Divorce street sign

Unexpected Consequences of Divorce

Divorce street sign

 

Divorce is a complicated thing. Each situation is different. Although many people think they know how life will be after they have separated from their spouse, there are often unintended consequences that come after all is said and done. Having a clear picture of what might be waiting for you on the other side can help you have a clear vision of what divorce will mean for you and your family. Here are some common unexpected consequences of divorce.

 

Financial Effects

Divorce is expensive. People usually prepare for the expenses of the legalities that come with the process, but many people don’t anticipate extra costs of living after they’ve separated. Spouses often save money when living together with their children, especially when it is a double income household. Depending on the judge’s orders regarding alimony or child support, finances may be tight for either spouse after the divorce is finalized.

 

Emotional Effects

Many people look forward to freedom when they have separated from their spouse. They imagine entering the “single’s” scene and having a fresh start. However, ending a marriage relationship is always going to be an adjustment. Some people find the adjustment harder than others, and they harbor feelings of loneliness or even regret. Often, divorcees express difficulty seeing their ex find success and happiness during this time of transition.

 

Effects on Children

Learning to communicate with your children can be tough even with the most functional family situation. Throwing a divorce into the mix often makes things even more complex. Many people say that their children still have mixed and complicated feelings after the divorce has been finalized and some children feel the effects years later. It’s important to consider their position in the bigger perspective.

 

Each and every divorce is unique and complicated, regardless of the measures you take. However, having a competent lawyer can take a lot of the stresses off of your plate. The associates here at the Huntsman Firm can help you with all of your Family Law needs and advice. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

Judge's gavel and books

Difference between Divorce, Annulment, and Legal Separation

Judge's gavel and booksMany people get confused about the differences between the legal actions that you can take concerning your marriage relationship.  Although divorce is the most common course to take, it is not the only option, and it may not be the best fit for everyone’s situation. Annulment and legal separation are less common and apply to a more specific set of circumstances.

Divorce

A divorce, in the most simple terms, ends a marriage relationship. In fact, it ends all legal relationships between the spouses, except for those that are specifically outlined by the court. These relationships can include agreements about child custody, alimony, or division of property. There are many reasons to file for a divorce that are recognized by Utah courts, including “irreconcilable differences.”  

Annulment

Getting an annulment is different from a divorce because it doesn’t just end a marriage, it legally says that the marriage never happened. A court only orders an annulment for limited situations. Some examples of situations that qualify for an annulment are if one spouse was already married, one spouse was underage, or the spouses were closely related to each other. Other court recognized reasons include fraud and misrepresentation. Although the annulment means the marriage didn’t exist, there can still be agreements about child custody and property division. These will be ordered by the court.

Legal Separation

In Utah, this is referred to as “Separate Maintenance.” It does not end a marriage, but provides for a situation in which to spouses are living separately for one reason or another. It includes petitioning the court for alimony, child custody, property division, or a similar legal action without filing for a divorce. This type of action is appropriate in circumstances where one spouse has been deserted by the other, is not receiving support from the other or through no fault of his or her own, a spouse is living separately from the other. If the two spouses show reconciliation, the court order ends.

No matter your situation, the Huntsman Firm in St. George, Utah, is here to help you with all of your family law needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our associates.

A woman carries a basket of flowers

Supporting a Friend through Divorce

A woman carries a basket of flowersNo matter the circumstances, divorce can be heartbreaking and hard. It takes a while to adjust to the changes of a new life. If you are watching a friend go through the divorce process, it can be difficult to know what to say or do to help them. Here are a few tips for being a good friend through the ups and downs.

Be a good listener

Your friend is going through a tough time. They have a lot going on in their mind and may not know exactly how they feel about everything. Right now, they just need to get things off their chest; they need someone to vent to. What they say may not make the most sense, but the best thing you can do is be a listening ear.

Don’t try to give advice

When your friend is telling you all of their problems, your first reaction may be to give them advice or tell them what you think. This usually is not helpful. Sometimes what they need to hear is different than what you think they should hear. It’s better to just hold your tongue, especially if you can tell your friend is sensitive. They can get all kinds of advice from their lawyer and other professionals. Your friend really just needs a friend — a shoulder to cry on.

Invite him/her to spend time with you

There are many consequences of divorce that your friend will be experiencing at this time. One of those is losing a lot of social interaction. Many of their married friends, especially ones they met through their ex, won’t keep in contact very well. That is why it’s important that you keep your friend a part of your life. Invite them over for dinner or a night on the town. Keeping them engaged will help them understand that you are a true friend.

Offer to babysit

Your friend has a lot on their plate. However, they often won’t know what they need or how to ask for it. You can be helpful by offering to watch their kids (for free) if they need to run errands or just have some down time. If your friend doesn’t have kids, you can find other ways to help them out. You could offer to clean their house, pick up groceries, cook dinner, etc. It may take a while for them to accept your acts of service, but if you keep trying, they will see that you are sincere.

If your friend is looking for a divorce attorney in the St. George, Utah, area, recommend that they look into The Huntsman Firm. The associates here focus specifically on family law and can offer legal advice and representation.

King Henry is commonly connected with the start of divorce

History of Divorce

King Henry is commonly connected with the start of divorceAlthough King Henry VIII of England is often associated with the beginning of divorce in the modern world, the truth is that people had been ending their marriages long before this time. Important historical figures such as Julius Caesar and Charlemagne are known to have separated from their wives.

The history of divorce in the United States has primarily been driven by the laws that have been passed over the years. However, the first recorded divorce here happened in 1643, before the American Revolution and the formation of our country. The divorce was between Anne Clarke and her husband, Denis Clarke.

Starting in 1787, the Constitution gave all rights for divorce laws to the individual state legislatures. Divorce laws looked very different at that time than they do now.

Until the late 20th century, a spouse suing for divorce had to prove “fault.” This usually fell into categories of cruelty, abandonment, adultery, or mental illness. Even after this process, the case could still be dismissed in certain circumstances, such as guilt in the suing party.

By the 1960s, legislators and activists had become concerned that many people were using dishonest methods to get around the “fault” clause. In 1969, Ronald Reagan signed the Family Law Act for the state of California. This was the United States’s first “no-fault” law.

Since then, all 50 states have passed “no-fault” divorce laws. This means that someone doesn’t have to prove their spouse is at fault in any way to file for a divorce. They can divorce on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences,” or a similar reason.

Although divorce has been evolving for centuries, it still isn’t a perfect science. There are many reasons why a separation can be full of stress, heartache and complications.

At The Huntsman Firm in St. George, Utah, we offer legal advice and representation that will give you the options you need, along with the assistance you are looking for. We focus on family and divorce law. We are committed to giving each case the attention it needs, and we have the experience and knowledge to help resolve your case and give you the best outcome under the circumstances. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor relationship

Divorce in the Limelight

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor relationshipTabloids are constantly turning heads in the grocery store with rumors of the next big celebrity divorce. Sometimes the rumors are true, and the famous stars split. These divorce cases are unbelievably complicated and can cost hundreds of millions of dollars; often during the process, accounts of cheating, abuse, and other scandals will surface.

The infamous relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton was such a situation. They met in 1963 on the set of the film Cleopatra. They were each married to other people at the time but divorced their previous partners to be together. Unfortunately, their run at marriage only lasted 10 years. At the time, this scandal was so widely-known that the Vatican even openly condemned the union.

However, your divorce doesn’t need to be shrouded in rumor and scandal to be complex. Everyone is unique, which means every divorce case and situation is different in its own way. Even if the separation is amicable, a divorce changes the lives of everyone involved. These changes often bring stresses and weights as you make related decisions.

Most divorces have to deal with financial as well as emotional and psychological elements. Common financial issues in divorce can include the following:

  • arranging property and investments
  • dividing debts
  • outlining expenses
  • understanding tax implications
  • adjusting retirement plans
  • child support or alimony
  • creating an inventory

This maze of money and finances should be navigated by a professional and should not be taken lightly.

Contact the professionals at The Huntsman Firm in St. George, Utah, for all of your legal divorce needs and questions. R. Clayton Huntsman has been practicing law for over 37 years and focuses exclusively on Utah Divorce and Family Law. He and his associates can provide legal advice and representation for your situation. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.

woman looking out window

On Do-It-Yourself Divorce

No two marriages are the same. Likewise, no two divorces are the same. When contemplating divorce, some may attempt to do it themselves (DIY).

The best advice one can give about Do-It-Yourself Divorce, is don’t.

Divorce cases are made up of many legal and financial complications. Irreversible mistakes can easily be made when attempting to do it yourself.

There are many issues that may need to be resolved during a divorce, including but not limited to:

  • Child custody, child support, parent-time
  • Alimony (sometimes called spousal support or maintenance)
  • Division of debt, property, and pension and retirement benefits

Even if a marriage has only lasted two or three years, there are no children, no assets or debts, and comparable incomes and no alimony, doing it yourself is putting yourself at risk. There may be future developments, such as inheritance, lawsuits, bankruptcy, or other matters which could affect custody, pension rights, or other matters. Each case has its own attributes requiring professional analysis and advocacy.

In many cases, the decision to divorce is unilateral, meaning one party wants the divorce and the other does not. It is also very likely that divorces are highly emotionally charged situations which can cloud judgement or alienate children, family members, and employers.

Carefully weigh your divorce options. The bottom line is that every family, and every divorce, is different. When proceeding with a divorce, it is vital to get the legal counsel needed in order to adequately protect yourself.

At The Huntsman Firm in St. George, Utah, we offer legal advice and representation that will give you the options you need along with the assistance you are looking for. We focus on family and divorce law. We are committed to giving each case the attention it needs, and we have the experience and knowledge to help resolve your case and give you the best outcome under the circumstances. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.

 

man eating

Divorcing Over Tuna

In London, a man filed for divorce due to a recurring and unpleasant dinner menu. The man declared that his wife had “maliciously and repeatedly” served him his least favorite dish, tuna casserole.

Peculiar as it may seem, cases such as this one come up all the time in England, which unlike every state in the US, does not have a no-fault divorce law. Couples can only file for divorce under five categories, which include adultery and unreasonable behavior.

The reasons for divorce can vary widely. However, a divorce will only be granted according to certain circumstances. Grounds for divorce are regulations specifying the circumstances under which a person will be granted a divorce. States have their own divorce laws. Most allow what are essentially “no – fault” as grounds, but it may be called by other names such as “irreconcilable differences.” Each state has its own unique set of other grounds as well, such as adultery, cruelty, or desertion. A person must state the reason they want a divorce and be able to prove that this reason is well-founded.

When it comes to petitioning for divorce, things can become complicated. Receiving advice from friends and family can be risky, as every situation is entirely unique. It is essential to get experienced, committed and focused professional help in order to receive educated counsel and protection when going through a divorce.

At The Huntsman Firm in St. George, Utah, we offer legal advice and representation that will give you the options you need along with the assistance you are looking for. We focus on parentage and divorce law, and are committed to giving each case the attention it needs. We have the experience and knowledge to help resolve your case and give you the best outcome under the circumstances. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.

Your Guide to Alimony

In its simplest terms, alimony is spousal financial support. This is not necessarily an automatic thing. It is different than child support or splitting property or debt or other assets. A judge will determine alimony only after the requesting party has officially requested it, and if certain circumstances exist.

The couple’s standard of living at the time of separation is the guiding principle of how much, if any, alimony is awarded the requesting party. Usually, both individuals are unable to maintain this standard of living they enjoyed at the time of separation, so a requestor will usually  have to  prove his or her case with the help of a trusted and competent attorney.  

Courts will consider the following

  • Financial circumstances and needs of requesting spouse
  • Financial circumstances and abilities of spouse paying alimony
  • Earning capacity
  • Duration of marriage
  • Custody of children
  • If one spouse paid for another spouse’s schooling or training.
  • Whether one of the individuals engaged in wrongful actions or habits that led to the divorce

 

Upon clarifying these factors, an amount will be decided upon by the judge. It is difficult to say how much alimony will be awarded every month.  A reasonable award should be  enough to cover reasonable expenses, but income or imputed income of the recipient spouse will be factored in.

Alimony is generally   available to the requesting spouse only for as long as the couple was married. For example, if wife and husband were married for ten years, alimony would  generally  only be paid for a maximum of ten years. Alimony payments will also be terminated if the requesting individual begins to cohabitate with someone else, or remarries, or extenuating circumstances require equitable treatment.  Age of recipient spouse can also be taken into account..

For all of your questions and concerns about divorce and family law, contact the professionals at the Huntsman Firm.  R. Clayton Huntsman focuses exclusively on family law, and has practiced law for over 37 years.

How to Change Custody

 

If you have children and are getting a divorce, you will have to provide  a parenting  plan. Legal custody and physical custody will be awarded to you, to your ex-spouse, or to both of you jointly.. If you feel later on that the custody arrangement is flawed, is not working, and meet the requirements mentioned below,, you may consider filing  a “petition to modify”. This pleading begins a process of responses, settlement discussions, and possibly trial.  The  outcome will require consideration of the following:

  1. Material and substantial changes in circumstances.

If there has been a material and substantial change in the life of either the child or one or both of the parents, then a court may so find.. These changes can range from a new job, religious change, one of the parents getting remarried, or a drastic change in health on either the part of the child or the parent. Also, when a child is 14 years old in Utah, the court will give added weight to the preference of that child.  However, just because one or more material and substantial  changes in circumstances have been made, there is no obligation on the court to change the custody arrangement.

  1. The best interests of the child.

If a party can prove that a substantial change in the life of the child has taken place, then a court will decide if the proposed change will be in the child’s best interests.  But “best interests” can be somewhat subjective.  It is not unusual for both parents to claim the best interests of the child or children can only be with the parent asserting it.  

If you are able to show there has been a substantial and material (i.e., “important”) change in circumstances, and that the proposed parenting plan  is in the child’s best interest,  the court will be more likely  to modify.

For all your needs and questions regarding divorce, parentage, custody, and other family law issues, contact the Huntsman Firm.

same name couple divorces

Same Name Couple Divorces

A couple by the name of Kelly Hildebrandt and Kelly Hildebrandt, filed for divorce after three years of marriage. Needless to say, they did not need to worry about changing their last names.

The Story of Kelly and Kelly Hildebrandt

The fact that they share the same first and last name is one of the reasons they got together in the first place, and it may likely be one of the reasons they decided to split up. Kelly Katrina, from Florida, ran into the Texan, Kelly Carl, after searching on facebook for people who shared her first and last name. Their relationship began long distance with emails and phone calls and then met face to face two months later. After some time, Kelly and Kelly became engaged and immediately their unique situation gained media attention.

Kelly Carl stated that he is unsure if his marriage was negatively affected by the media attention, but that he wouldn’t want a future spouse to deal with everything he had been through before. Ultimately, the couple stated their split was due to irreconcilable differences.

Divorce Cases in General

While this divorce case truly is one-of-a-kind, it is also true that every divorce case is unique. No two divorce cases are exactly the same, nor should they be treated that way. When it comes to getting legal advice, it is vital to seek experienced, committed and focused professional help. Getting legal advice from friends, family, or others who may have also been through a divorce is very risky. Every individual brings unique facts, history, and case circumstances to the court. Application of statutes, cases, and principles of equity requires skills and attention only a well-qualified and experienced attorney can provide.

The Huntsman Firm provides legal advice and representation in court to give you the options you need along with the assistance you are looking for. We focus exclusively on family and divorce law, and are committed to giving each case the attention it needs. We have the experience and knowledge to help resolve your case and give you the best outcome under the circumstances. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.