Divorce Attorneys in Salt Lake City Utah | Arnold & Wadsworth

The divorce lawyers at Arnold & Wadsworth understand the law and divorce in Utah. Our lawyers know that a divorce can be an emotionally and financially trying time for both spouses no matter the circumstances. It can also be looked at as an opportunity to make a fresh start and lay the groundwork for a more stable future for you and your children. At the Law Offices of Arnold & Wadsworth, our divorce lawyers understand the importance of handling the legal matters of a divorce as deftly as possible, to get results for our clients and their children.

Are you facing a divorce and in need of the help of a qualified family law attorney? Contact us today to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer at Arnold & Wadsworth in Salt Lake City, Utah. We can be reached online or by phone. Call our local Salt Lake City office at (801) 475-0123.

A Divorce Lawyer for Salt Lake City, Utah

A divorce carries with it a wide range of legal hurdles and possible complications. The danger is that if any one of these aspects is handled improperly, it could cause setbacks and control your life in an unwanted manner for years to come. Our divorce attorneys work very hard to make sure your rights are protected. This includes presenting a clear case before a divorce judge in your county. We have represented clients up and down the Wasatch Front and look forward to getting you a great outcome from your divorce. Call today for a free consultation with one of our experienced divorce lawyers at (801) 475-0123.

Rights of Children – Custody in Utah – Arnold & Wadsworth

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With the ease and speed of international travel and communication constantly evolving and with the globalization of many areas of the economy, it is no surprise that issues of international abduction and child custody are hot topics in the area of family law.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently had the opportunity to address the issue of international abduction in Abbott v. Abbott. The parties in Abbott divorced in Chile. Mother received custody, Father was granted visitation. The Court also entered a ne exeat order, preventing either party from leaving Chile with the child unless both parties agreed. Mother then brought the child to Texas, without Father’s consent. Once Father was able to locate Mother and child, he moved to enforce the ne exeat order, leading to the issue before the Supreme Court.


In  the opinion authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court examined the applicability of the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in the context of a custodial parent’s violation of a ne exeat order. The Court determined that the otherwise noncustodial Father’s shared authority in determining the child’s residence, conferred by the ne exeat order, was a right of custody under the Hague Convention, thereby sufficient to evoke applicability of the Hague Convention’s enforcement procedures.  Although the Supreme Court determined that the Hague Convention’s procedures were applicable, the Supreme Court did not automatically order the child return to Chile. Instead the Court ordered the case remanded for determination by the trial court. We will be watching the Abbott case on remand and post again with the outcome.

As a practical matter, this case underscores the importance in a divorce or modification case of the provisions regarding the child’s passport and the requirements for which parent gets to keep the child’s passport.

Salt Lake City Family Law Attorney


Salt Lake City Divorce Attorney

Arnold & Wadsworth has an office in Salt Lake City Utah to serve your needs in divorce, family law, and child custody issues. We offer a free consultation in order for us to learn about your legal situation so we can give you our opinion as to how you should move forward. We will take the time to make sure you understand what you should do next.

Modification of Divorce in Utah

If you are divorce but are looking to modify the divorce we can help. The first step in modifying your divorce or child custody is that there must be a substantial change in circumstances. Below is some case law explaining what a substantial change in circumstances is.

Trial court generally may not consider evidence of the child’s best interests until it finds changed circumstances that will permit modification of custody award.  U.C.A.1953, 30-3-10.4.  Hudema v. Carpenter, 1999, 989 P.2d 491, 380 Utah Adv. Rep. 3, 1999 UT App 290.Child Custody

Custody modification must be based on findings that there has been a material change in the circumstances upon which the earlier order was based and that change in custody is in the best interests of the child.  Wright v. Wright, 1997, 941 P.2d 646, 320 Utah Adv. Rep. 39.Child Custody

Permanent custody is modifiable only upon threshold showing of substantial and material change of circumstances.  U.C.A.1953, 30-3-10(1).  Tucker v. Tucker, 1996, 910 P.2d 1209.Child Custody

After concluding there is a material change in circumstances justifying reopening of issue of custody, trial court must consider the changes in circumstances along with all other evidence relevant to welfare or best interests of child, including advantage of stability in custody arrangements that will always weigh against changes in party awarded custody.  Sigg v. Sigg, 1995, 905 P.2d 908.Child Custody



Child Custody in Divorce – Best Interest of Child

What is one factor that the Courts will look at when deciding custody of a child or children? “Best Interest of the Child”

What does best interest of the child mean? “Controlling factor in custody proceedings is the best interest and welfare of the child.” Tuttle v. Henderson (Utah 1981). “Court must, in a custody dispute, give highest priority to welfare of children over desires of either parent.” Kallas v. Kallas (Utah 1980). “In proceedings to determine custody and/or visitation, welfare of a minor child is of paramount importance, and divorce courts have broad equitable powers in safeguarding this interest.” Gribble v. Gribble (Utah 1978).

Because a custody determination may frequently involve a choice between good and better, Shioji, 712 P.2d at 201-02, trial courts should consider various relevant factors in determining which custodial arrangement is in the child’s best interest. Even though no one set of factors governs a custody determination in every case, “the trial court’s findings should articulate those factors pertinent to the child’s best interests which the court considered in making its determination, such as the needs of the child, the ability of each parent to meet those needs,” Painter, 752 P.2d at 909; see also Smith, 726 P.2d at 425-26, “the parenting ability of the custodial parent and the functioning of the established custodial relationship.” Chandler v. Matthews, 734 P.2d 907, 908 (Utah 1987). Other function-related factors which are relevant in choosing between custodial situations include the identity of the primary caretaker during the marriage, the identity of the parent with greater flexibility to provide personal care for the child, the stability of the environment provided by each parent, and the identity of the parent with whom the child has spent most of his or her time pending custody determination. Pusey v. Pusey, 728 P.2d 117, 120 (Utah 1986); see also Hogge, 649 P.2d at 55. However, the trial court should be careful not to reward the primary caregiver, if he or she gained that status wrongfully, by giving the wrongdoer a consequential advantage in evaluating the custody question. Davis v. Davis, 749 P.2d 647, 648-49 (Utah 1988). Myers v. Myers, 768 P.2d 979, 983 (Utah Ct. App. 1989)

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 www.awdivorceutah.com

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



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