http://moodybrown.com/ Utah Family Law – Utah Divorce – Provo Mediation Attorney

801.356.8300

Family Law / Divorce

Your Firm

Since 1986, family law has been the foundation of Moody Brown Law.

Our reputation and expertise is validated by our clients, with Moody Brown handling more Utah County divorce cases than any other firm and a significant number of cases in surrounding counties, including, Salt Lake, Wasatch, Juab, Tooele, Davis, Sanpete, Sevier, and Summit counties.

Overview of Divorce

Divorces are emotional and difficult, and every case presents a unique set of facts and legal issues. Moody Brown has helped thousands of clients get through their divorce with swift resolution and optimal results.

As we work through the issues in your divorce, whether we are in court together or sitting at the negotiation table, we want you to feel our high level of experience and client care. The following issues are among those we often address in our divorce matters:

  • Child custody: Ideally, child custody and parent-time would be agreed upon between the parents according to the best interests of their children; however custody is often contested. The good news is that disputes regarding child custody can usually be worked out in mediation without lengthy and contentious litigation. In the event custody is contested, Moody Brown takes time to understand the needs of your children and to pursue the best possible outcome as aggressively as needed for your case.

  • Child support: In Utah, child support is set by statutory guidelines (http://www.utcourts.gov/childsupport/calculator). If disputes arise with child support, it is usually related to determining the income of a self-employed spouse or the "imputed income" of a spouse who is not working or underemployed. We can ensure that a fair amount is calculated for child support.

  • Alimony: The court can award alimony, or spousal support, in appropriate cases. The amount and duration of alimony is at the discretion of the Court and is based on factors unique to your circumstances, including the financial condition and needs of the recipient spouse, the recipient spouse's earning capacity or ability to earn income, and the ability of the paying spouse to provide support. Alimony is often contested, and whether you are seeking support or will be responsible for paying support, we will give you a candid assessment of your alimony position and seek the best result for your facts.

  • Property division: Utah courts use a two-step process to divide property. First, the court decides what is marital property and what is non-marital property. Property acquired during the marriage is presumed to be marital property; however, property brought into the marriage or received by gift or inheritance during the marriage is usually found to be non-marital property. Utah requires an equitable division of marital property, which in most instances means a 50-50 division. Non-marital property is usually not divided between parties. We have extensive experience resolving disputes in property division, large estates, and division of complex business assets.

  • Modifications: We represent clients seeking changes to an existing Decree of Divorce and those who are contesting changes. A material and substantial change in circumstances may merit a change in custody, child support, alimony, or other provisions in your Decree. In many modification cases, the losing party is ordered to pay the prevailing party's attorney fees making it essential to get the best possible advice in pursuing or defending against a modification. Most of our modification cases are settled early in mediation. We will review your modification case and advise you on how to get the best result.

  • Contempt: It may be appropriate to file a contempt action if your ex-spouse if not obeying your Decree of Divorce, or you may find yourself served with a contempt action against you. Contempt actions usually require a court hearing to resolve, and the court can impose judgment against the disobedient party, including paying the prevailing party's attorney's fees, and in certain cases, fines or jail time. We can best advise you on pursuing or defending your contempt action.

FREQUENTLY ASKED DIVORCE QUESTIONS

Is it possible to resolve my divorce entirely outside of court?

Yes. If the case is uncontested, we can draft a divorce agreement for you and your spouse to sign and draft the papers for the court to issue a divorce decree based on the agreement. It is more common, however, to have at least some contested issues, and you can rely on our expertise to work out with the opposing attorney, or, if that is not possible, to resolve your case at mediation. Mediation is required in all contested Utah divorce cases, and in our experience, 80% of divorce cases are resolved entirely at the first mediation. A court appearance may not be required if you can resolve early in mediation.

Whether your case is contested or uncontested, we highly recommend that you at least meet with an attorney to review the divorce agreement prior to signing.

What is the 90-day waiting period?

Utah requires that parties wait 90 days after the filing of a divorce petition before a divorce decree may be granted. If a client knows a divorce will proceed, we usually recommend filing a divorce petition to start the 90-day waiting period. We use the 90-days to work on resolving the case, and in many instances we are able to get the case completely resolved within the 90-days. If a case is resolved significantly less than the 90-days, we may file a motion to waive the 90-day waiting period if there are "extraordinary circumstances."

I have heard Moody Brown is a "father's firm"? OR I have heard Moody Brown is a "mother's firm"?

Our office represents about half men and half women clients in divorce matters, and we prefer it that way. We believe it is critical to have the expertise and perspective from both sides of a divorce case, and we zealously represent either side. Candidly, a divorce firm advertising as a "father's firm" or a "mother's firm" is utilizing a marketing gimmick, and we believe doing clients a disservice in the process.

I have heard that a child can decide where they live at age 12 (or age 14)?

No, this is a very common myth, and there is no set age when a child gets to choose which parent to live with. As a child gets older, however, the child's preference is given more and more weight by the Court.

How much will my divorce cost? Does Moody Brown offer a free consultation for divorce cases?

No two divorce cases are alike, and the amount of work required to achieve the desired outcome varies greatly from case to case. Moody Brown hourly rates are comparable to other qualified divorce attorneys in the area. We will be able to approximate how long your case could take and how much it might ultimately cost as part of the initial consultation. Our attorneys work from retainer, and we will also be able to quote an initial retainer as part of the consultation.

The vast majority of Moody Brown clients are referred by family and friends, and Moody Brown does not offer free divorce consultations. During our initial consultation, a potential client receives our very best individualized advice and recommendations. By charging for initial consultations, only potential clients who are serious about addressing their unique issues are scheduled, allowing the firm to devote its time to existing clients.

EXPERTISE IN OTHER FAMILY LAW MATTERS

In addition to divorce-related issues, Moody Brown has extensive experience resolving other family law matters including:

  • Paternity

  • Protective Orders

  • Restraining Orders

  • Stalking injunctions

  • Stalking injunctions

  • Post-nuptial Agreements

  • Cohabitation Agreements

  • Property Agreements

  • Temporary Separation Agreements

  • Name Changes

  • Third party rights, including grandparent rights

  • Mediation

ATTORNEY LINKS

Get more information please contact any of the attorneys below: