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

Alimony Divorce Case | Salt Lake City Alimony Lawyer

The Divorce Lawyers at Arnold & Wadsworth offer a free consultation. With offices in Salt Lake City and Ogden, Utah we have divorce and family law attorneys ready to aggressively protect your rights. Below is an explanation of a recent Utah Court of Appeals case decided concerning alimony.

There was a recent case that decided and explained different types of alimony;

“Alimony awards come in different varieties. See, e.g., Wells, 871 P.2d at 1038–39 (analyzing court’s ability to award temporary alimony); Bell v. Bell, 810 P .2d 489, 493 n. 3 (Utah Ct.App.1991) (“The purpose of rehabilitative alimony is in the short run to close the gap between actual expenses and actual income to enable the receiving spouse to then be better able to support herself when the alimony and schooling end.”); Petersen v. Petersen, 737 P.2d 237, 242 n. 4 (Utah Ct.App.1987) (observing that “reimbursement” alimony is sometimes appropriate). And several of those variants are not considered permanent alimony awards. See Wells, 871 P.2d at 1039 (indicating that temporary alimony is separate and distinct from permanent alimony).”

Beal v. Beal, 2013 UT App 105
In your case you might need “transitional alimony” and the court explained the difference between transitional alimony and permanent alimony as follows;
“While the award here was not expressly characterized as a temporary award, the plain meaning of the phrase “transitional alimony” and the clear intent of the divorce decree demonstrate that the award was not meant to be permanent. “Transition” is not synonymous with permanence, but rather relates to “a passage or movement from one state, condition, or place to another.” See Webster’s Third New Int’l Dictionary 2428 (1993). Therefore, the decree’s “transitional” award is, by definition, an award that is subject to change. Within the framework of this divorce decree, which calls for an alimony review after two years and following the exchange of information that would permit the calculation of a permanent alimony award, an award intended to be reviewed and changed cannot reasonably be viewed as permanent.”

Beal v. Beal, 2013 UT App 105
As you can see from this quote from the case there are different types of alimony and you need to make sure in your divorce that the right type of alimony is given depending on your facts in your divorce case. This is both true for the man or woman in the divorce. For example, if you are the one obligated to pay alimony you need to make sure that you categorize the alimony correctly to make sure you can make it tax deductible and to make sure you are paying under correct guidelines. If you do not have both in place you are set up to fail.
Our divorce lawyers at Arnold & Wadsworth are here to provide you with the professional service you deserve. The divorce attorneys at Arnold & Wadsworth stay current on divorce laws and divorce trends. Divorce involves all facets of the law and therefore you need the divorce lawyers at Arnold & Wadsworth. Call today (801) 475-0123 for a free consultation.

Temporary Orders | Divorce Salt Lake City

When facing a divorce in Utah it is likely you will go through a temporary orders hearing. The first question our divorce lawyers get is whether a temporary orders hearing is mandatory; it is not. However, it will give you a good idea and feel for how the rest of your divorce will go. The temporary orders hearing will also give you experience in court, and show you the strengths and weaknesses of your divorce case. While it will include paying your divorce lawyer to prepare the motion and argue the motion in a hearing in divorce court, it will provide you with valuable insight before you reach mediation. Going through a temporary orders hearing will also allow you knowledge and insight in how to present a settlement at mediation.

At temporary orders the issues before the divorce court judge will be; custody, parenting plan, debt allocation, asset division (on a temporary basis), alimony, whether to appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL), whether to appoint a custody evaluator, personal property division, and real property division. A lot of the arguments will come done to how well you present your evidence. This is where it is very valuable to have a divorce lawyer that has experience with the judge you will be in front of. First, you want to make sure your argument is clear and concise. You do not want the judge to consider facts that are not relevant. Second, you need to be clear as to what you want. The judge cannot grant you something in your divorce you do not ask for. Lastly, make sure you respond to their arguments. This is a big hearing and turning point in your divorce. You need to make sure you put your best foot forward.

The divorce attorneys at Arnold & Wadsworth offer a free consultation concerning divorce matters. Feel free to call today and set up a free consultation at (801) 475-0123.

Divorce Lawyers for Women | Utah Divorce Attorneys

If you are women and facing a divorce in Utah you need to make sure you have a divorce lawyer that has represented a lot of women in the past and understands the legal issues they face in family law courts in Utah. The most important of those issues will be the custody of your children. If you do not have children it will be a fair and equitable division of marital assets and alimony. Do not take it for granted that everyone is going to be “fair” and “equitable” when it comes to your divorce.

Child custody is taken very seriously by the divorce courts in Utah. You will need to show the divorce court the positive influence and strength that you have on your children. You will also need to show the court how you have been the primary caretaker of the children and how that needs to continue. Some ways you will be able to show that you are the primary caretaker and it is a positive experience for the children is by giving examples of your children’s days and activities and your role in those activities. Show how well your children are doing in school, and their extracurricular activities. This will help you in your divorce by establishing you as the primary parent.

Another important aspect of your divorce in Utah will be the financial condition of your marriage. You will need to have access to all of the accounts and financials in order to make educated decisions on child support, and alimony. You will need bank statements, tax returns, stock statements, retirement accounts, and any and all cash you or your spouse may be storing. If you do not have access to all of these items we will make sure you get it.

Our experienced divorce lawyers will help you navigate through your divorce and will be aggressive in defending your rights. Call today for a free consultation at (801) 475-0123.


This is a great article about visitation around the holidays. Christmas and the other holidays can be very stressful if your ex-spouse is not allowing you parental time. There are certain actions you should take in order to get your parent time. A lot of the ways to enforce it can also be done through the court system. Call today for a free consultation at (801) 475-0123.

Originally posted on Gorilla Divorce Blog:

Many parents don’t like dealing with visitation issues – especially around the holidays. Sticking your neck in the sand, however, doesn’t fix the problem and only guarantees bigger problems to come. Like most divorce lawyers, I get the usual calls just one or two days before Christmas. And that’s where the problem begins. All courts require notice to the other parent, when you’re bringing a motion to protect your holiday time with a child. Two days before the holiday doesn’t cut it, and certainly not when its the Friday before. It doesn’t have to be this way.

The number one way to fix visitation issues is to be proactive. Getting angry and waiting for another year to pass to correct the past wrong isn’t the way to fix anything. If anything, you have empowered the other parent to do as they please – without ramification. Being proactive doesn’t have to…

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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.

Utah Child Custody – Arnold & Wadsworth

As a child custody lawyers in Utah we understand how important your children are to you. So what happens if you have moved to Utah from another state and want to enforce the child custody determination made in another state? In Utah there is a duty to enforce the child custody determination made in another state. This power comes from Utah Code Annotated 78B-13-303;

78B-13-303.   Duty to enforce.
(1) A court of this state shall recognize and enforce a child custody determination of a court of another state if the latter court exercised jurisdiction that was in substantial conformity with this chapter or the determination was made under factual circumstances meeting the jurisdictional standards of this chapter and the determination has not been modified in accordance with this chapter.
(2) A court may utilize any remedy available under other law of this state to enforce a child custody determination made by a court of another state. The procedure provided by this part does not affect the availability of other remedies to enforce a child custody determination.

This is the statute that tells commissioners in Utah how to handle or enforce the custody determination of another state. You will also need to register the divorce decree or child custody determination in the state of Utah so that any future violations can be enforced in the Courts in Utah. Also, this statute can be used to enforce of an order to return a child under the Hague convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

As always we offer a free consultation to explore your rights and to give you a road map on how you should handle your case. Give us a call today to talk to one of our divorce lawyers at (801) 475-0123.



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