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Five Things You May Not Know About Utah's Divorce Process

Thinking about divorce? Here are some interesting tidbits many people don't know about Utah's divorce laws.

1. You can point fingers, but you no longer need to.

In the past, Utah followed a system where you had to have a reason for your divorce. Usually, that reason put the blame squarely on one spouse's shoulders, and that spouse received the short end of the stick during property division and other parts of the divorce. That is no longer the case. Today, divorcing spouses can claim irreconcilable differences as the grounds for their divorce, and most do.

The Big D: How to Break the News to Your Children

You aren't the first person to dread telling your children about your upcoming divorce, and you certainly won't be the last. Here are some tips that other parents have shared to make the conversation easier on everyone involved.

1. Consider Their Age

What you tell your children, and how they will react to the news, should vary depending on their age.

7 Things to Avoid When Seeking Custody

While a custody decision is often based on your past actions and relationship with your children, that doesn't mean your present actions won't affect the outcome.

Divorce is one of those stressful life events that can change someone's typical behavior. Some people act out aggressively, others develop dependencies, some withdraw entirely and many put their best foot forward. In any hearing or negotiation, you want to represent yourself in the best possible light. That's especially important when child custody is on the line. After all, custody decisions are based on what is in the best interests of the child.

Child Custody, Alimony and the Stay-at-Home Dad

Between 1989 and 2012, the number of stay-at-home fathers nearly doubled, and that number continues to rise today. Fathers are staying at home for three main reasons: 1) they suffer from an illness or disability (35 percent); 2) they have lost their job or are unable to find employment (23 percent); and/or 3) they desire to be the primary caregiver (21 percent).

The last reason is the most interesting, particularly in the family law realm. The number of fathers staying at home to take care of the family has increased fourfold since 1989. In a world where gender roles are changing, so are the way we raise our kids and our family laws.

Post-Divorce: Can't We All Just Get Along?

Your divorce was ugly, but it ended. You thought you had a court order in place that would prevent you from being treated poorly by your ex. You thought your nightmare was over. Now, you realize that your ex hasn't changed.

Perhaps she has ignored your right of first refusal clause or he has refused to agree to an out-of-country vacation. Maybe you aren't receiving the child support you are due or you have been denied access to your children. If the other party is ignoring your court order, it may be time to bring them back to court.

Divorcing During the Holidays: A Scary Prospect?

As stores bring out their holiday merchandise and kids start to make their lists and craft their costumes, divorcing parents can feel more overwhelmed than ever. This is particularly true if you have recently filed for divorce and are "winging it" while you try to agree on a parenting plan. How can you help your children stay happy during a time of changing traditions?

We won't sugar coat it: This time of year - particularly this first time - is going to be hard. Yet, you can take steps now to make the process less scary for you and your children. Here are some things to consider:

It's All in Your Child's Best Interests, Right?

If you are going through a divorce or child custody dispute, you have probably heard the phrase best interests of the child. Like you, courts consider your child's safety, happiness and well-being to be the paramount factor in their child custody and parenting time decisions. Yet, the standard is nebulous. You and the other parent may have very different notions of what your child needs. Who wins?

Can You Modify Your Child Custody Order in Utah?

A "final" child custody order may be signed by a court in Utah but that does not mean it cannot be changed. The law recognizes that sometimes there is a need to change an existing child custody order, whether or not it is a "final" court order. A parent's health could change. A parent could move out-of-state or a parent may develop a substance abuse problem that could require a change in custody. Just as life can cause changes in a family, so can life create the need to change a child custody order -- fortunately, the law, in some circumstances, permits change.

How Does Someone Establish Paternity In Utah?

A child born to unmarried parents is not an uncommon situation. However, it can create certain legal issues such as paternity. When the parents of a child are married, there is a legal presumption of paternity. This is not the same for unmarried parents. Paternity must be established in Utah in this situation in order to create certain rights such as the right to child support. There are various scenarios for establishing paternity. In fact, there are three specific ways towards achieving this legal status in Utah.

Getting Your Former Spouse to Pay Child Support

After everything that you have been through these last few months, the divorce has been finalized with the court in Utah. You think you can breathe a sigh of relief and start life over again. But then . . . your former spouse has decided to either fall behind on child support payments or refuses to pay child support at all.

You honestly didn't expect this would happen to you. Now what?

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