Salt Lake City Divorce Law Blog

A Day on the Pro Se Calendar

When judges and commissioners ask you for help with their cases, you feel the need to answer the call.


In Salt Lake, the commissioners have a lot of cases not involving attorneys. In lawyer talk, we call these cases "pro se" (pro se is Latin for "on one's own behalf" in case you were wondering).


As you can imagine, Commissioners often have a difficult time with these cases since the people doing them aren't versed in the law or legal procedure. Because of this, they ask attorneys to help get things sorted out.

5 child custody and support questions and answers

You and your spouse have decided to break off your marriage. You're both a bit sad about it, but you agree that it's not working out. You want to work together to find the best possible child custody solution. You both also agree that the children have to be the priority.

You've never done this before. You may have a lot of questions about child custody and child support in general or the specifics of your situation. Below are five questions and answers to get you started:

How to Calculate Child Support in Utah

Do you have kids? Are you getting divorced? If the answers are yes, you'll be dealing with child support.


There's really no getting around it. (I know because I've tried to get around it a few times at my clients' requests, but the Court will always make someone pay.)


And since child support is a must, the question become: how do you calculate child support in Utah?

Credit and Utah Divorce

I was recently interviewed on The subject of the interview was: "Getting your financial house in order during divorce."


We talked about budgeting for those going through divorce, and its importance for being successful both during and after divorce.


You can listen to the entire interview here.

How Do You Change a Divorce Decree in Utah?

Have you ever thought to yourself, "How in the world do I do X?" (Of course you have; everyone thinks that all the time. Well, I know I do every day, at least.)


If your X is "change a divorce decree," then you're not alone. When I started practicing law, I had no idea how one went about changing a divorce decree. (Dirty little secret: lawyers, like everyone else, have no idea what they're doing until they've done it a thousand times, which is why you want experience on your side.)


Thankfully, I had some very nice people who explained the process to me. Let me take a minute and do for you what those nice people did for me.

One Way to Get the Utah Custody Evaluator You Want

Note: this is going to be a more lawyer-centric post.


In Utah, we use custody evaluators as experts in divorce and child custody cases.


Custody evaluators come on to cases in one of two primary ways.

What Can I Change in my Divorce Decree?

So, you have a Utah divorce decree you negotiated (probably) or you got from trial (way less likely).


Now, you want to change some aspects of that decree.


Can you? If so, what can you change and what can't you change?

Do Utah Courts Favor Women/Moms in Divorce?

It's a question we're asked often: do Utah court favor women/mom in divorce?


It's a legitimate question, but the answer has become commoditized.


There are more than a few firms whose entire marketing dollars are spent attempting to convince anyone who will listen (but, really, the men they are targeting as clients) that men are akin to a persecuted religious sect who will never get a fair day in court.


You can see why this story is powerful, right?

What if my Divorce Decree Is not from Utah; Can I File a Petition to Modify in Utah?

Example 1


It's a story we encounter often: couple gets married in Michigan, moves to Florida where they divorce, the spouse with the kids moves home to Utah, the other spouse moves to Utah to be closer to the kids, then there are issues and someone wants to change the divorce decree.


Problem is the divorce decree is in Florida and not Utah where everyone lives.


What do you do in a situation like this?

What Is a Petition to Modify?

Sometimes, things don't work out like you thought they would. We can plan and plan, but reality just doesn't match what we thought would happen.


When this happens after a divorce or child custody case, you often have to change around your divorce decree or child custody order.


Maybe instead of sharing 50/50 parent-time, your ex has pawned the kids off on your 90% of the time, but he's still paying no child support. That situation is begging for a change.


Maybe your ex is in a violent new relationship and you need the kids with you the vast majority of the time. Something has to change.

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