Mortgages and Divorce | Salt Lake City Utah

The Family Law Lawyers at Arnold & Wadsworth are here to help you protect your legal rights in your divorce. Our divorce attorneys in Salt Lake City offer a free consultation in order to assess your case and educate you on the issues you are facing. The attorneys at Arnold & Wadsworth will also provide you with a road map on how best to attack your case. Call today.

During 2008 everyone knows the housing market crashed. Having the housing market crash caused a lot of problems in the divorce world in Utah. The problems came from unpaid mortgages and how to deal with it in a court of equity. There were many clients that came to our divorce law firm to settle these problems. The mortgage problems usually shows its ugly head by a violation of a divorce decree or trying to negotiate a divorce decree.

If your ex-spouse is behind on mortgage payments you may be entitled to damages as a result of their breach of your divorce decree. There is a case in Utah that outlines a breach of the divorce decree when it comes to the mortgage; Gardner v. Gardner.

“The hold harmless provision at issue in this case does not differ in any material respect from those interpreted in the cases we have just examined. See generally Long v. McAllister–Long, 221 S.W.3d 1, 10–12 (Tenn.Ct.App.2006) (reasoning that “[a] hold harmless agreement … is generally classified as an indemnity against liability” agreement). As acknowledged in Long, a divorce decree is interpreted “according to established rules of contract interpretation” and its effect is determined by its plain language, Mitchell v. Mitchell, 2011 UT App 41, ¶ 5, 248 P.3d 65 (mem.) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). See also Long, 221 S.W.3d at 9, 11. The hold harmless provision in the Gardners’ divorce decree orders Wife “to assume and pay and hold [Husband] harmless from … the … mortgage.” As recognized in Lemery, to “hold harmless” means “[t]o absolve (another party) from any responsibility for damage or other liability arising from the transaction,” Black’s Law Dictionary 800 (9th ed. 2009). See Lemery, 2001 WL 1160797 at *2 (looking to the definition of “hold harmless” to interpret a hold harmless provision in a divorce decree). By requiring absolution from “any responsibility for damage or other liability,” Black’s Law Dictionary 800 (9th ed. 2009) (emphasis added), the definition of “hold harmless” indicates that Wife must “prevent harm or loss to” Husband regardless of whether he has “actually paid an obligation for which [Wife] has been found liable,” see Long, 221 S.W.3d at 10–12. In addition, the hold harmless provision requires Wife to both “pay” the mortgage and to “hold [Husband] harmless” from the mortgage.”

Gardner v. Gardner, 2012 UT App 374, 294 P.3d 600, 607
This case shows that damages can be assessed in a couple of different ways including difference in interest rate that one could have gotten, or actual damages incurred. The Divorce Lawyers at Arnold & Wadsworth have experience in these types of cases. Call today for a free consultation to examine your rights. Call (801) 475-0123 today.
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Child Custody Considerations in Utah | Divorce Lawyers

Child Custody Lawyers in Salt Lake City

Child custody laws in Utah can be hard to understand. There are a lot of legal factors that go into deciding child custody in a divorce. One factor that will be considered in your divorce or in any post divorce case is the “child’s bond” with each parent and the strength of that bond.

The child custody factor is officially named under rule 4-903 as “the relative strength of the child’s bond with one or both of the prospective custodians.” This factor can be considered and found  by the court or a child custody evaluator that is licensed in child therapy. In your divorce case you will want to present evidence that shows the strength of the bond you and your child or children have. Usually the most effective way to do this is to hire your own expert. A child custody evaluation can also be a good way to establish the bond the children have with you. The downside of a child custody evaluator is that they will also evaluate the bond the children have with the other parent. Sometimes this can be a good thing and consideration in a divorce action if the other parent has not participated in the children’s life and the bond is non-existent.

“The child’s bond with a particular parent is at the significant end of the spectrum and thus should weigh heavily in the court’s determination. Indeed, when the court finds that the child has bonded more closely with one parent than another, the court is within its discretion in concluding that the difference in bonding overrides the general interest in stability, especially where the prospect of stability is diminished.” Hudema v. Carpenter, 1999 UT App 290, 989 P.2d 491, 501-02.

At Arnold & Wadsworth we have fought for our clients and their rights to have custody of their children. Custody of children is the most important factor in any case involving children. You need to help the court get it right. We offer a free consultation. Feel free to give us a call at (801) 475-0123.

Child Custody in Utah – Arnold & Wadsworth

Child Custody is a heated topic when going through a divorce. The thought of an ex-spouse controlling major decisions for your children does drive some people crazy. Hopefully you and your ex-spouse are able to create a positive atmosphere where your children can grow and evolve. However, sometimes this is not true. If this is not true in your circumstance give us a call today and we help you get control of your custody issues. Child Custody can be difficult and you need to know how to present it to the Court.

We offer a free consultation. Our consultation will provide you with the opportunity to hear what we think you should do and how to do it. We will not hide the ball hoping you will hire us. We will let you know what you will have to do in order to have a chance to get the results you want.

Call us at (801) 475-0123 for a free consultation.

Feel free to check out our full website ARNOLD & WADSWORTH.


Does it matter who files first – Divorce in Utah

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Does it really matter who files first in a Divorce in Utah?

Answer – Not Really

The only time that it really matters who files first is when your case goes to trial. The reason is the Party (person) who filed first puts their case on first, and then they can present rebuttal witnesses after the other Party (person) presents their case. So in essence they almost get two bites at the apple. Still there really is not distinct advantage to filing first.

Another advantage may be that if you file first you can control the timeline of your divorce a little more than your soon to be ex-spouse.

All of these considerations do not give the Party that files first a real “advantage”. Remember to always move your case along in Court. The reason for this is because the Courts get bogged down, and time moves by quickly.

We are Arnold & Wadsworth and we offer a free initial consultation. Give us a call today at (801) 475-0123.

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Divorce Modification in Utah – Arnold & Wadsworth


What is a divorce modification? This is when you have a significant change in circumstances that justify certain changes in your divorce decree. Some things you often see is changes in;

  1. Alimony – This is harder to do. Usually you have to show that something was hidden from you that did not enable you to fully assess what you alimony should be and that you had more of a need than you were allowed.
  2. Child Support – This comes usually every 3 years, or when income changes 30% up or down from what was entered in the decree. If you think that incomes have changed it is best to talk to a local family law attorney.
  3. Medical premiums – Sometimes you can do this through an order to show cause. But if someone looses medical insurance you want to make sure you are protecting yourself from future penalities.
  4. Moving more than 150 miles away – This usally happens when a Party gets remarried or finds a job out of state and a custody change needs to occur. These situations can be very stressful on you and your children. Make sure you have an attorney to help you through the situation.

These are a few of instances where a modification may be warranted. Do not forget to find a family law attorney near you that you can consult with.

Child Custody Lawyers in Utah

Child Custody – Arnold & Wadsworth

In a divorce child custody is of the utmost importance. Child custody is the main reason we see most divorce cases go to trial instead of settling at mediation. There are different terms for child custody; legal custody, physical custody, primary physical custody. These are just some of the terms used. Child custody battles in divorce trials can get nasty. You need to make sure you go through discovery and find out all that you can as to what the other side will introduce as evidence. We will make sure your discovery is as complete as possible. We will sit down with you and go over the questions and make sure you understand what we are asking and what we are asking for. We will do our best to satisfy you child custody needs.

Please check out our family law/divorce website at

Give us a call for a free consultation (801) 475-0123



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