Ending a marriage is never a simple or easy matter. People who are considering or planning a divorce often have many concerns and anxieties about what changes they can expect in the future. You may be wondering about questions such as, Will I be forced to leave my home? How often will I be able to see my children? Will I lose valuable assets or possessions?
When you are simply trying to cope with the emotional effects of a divorce, it can seem like an impossible task to even begin addressing the complex and often confusing legal procedures involved. During this difficult time, you shouldn’t have to navigate the complicated waters of property division, alimony, and child custody on your own. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone: our firm is here to help.
About Divorce Attorney Rex Bray
Utah divorce attorney Rex Bray can help walk you through the legal process from beginning to end, and will work tirelessly on your behalf to ensure that your rights are always protected and respected. He can assist you in all legal aspects of your divorce, including but not limited to filing a complaint for divorce, negotiating child custody and alimony arrangements, and protecting your rights to property and assets.
Rex Bray is experienced in handling complex divorce cases, and understands how sensitive these matters can be. You will be treated with care, compassion, and respect, and you will always be kept informed of the details as your case develops.
To schedule a free and completely confidential legal consultation, call (801) 708-0913 today.
How Does Child Custody Work in Utah?
For parents, child custody is often the most pressing and stressful aspect of divorce. No parent wants to miss out on time with their precious children, but how is child custody in Utah decided?
The short answer is, matters of custody are ultimately up to the courts. Most of the time, custody is awarded to one or both parents, though in some rare cases the child’s grandparent or grandparents may be granted custody instead. It is a stubborn but inaccurate myth that mothers are automatically given custody, or that fathers “don’t have a chance.” In reality, it comes down to determining what sort of arrangement will grant the best quality of life for the child.
Factors that the judge will consider when assigning custody include:
- Background. Does either parent have a criminal record, particularly a record involving physical abuse, sexual abuse, or kidnapping charges?
- Geography. Do the parents live very far away from one other? Would the child have to be uprooted and begin again in a new school system without friends, relatives, or other resources?
- Relationships. Does the child have a personal preference? Are both parents deemed willing and able to nurture, protect, and care for the child?
Because custody is determined based on an evaluation of each parent’s merits as a caregiver, having an attorney is essential to presenting the very best case for a custody award.
Will I Have to Pay Alimony?
In addition to child custody, alimony (spousal support) is another key issue people going through divorce often worry about. How long will alimony payments continue? How much is this plan going to cost?
This is a good time to point out that contrary to popular belief, alimony is not always paid by the husband to the wife. The flow of alimony is determined by financial need, not by gender. Furthermore, in the state of Utah, short-term alimony may be granted while the case is still pending, or after the divorce is granted. But how is alimony decided?
As with child custody, there are numerous factors the courts will consider when making alimony judgments. These factors include:
- Context. What is the surrounding financial situation like? What sort of debts, obligations, and income levels are involved?
- Timing. As a general rule, the longer the marriage lasted, the easier it is to demonstrate a need for spousal support.
- Children. Children must be financially supported. Who has custody of the children? How many children are there?
Alimony is not intended as a punishment — it is simply there to help maintain an established standard of living. While alimony can continue indefinitely in other states, Utah caps the alimony period at the length of the marriage itself (in all but exceptional cases). In some cases where an unforseeable event occurs, it may be possible to modify an alimony arrangement retroactively.
If you are thinking about filing for divorce in Utah, you need experienced legal representation on your side.