Experienced Salt Lake City, Utah Divorce Lawyer
There is not a single couple who enters an engagement, civil union, or marriage anticipating a divorce. When couples plan to spend the rest of their lives together, that is the common goal that outlines their futures.
Unfortunately, some couples have a very different idea of what that future should look like. And when they begin to move forward in different directions, divorce may be the only option to regain their happiness.
At Smoak Law, P.C., our Salt Lake City divorce lawyer understands that no matter why you are seeking to end your marriage, the stress and confusion that accompanies the unknown can be frightening.
That is why our divorce attorney in Salt Lake City provides straightforward, real-time legal advice, planning, and strategy discussions that allow our clients to plan for their futures with confidence.
What Are Grounds for Divorce in Salt Lake City, Utah
Deciding to end your marriage is never an easy decision. We understand. Our Salt Lake City divorce lawyer knows that while Utah is officially a “no fault” state when it comes to divorce, which means one spouse can file for irreconcilable differences or the irremediable breakdown in the relationship, there are additional statutory grounds for divorce.
The statutory grounds for divorce in Utah include:
- Conviction of a felony
- Habitual drunkenness
- Impotency at the time of marriage
- Mental or physical cruelty
- Permanent and incurable insanity established by competent medical testimony
- Willful desertion of a spouse more than one year
- Willful neglect to provide the common necessities of life
Also, if spouses have lived under a separate maintenance decree for three or more consecutive years, they are eligible for divorce.
What Are My Priorities When Considering Divorce in Salt Lake City, Utah?
Each Utah divorce is unique, and the details therein require a customized approach to pursuing the best legal outcome.
The next priority will be the pursuit of economic stability, either through the division of debt, property, and pension and retirement benefits, by gaining access to alimony or spousal support, or both.
Our Salt Lake City Family law lawyer at Smoak Law, P.C. aims to deliver maximum results utilizing our experience in family law, complex financial and property matters, civil litigation, and child support and custody arrangements.
With decades of experience identifying and building a compelling case to protect every conceivable situation, resource or asset, our divorce attorney Salt Lake City focuses on discovering:
- Assets owned in more than one state
- Existing stock options, capital gains, bonuses, financial awards, and royalties
- Valuation of personal and business real estate property, businesses and other assets
- Fair and Equitable division of tax-deferred retirement accounts: IRAs, 401(k) plans and pensions
- Fair and Equitable division of stock options and restricted stock
- Division of patents, copyrights, and other intellectual property
- True valuation of businesses
- Division of outstanding debts
- Treatment of trusts
Our divorce attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah focuses on delivering the resources our clients need to move forward with their new lives, without worrying about how they are going to take care of themselves or their children.
What If My Spouse is Concealing Assets During Our Salt Lake City Divorce?
Too often, assets have proven to be concealed by a spouse before a divorce. These assets are often very difficult to discover but must be discovered for a fair and equitable division of property during the divorce. If these assets can be discovered, our law office will find them. Hiding assets is not just for the wealthy or business owners. Anyone can have a rainy-day account that may not be voluntarily included in divorce documents.
At Smoak Law, P.C, our Salt Lake City divorce lawyer utilizes a sophisticated and thorough asset tracing approach to outlining full transparency of the divorce and the financial stability of a client and children involved.
Our Salt Lake City divorce attorney at Smoak Law, P.C. understands these complexities and utilizes forensic professionals and accounting experts to determine the real value of each client’s assets. Any assets acquired during the marriage may be eligible for equitable distribution.
In Utah, marital property is divided “equitably” or fairly, which may not be an even 50-50. Usually, for longer marriages, it is about 50% to each party. For shorter marriages, the court generally identifies the previous position of each party and allows each to resume ownership of their property. When parties can agree on how they want to divide the property outside of court, they are given the latitude to do so, but a judge will review the final agreement to ensure it is fair.
How Can the Smoak Law Divorce Lawyers in Salt Lake City Help Me with Child Custody?
Parenting plans are a requirement for any Utah divorce, and the more thorough the plan, the happier the courts will be in approving the final agreement.
Not only does the State of Utah require parenting plans, but it also requires parties with minor children to attend a divorce orientation class and a divorce education class before the divorce will be granted.
With the help of our Salt Lake City divorce attorney, we will outline the child custody agreement and parenting plan to determine the best interests of the child, including how the decisions are made that affect their everyday lives.
There are two parts to child custody in Utah: Legal custody, which determines who has the right to make important decisions about the children, and physical custody, which determines where the children live.
Our divorce lawyer in Salt Lake City, Utah will determine whether your circumstances require sole custody, joint custody, or another combined arrangement based on the best interests of your kids.
Does Child Custody Directly Correlate to Child Support Allocation in Utah?
At Smoak Law, P.C., our divorce lawyer in Salt Lake City lead our clients through the process of calculating child support obligations based on three primary factors.
Those factors include:
- Standard child support figure
- Medical care costs, including insurance coverage
- Childcare expenses
The non-custodial parent is charged with paying child support to the custodial parent, so the child’s best interests are placed at the forefront of the divorce proceedings.
We review the child support guidelines with each of our clients to ensure both parents are aware of the factors used to determine the financial figure that must be paid to the custodial parent each month going forward.
How Long Will My Salt Lake City Divorce Take to Finalize?
Since each family law case is unique, our divorce attorney in Salt Lake City prepares each of our clients differently for what to expect when finalizing their paperwork.
Many factors must be resolved first, including:
- If you and your spouse have minor children together
- Whether the divorce is contested by one spouse
- If we can waive the mandatory waiting period
We will outline each aspect of your divorce and devise a plan that creates solutions for your unique case, so you can move forward with your new life without delay.
At Smoak Law, P.C., our divorce lawyers in Salt Lake City, Utah focuses on the following practice areas:
- Alimony Restructuring
- Child Support Modification
- Criminal Law
- Custody Parenting Arrangements
- Pre-nuptial agreement
Are You Considering Divorce in Utah? Contact Our Salt Lake City Divorce Lawyer for Help Today
If you are considering filing for divorce in Salt Lake County, you do not have to face this difficult and confusing time alone. Contact our Salt Lake City divorce attorney at Smoak Law, P.C., today to schedule a consultation by calling (801) 535-4311. We will fully review your case and provide the insight you need to move forward with confidence, so you can start anew.
Frequently Asked Questions for Divorce in Salt Lake City
Can I Afford to Hire a Salt Lake City, Utah Divorce Attorney?
Yes. Hiring a Salt Lake City, Utah divorce lawyer far outweighs taking on your spouse alone. The experience and guidance you receive from a divorce attorney will ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process, so you can obtain the best outcome for your unique circumstances. What’s more is, in Utah, divorce attorney costs are considered marital debt and can be paid for with marital money.
Can I Talk to a Divorce Lawyer in Salt Lake City, Utah Without My Spouse Knowing?
Yes. All conversations with our Salt Lake City, Utah divorce attorney are private and confidential and will never be shared with anyone outside of our office. Your attorney-client privilege is important, and our law office will ensure that all our conversations, whether by phone, email, or in person, are private.
What Will My Salt Lake City, Utah Divorce Attorney Need to Know About My Marriage?
In short, your Salt Lake City, Utah divorce lawyer will need to know everything about your marriage, including personal details that may help us strengthen your case. Our divorce attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah focuses on discussing your case with an open dialogue, so you are comfortable and confident in our fact-finding process.
How Long Do You Have To Be Separated Before You Can File for Divorce in Utah?
In the State of Utah, married couples must wait for a minimum of 90 days between filing for divorce and its finalization. If your divorce includes child custody, child support, or other complex matters, the finalization may take longer than three months to complete.
Does It Matter Which Spouse Files for Divorce in Salt Lake City, Utah?
No. It does not matter which spouse files for divorce. There is no legal advantage in filing the petition for divorce first. Strategically, however, there may be advantages in determining which court will hear your divorce case.
What Paperwork Should I Bring to My Salt Lake City, Utah Divorce Lawyer Consultation?
During your initial consultation with a Salt Lake City, Utah divorce attorney, you should come prepared to discuss the facts of your marriage, so our law firm can determine what information or paperwork we will need to gather together. At Smoak Law, we are partners in your divorce, and we will guide you through the complete process, so you are never alone or confused about the next steps.
Can I still get divorced in Utah if my spouse doesn’t want to separate?
Yes, it is possible to get divorced in Utah even if your spouse does not want to separate. Utah is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that a spouse does not need to prove that the other spouse is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage in order to obtain a divorce.
What happens if my spouse and I both filed for divorce separately?
If you and your spouse both file for divorce separately in Utah, it is known as a “concurrent filing” or “competing petitions” situation. In such a case, the court will typically consolidate the cases and proceed with a single divorce proceeding. It’s important to note that a concurrent filing situation can complicate the divorce process and make it more time-consuming and costly.
Will having a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement help make my divorce smoother?
If you and your spouse have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place, it can provide a clear framework for how your assets and debts will be divided, which can help avoid arguments and disputes during the divorce process.
Should I consult with a Salt Lake City divorce lawyer if I’m not certain I’m ready to file?
Consulting with a Salt Lake City divorce lawyer can be helpful even if you’re not certain you’re ready to file for divorce. A divorce lawyer can provide you with information about the divorce process, including the legal requirements and potential outcomes, and help you make an informed decision about whether or not to move forward with a divorce. In addition, a divorce lawyer can provide guidance on how to protect your interests and assets during the divorce process, even if you’re not yet ready to file.