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.
Divorce Lawyer in Utah

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 Lawyers in Salt Lake City – Arnold & Wadsworth

What do the courts in Utah look at or consider in a child custody trial? The Utah statute on point it Utah Code Annotated 30-3-10. This statute outlines how divorce attorneys in Utah should argue a child custody case in family law court before a Commissioner. It is always best to consult with an attorney that has experience in family law and divorce matters. Some considerations that the court will consider include;

  1. The past conduct and demonstrated moral standards of each of the parties
  2. Which parent is most likely to act in the best interest of the child, including allowing the child frequent and continuing contact with the noncustodial parent. Some instances of when parents take the children away from the other parent can actually play against them and not for them in Utah.
  3. The extent of bonding between the parent and child, meaning the depth, quality, and nature of the relationship between a parent and child. This is when you highlight your relationship you have with your children. It is important to educate the Court as much as possible about your great relationship with your children.
  4. The ability of the parents to give first priority to the welfare of the child and reach shared decisions in the child’s best interest. This is where the term “co-parenting” comes into affect. Let your spouse know that you want to make the best decisions possible for the children and want their input. If they ever leave you out it will work against them.

If you are looking for a Utah Child Custody Lawyer Arnold & Wadsworth can help. We are family law firm in Utah. Call today for a free consultation at (801) 475-0123.

Family Law Prof Blog: Heneghan: “Relocation Cases – the Rhetoric and the Reality of a Child’s Best Interests – a View from the Bottom of the World”

Family Law Prof Blog: Heneghan: “Relocation Cases – the Rhetoric and the Reality of a Child’s Best Interests – a View from the Bottom of the World”.

I see these cases a lot. It seems that parents sometimes do not want to co-parent. This article is worth reading and gives the reader a good feel for relocation statutes.

In Utah, if you are a parent and you are relocating over 150 miles away you need to make sure you follow the correct procedure. Give us a call today for a free consultation. (801) 475-0123.

Arnold & Wadsworth Full Website is

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.

Arnold & Wadsworth - Divorce Law Firm

Child Custody in Utah – Divorce

We have helped clients with their child custody needs. This is something that is very important, this defines your schedule with your children moving forward.

There are two types of custody in Utah

  1. Physical Custody – This can be joint or sole. There may also be “primary physical” custody in a joint custody scenario. What this means is that the person with the primary physical custody will have the kids go to schools, etc based on their address.
  2. Legal Custody – This can also be joint or sole. The important factor here is that you at least want joint in this category. The reason for this is you want to be able to be part of your child’s life when it comes to decision making. The important decision making process is for religion, medical, school, etc. You cannot miss this custody.

Both of these custody considerations affect parent time, and child support. You need to fight for want you want. These are your kids and you should get the time you want. Give us a call today for a free consultation (801) 475-0123.



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