People move all the time. People with kids move as well. When it becomes difficult is when one parent moves away with the children. As you may already know, the default visitation schedule where one parent has primary custody goes something like this: one day a week for a few hours, every other weekend, and…Details
No 7. Ban of Custody Rights for Rapists Parent-Time Restrictions Amendments (HB 152). This law restricts someone who is convicted of a sexual offense that results in the conception of a child from having parent-time or custody of the child but requires support of the child to continue. The law provides for a few exceptions,…Details
No. 8. Child Care Costs for Stay-at-Home Moms? Child Care Costs Amendment (SB 263). This law allows a judge to impute a monthly obligation for child care costs when it imputes income to a parent who is providing child care for the minor child of both parties so that the parties are not incurring…Details
No 9. 14 is the new 16 (in custody determinations that is) Child Custody Proceedings Amendments (SB 18). This law reduced the age from 16 to 14 as the age when the court may take in consideration a child’s opinion about who he/she wants to live with. My take: As just one of the many…Details
A few months back, the Utah State Legislature wrapped up its regular session. And yes, they passed a few bills that impact family law. The next ten posts will discuss the top ten new laws and talk about their impact on family law, in reverse order. No. 10. Cohabitant Definition (HB 227). In the…Details
Week 2 Round Up Here is the status update on those bills we have been watching: Senate Bills SB 11 (Sponsor – Hillyard): Alimony Amendments – Attempts to define “fault” for purposes of determining alimony. http://1.usa.gov/Vsvfoh . This is one that we will watch closely given that the Legislature has attempted and failed to fix the vagueness in…Details
End of Week 1
Here is the status update on those bills we have been watching:
SB 11 (Sponsor – Hillyard): Attempts to define “fault” for purposes of determining alimony. http://1.usa.gov/Vsvfoh . This is one that we will watch closely given that the Legislature has attempted and failed to fix the vagueness in the alimony statute as ruled in Mark v. Mark, 2009 UT App 374. http://bit.ly/113AwPX.
Status: Senate Judiciary Jan 29 motion to recommend failed 3-4-0
Pro Argument: Attempts to reinstate fault into the factors of alimony after Mark v. Mark, 2009 UT App 374. http://bit.ly/113AwPX. All factors relating to the parties’ financial condition should be examined, including non-financial matters like abuse, neglect, etc.
Con Argument: The definition of “fault” isn’t really fleshed out well and there is no substantive difference between the existing law and case law and this proposed bill. Also may result in abuse by judges who impose their own religious or biases into the case.
Also, what is the result if the Court does find fault? Double alimony? If the need for alimony is only $500 but the Court finds fault, does that mean an award of $2,000 is appropriate? What if the other party is also at “fault”, do the parties’ fault negate each other? How much more egregiousness does the one party’s actions have to be? Does adultery justify a bigger award of alimony, what about addiction, etc.? How does a court quantify the damage to a marriage as a result of infidelity or other “economic harms”?
This statute is likely to encourage litigation and only perpetuates the litigious and highly conflicted nature of divorce actions. Alimony should not be a vehicle for the Court to punish bad acts within a marriage relationship.Details
Back in Session The Utah State Legislature is back in session. Here are a few family law related Bills that we are keeping an eye on that may impact family law in Utah: SB 11 (Sponsor – Hillyard): Attempts to define “fault” for purposes of determining alimony. http://1.usa.gov/Vsvfoh . This is one that we will…Details
When is enough enough? When and how to terminate parental rights – Part 1 Introduction The fact scenarios vary from the mildly negligent to the down right stomach-twisting abuse situations where a child has been physically or sexually abused by a parent. On an increasingly frequent basis I have had clients ask the question: When…Details
More and more, I have clients who come to me with questions regarding step-parent visitation. The sad fact is this – second marriages have a much higher rate of divorce than first marriages (60% -70%), and third and forth marriages end in divorce at much higher rates still. (See http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=363986). As a consequence of the high…Details