 2012, a few times every month in the Small Claim Courts of Salt Lake City and County since. This experience also has honed my ability to see the importance of burden of proof and witness credibility, among other things.
A divorce can be quick, or it can take years to complete — depending upon the opposing party and his or her counsel. If parties cannot settle their case, or if opposing counsel “stirs the pot,” a divorce case can become a lengthy and expensive endeavor. I always try to work within my client’s budget, and try to obtain a settlement as quickly if at all possible.
However, if it is necessary to go trial, I have a very broad and extensive trial and appellate experience. So if you hire me, you will be hiring a very experienced counselor-at-law and advocate.
A party must try to mediate a case before going to trial. Sometimes mediation is effective, particularly if the parties are motivated not to spend a lot of money on a case.
Contact me for a Free 30-minute confidential consultation at: (801) 535-4385
The case begins by filing a divorce petition. A party can get a temporary orders hearing before a Court Commissioner usually in about 30-45 days. At that initial hearing, the Commissioner will make a recommendation to the judge for child support, child custody, temporary alimony, temporary custody of property, allocation of debt, and attorney fees, among other things. The temporary order is to get the case moving, and to award living expenses for the custodial parent of children.
Both parents are obligated to support their children. Child support is awarded by using a chart and plugging in the parties’ incomes. Alimony is awarded on an as needed basis and the ability of the payor to pay it. Both parties are responsible for paying for their children’s medical expenses.
One needs to be a little careful if the other party is contemplating filing a divorce petition first, because they could withdraw all of the money out of a joint account, and the other party will have to wait for the temporary orders hearing to try and get some of it back.
Custody evaluators can be appointed as expert witnesses to help the court to determine custody. Private Guardian ad Litems can also be appointed in that regard.
The parties can engage in what is known as “discovery,” a process whereby parties can ask ten questions of each other, ask for documents, and ask each other to admit ten, relevant facts. The parties are also allowed a few hours to depose each other or fact witnesses.
After the parties have engaged in discovery, the case is ready to be heard by a judge. If the parties don’t agree with the judge’s ruling, they can appeal to the Utah Court of Appeals.
One of the overarching principles in effective representation is to remember to keep the kids out of it as best as you can.
My broad legal expertise has given me experience in variety of divorce situations from complex to simple. You can learn more about each of the areas below by clicking the relevant link:
- Child Custody
- Custody Evaluations
- Visitation Rights
- Child Support
- Divorce Mediation
- DCFS Cases
- Decree Modifications
- Bankruptcy Issues
- Federal Tax Issues
- Retirement Accounts – QDRO
- COBRA Insurance Benefits
- The HAGUE Convention