Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Calculating Alimony in Utah

Many people ask me how alimony is calculated in Utah divorce actions.  Unlike child support, which is principally calculated on a statutory arithmetical formula, calculating alimony does not follow a single or even a set method.  Notwithstanding, the most commonly utilized starting point when calculating alimony is an “income equalization” formula, which I will demonstrate  below:

In this very simple hypothetical setting, the husband, John, and his wife, Jane, are getting divorced.  John and Jane have two children, with primary physical custody awarded to Jane.
While men can, in theory, receive an alimony award, husbands in Utah typically out-earn their wives in the majority of divorce cases, which makes the award of alimony to men a rarity.  So we will calculate alimony based upon John earning more than Jane.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

For Utah Divorce Practitioners - Help from the Separate Maintenance Provisions of the Utah Code

Here's useful drafting language when moving for temporary orders in a divorce action where the movant seeks to restrain the disposal or encumbrance of property (the sections of the Utah Code pertaining to divorce don't have this, but the benefit of adapting it's application to a divorce action is apparent):

30-4-4.   Restraining disposal of property.

     At the time of filing the complaint mentioned in Section 30-4-1, or at any time subsequent thereto, the plaintiff may procure from the court, and file with the county recorder of any county in the state in which the defendant may own real estate, an order enjoining and restraining the defendant from disposing of or encumbering the same or any portion thereof, describing such real estate with reasonable certainty, and from the time of filing such order the property described therein shall be charged with a lien in favor of the plaintiff to the extent of any judgment which may be rendered in the action.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Successful Strategies for Divorce, If You Have No Conscience or Sense of Decency

I have been wanting to prepare a posting entitled "Successful Strategies for Divorce, If You Have No Conscience or Sense of Decency" for years, but have been too busy to organize for this purpose until now.

Because political correctness has all but surely killed any appreciation for satire and thus also scared witless anyone who might wish to write satirically, before I go any further I must make the following disclaimer:  

With my blog posting(s) under the title of "Successful Strategies for Divorce, If You Have No Conscience or Sense of Decency," I am not encouraging anyone to engage in dishonest, illegal or other wrongful behavior in divorce.  My purpose of such a blog posting or postings on the subject is quite the contrary, i.e., to utilize irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like to expose, denounce, and deride inequitable behavior in divorce and those who engage in it.  By exposing such misconduct I hope to help in its eradication.

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      Wednesday, August 11, 2010

      Memorable quotation from The Rainmaker

      Memorable quotation from The Rainmaker (1997), the movie made from John Grisham's novel of the same name:
      "Every lawyer, at least once in every case, feels himself crossing a line that he doesn't really mean to cross... it just happens... And if you cross it enough times it disappears forever. And then you're nothing but another lawyer joke, just another shark in the dirty water."

      Child Support and Conventional Wisdom

      Here's a topic for debate:

      Resolved: That the expenditure of child support payments made by one parent to the parent with primary custody of the couple's children are subject to the discretion of the support recipient.

      This is clearly not the case. Utah Code Section 78B-12-218 plainly provides:

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      Tuesday, August 10, 2010

      In Defense of Justice Over "Conflict Resolution"

      Any time someone tells me that I need to see my role as a lawyer as a “problem solver,” I roll my eyes. You know:
      “Eric, you need to stop litigating everything and be a problem solver”;
      “Eric, we [meaning the opposing attorney and I] need to focus on solving our respective clients’ problem and stop the fighting between them”;
      “Eric, I don’t have to justify my positions to you. Now, do we have an agreement or not?”
      “If we remember that we are professionals working together to solve a dispute between two third parties [sic], we are more likely to behave like professionals.” (Diana Hagan, Bar & Bench (Salt Lake County Bar Association), Winter 2009) [1]

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