A divorce can take months or even years to finalize. In many cases one parent is in need of an immediate decision from the courts governing child custody, parent-time, child support, alimony, or division of marital property. Utah courts can order “Temporary Orders” to help both parties sort things out in a longer period of time. Sometimes these things end amicably and others are sorted through heated debates where the courts need to get involved to find a solution.
Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman hold a sympathetic ear and are here to help you sort things out. We will fight for everything you deserve. We have the knowledge and experience to walk through mediation where things can end peacefully, but we are also willing and prepared to battle this to the end. We offer informed legal advice and strong legal advocacy while your divorce is ongoing.
Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman will help protect you and your family with the necessary temporary orders available. Contact us to guide you through these uncertain times.
In many divorce cases, alimony issues arise. One party is the “breadwinner” and the other the “homemaker.” Both roles are essential in a marriage. Alimony is an attempt to equalize both roles after the marriage ceases to exist.
Alimony is an award of financial support upon divorce, essentially requiring the “breadwinner” to continue to financially support the “homemaker.” In Utah, courts consider a wide variety of factors in determining whether to award alimony, including the following:
- The financial condition and needs of the recipient spouse
- The recipient’s earning capacity or ability to produce income
- The ability of the payer spouse to provide support
- The length of the marriage
- Whether the recipient spouse has custody of minor children requiring support
Ordinarily, an award of alimony is set to last the number of years that the marriage existed, and alimony terminates upon the recipient spouse’s cohabitation, remarriage, or death.
Alimony settlements can affect your ability to move forward with your life. A skillful lawyer will always choose what is in the best interest of their client. On the other hand, the opposing side also desires that as well. This is where the difficulty comes in, when both attorneys champion the same for each of their clients’ rights. This is where skill and years of practice make a difference when it comes to negotiating a resolution that will satisfy the parties. Our alimony attorneys will first attempt to assist in obtaining an amicable resolution and look to litigation only when an agreement cannot be reached.
Alimony settlements can affect your ability to move forward with your life. Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman recognizes this and is here to give you the representation you deserve. Contact us to speak with one of our alimony attorneys.
Nothing is more important to parents than their children. If you are going through a divorce or other child custody matter in which your parental rights are at stake, it is critical that you have a highly qualified family law attorney who can ensure that you receive sound advice and effective representation.
Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman is committed to providing the quality legal representation you require. We represent clients in a wide range of family law matters involving custody, visitation issues, and support including the following:
- Child Custody Negotiations
- Child Custody and Visitation Modifications
- Visitation Modifications
- Development of Parenting Plans
- Parental Relocation Disputes
- Child Support Proceedings
We understand that custody and visitation disputes can be very difficult on children. Our attorneys work diligently to resolve such disputes as amicably as possible, while fully safeguarding the rights of our clients. When an opposing party is unwilling to be reasonable, however, Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman have the trial experience necessary to be a strong advocate for clients in the courtroom.
Grandparents are also considered in visitation rights. Transportation and travel notices will also be discussed when you call Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman to evaluate the best possible outcome for you and your child or children.
We know you want what is best for you children. Allow Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman to fight for your parental rights and child custody.
The courts will always attempt to consider the best welfare of the child. The law holds that both parents are required to provide support. Once the divorce is finalized, one parent will be the primary custodian and the other may be ordered to pay child support.
For child support, there are usually guidelines that determine how much one parent will pay to the other. The guidelines involve factors such as each parent’s monthly income, the number of children in question, medical insurance expenses for the children, work related child care expenses, and the amount of time each parent will spend with the children based on the custody agreement. Child support payments are usually determined by a court formula. Click here to see the Utah Court’s child support calculator.
If a parent refuses to pay child support, he or she may have their wages garnished or assets seized and could be held in contempt of court.
Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman is on your side. They have the experience and knowledge on how to keep your child getting the support he/she needs.
It’s not just you anymore. Call Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman to get the child support you need to provide for your children.
Property acquired during the marriage is subject to ‘equitable’ division by the court. Equitable simply means fair. It doesn’t necessarily mean equal. However, in long term marriages, equitable may mean close to 50–50 split. There are other factors included, such as length of marriage, occupations, age, and health, as well as other sources of income.
Keep in mind, equitable division is used by property gained during the marriage. There is also ‘separate’ property, which is property acquired by each party before the marriage, inherited property, or property received as a gift. Typically, each respective party will keep their separate property, unless it has been sufficiently commingled to a point that it loses it separate property value.
If both parties agree on how to divide the property during the divorce, the judge is required to review everything to ensure it is equitable.
Real property (home, buildings, land, etc.) can be handled several different ways. The house can be sold and monies split fairly between the two parties, or if one person is staying in the house, they may refinance the home and buy out the other party.
Division of retirement accounts requires application of unique legal principles. Generally speaking, everything deposited into the accounts during the marriage is considered marital property and are divided according to the formula set forth in Woodward v. Woodward, 656 P.2d 431 (Utah 1982). Although other factors may influence the outcome, the formula can generally be stated as follows: multiply one-half of the value of the account by the number of years the parties were married and divide by the number of years the employee has contributed to the retirement account.
In some cases, the spouse who contributes to the retirement may be award the entire retirement, with the other spouse being awarded something equal in value to their “Woodward share.” However, if the retirement account is to be split or transferred, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) must be signed by the judge.
Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman can break this down into easier terms for you to understand. This is a complicated process and needs to be met with care.
When it comes to dividing things equally, Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman will fight for everything you deserve. Make that call today.
Failure to abide by the rulings of the court may result in contempt. That includes abiding by the Temporary Order, Parenting Plan, or Decree. Sometimes the violation of these orders by the party is intentional and others unintentional. Either way, Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman have the experience to enforce and help in violations with these proceedings.
These violations include, but are not limited to, child support and parent-time (visitation). It is important to note that parent-time and child support cannot be withheld from either parent, regardless of whether the other party has failed to comply with their end of the divorce decree.
Failure to comply can be brought to the court’s attention. The process in doing so is a motion for an Order to Show Cause. As part of the motion, the moving party must submit supporting evidence showing how the other party has failed the court order. A hearing will usually be scheduled, and the other party will be required to appear in court. They must “show cause” why they should not be held in contempt. The responding party also has the opportunity to submit a written response prior to the hearing. Depending on the allegations, the judge may allow evidence to be presented at the hearing by “proffer.” Proffer is witness examination.
The court will enter an order after the hearing. If the judge finds that a violation has occurred, the enforcement could result in more parent-time or higher moneys owed in child support. In some cases, a party member could be held in contempt, resulting in fines or jail time. The violating party may be held liable to pay for the attorney fees for the other party.
Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman takes the enforcement of orders very seriously. Contact us to ensure full protection of your rights.
The courts have the continuing power to modify a divorce decree according to any substantial or material change of circumstance that arises after the divorce takes place. Commonly addressed issues in post-divorce modifications include custody, parent-time (visitation), and child support. Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman are experienced in handling these modifications and deal with them with care.
Either parent can request a modification by filing a Petition to Modify, which must show a substantial change has occurred. Utah law dictates that some things are not considered ‘substantial.’ Talk to Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman if you have been served with a Petition to Modify. We can consult you about your options under Utah law.
If the issue involves custody or visitation, the court must determine if the modification has been ratified to be in the best interest of the child. These modifications can only be made by way of Petition to Modify.
However, modification of child support can be submitted by Motion if it has been three or more years since implementation; if there is a difference of 10% or more between the support amount as ordered versus required; if the difference is not temporary; and the child support total is consistent with set guidelines. Otherwise, the child support can only be modified by Petition and only if the changes meet specific statutory requirements.
Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman understands things change and we are experienced in modifying divorce decrees to reflect that change. Contact us for a consultation on your options.