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Clearfield Utah Divorce Attorney

Clearfield Utah Divorce Attorney

Clearfield, in northern Davis County, is bordered by Hill Air Force Base and the Wasatch Mountains on the east, and by Syracuse, West Point, and the Great Salt Lake on the west. It was one of the last communities to be settled in the north part of the county. Clearfield was once known as “Sandridge.” There was little available water and the land was thought to be unproductive. The name was later changed to Clearfield from the suggestion of a teacher, who got the idea as she looked out over the attractive open surroundings. An emigrant couple from England was the first settlers in Clearfield. Richard and Emily Hamblin had lived with relatives in Layton for a few years, and in 1877 they decided to make their own home in the area that is now Clearfield. Their first home was a dugout with a thatched roof of sagebrush covered with dirt. Water had to be brought in from Kay’s Creek in Layton, so Hamblin’s first concern was finding a closer water supply. He dug several surface wells without success until 1881 when he struck water. He made a windmill to supply irrigation water and grew strawberries, which he marketed. After the completion of the East Canyon Dam in 1884, water was supplied by the Davis and Weber counties canal. This brought more people to the area to live and to grow crops. Most settled in the area that is now Syracuse. Farming grew and the local farmers needed a market for their surplus produce.

The Woods Cross Canning Cooperative was begun in 1892. It packed many different fruits and vegetables, but mostly tomatoes. The cannery grew as demand for canned goods increased. It employed hundreds of people each season, and was a significant Davis County employer before defense installations came to the county. During World War II, the orders grew and the supply of workers lessened. The cannery hired displaced Japanese-Americans as well as German and Italian prisoners of war, and the arrangement worked out well for all. The cannery closed after a fire in the late 1970s. By that time, farming in the area had decreased. In 1869 the Utah Central Railroad came through Clearfield. In 1905 the Bamberger Electric, another railroad, took passengers between Ogden and Salt Lake City, stopping in Clearfield. By 1940 alfalfa fields and forage crops were abundant and Clearfield was a peaceful farming community. However, the addition of defense installations in the area changed the scene. The efforts of the Ogden Chamber of Commerce helped bring Hill Field to Utah. The construction of the Air Force base began in 1940 and the facility eventually stretched along the eastern border of Clearfield. The base has provided many jobs for civilians and is one of Utah’s major employers. On the southwestern side of Clearfield, the U.S. Navy installed the Clearfield Naval Supply Depot. Residents of the area at first were very much opposed to the Navy’s intentions. However, the Ogden Chamber of Commerce supported the idea, stressing both patriotic and economic advantages. In May 1942 the Navy received authorization to buy the land, and it paid local farmers the fair market value for their crops which could not be harvested.

Construction began in June 1942 and was finished in April 1943. Clearfield was considered a prime location for the depot because of its relative security from enemy attack, nearby air transportation at Hill Air Force Base, and the proximity of railroads and highways. The dry climate was ideal for storage, and there was a good supply of manpower. The depot was an important naval installation for the warehousing and distribution of supplies to West Coast supply points. During World War II years, it was difficult to fill employment vacancies, and the supply depot hired almost anyone willing to work. In April 1945, 500 German prisoners of war were assigned to the depot as work crews. After World War II, the depot handled surplus property. During the Korean War, the distribution workload increased again. After that conflict, the depot began to phase out. Many civilian workers left to take employment at Hill Air Force Base or at other government agencies and private industries. The depot was phased out by 1962. The facility did not stay empty long; private firms soon began moving into the large warehouse buildings. The area became known as the Freeport Center and today is a major western hub for manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution. The community was started by Mormons and the faith is still predominant in the city today. However, the defense installations brought in workers of other denominations, and Clearfield now shows a religious diversity. Along with eighteen LDS wards, there are Jehovah’s Witness, Church of Christ, Episcopal, Community, and two Baptist congregations. The community church concept was born in Clearfield out of the need for a Protestant place of worship for the incoming military workers after Hill Air Force Base was established. It was developed by the Home Mission Society of the American Baptist Church organization. The idea was to found a church that would include Christians of many denominations. Clearfield Community Church was the result, organized with forty-three charter members in 1943. In 1993 the population of Clearfield is approximately 24,000 people. Clearfield is an active community as part of the greater Wasatch Front community. Residents are still employed in farming, defense, and manufacturing, as well as in running local restaurants and businesses. The building of Interstate 15 has made it convenient for residents to commute to Ogden and Salt Lake City for work as well as cultural and higher education needs.

Your divorce may prove to be one of the most emotionally disruptive events of your life. It’s a tough call to make. So when you choose to end your marriage, you’ll journey through conflicting emotions, ranging from relief to doubt. Most people describe divorce as a roller coaster. To cope, you’ll need to rely on friends, family, and your social community. The support they’ll offer is important to your healing process and you should welcome it. Knowing what to expect won’t obliterate the negative emotions you’ll feel. However, it will help you navigate the complexities, so you can successfully regroup.

Emotions During the Divorce Process

There are common emotions people experiences during the divorce process. They are often referred to as the stages of grief. They include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Naturally, these expand to more nuanced emotions that vary based on your circumstances.


Those who didn’t initiate the divorce often spend a significant amount of time in the denial stage. In certain cases, it may be the cause in a delayed response to divorce papers. Denial provides comfort as it allows people to distance themselves from an overwhelming reality.


The anger stage is frequently visited by both parties. It is heavy with blame, rage, and cynically dissecting events in your marriage. Because people suppress their emotions while in denial, emotions unleash when they evolve to this next phase. It’s important to be patient with yourself, and encourage your spouse to do the same. Otherwise, it can become consuming. Hostile and vindictive decisions are often made in this phase. To best serve the interests of your family, allow yourself time to cope with the stress of the situation so you are not making decisions purely on emotion.


The initiator is often surprised that they struggle with the bargaining stage. For those individuals, what they’re actually battling is doubt and guilt. As they weigh the odds, it leads them to question their decision and analyze the consequences. However, going back and forth during this stage is common.


Truthfully, the length of this stage is often long. It can also be the most difficult. It is the darkest period of the night right before dawn. At this point, the reality of the situation has settled in for both sides. This wave of understanding is often overwhelming, sometimes debilitating. During this phase it’s important to lean on your support system and accept help when offered. It’s important to seek counseling for children if they are also struggling with depression. For all parties affected, a trained and experienced therapist can be a worthwhile investment in long-term healing.


Most people find what they consider peace during this phase. Beyond dealing with their reality, they are able to embrace it with hope for the future. You may still experience some negative emotions. It’s also common at this stage to briefly revisit one of the prior stages. Except, you are no longer consumed by those feelings. Though you are not getting your old life back, you will feel a sense of joy. Reclaiming some of your old self and welcoming the oncoming changes is empowering.

Things to Tell (or Not Tell) Your Divorce Lawyer

It’s difficult to be totally honest because the issues are personal and can be embarrassing. Even when you know conversations with your attorney are confidential, some things make you feel ashamed so you are reluctant to be totally open about them. For example, suppose you have slapped or spanked your child or you are having an affair. You may be tempted to omit these details but that’s dangerous because if your attorney doesn’t know about the potential problem, it may damage your case.

Disclose All Relevant Information.

It’s important to share all relevant facts with your divorce attorney so he or she can prepare for and deal with potential problems. Even if you think a particular fact is irrelevant to your divorce, make certain to mention it to your attorney so he or she can decide whether the item could create a problem down the road. You don’t need to tell your attorney everything about your marriage and children, but make certain to share all items relevant to the issues of your case. If you are in doubt about what your attorney needs to know, get guidance on what’s relevant.

Provide a Written History of Your Marriage.

It’s helpful for your attorney to have a written statement outlining the important facts in your marriage, including how you met your spouse, when you married, the names and ages of your children, your education, where you work, critical events in your marriage, what you think caused the divorce, and who wants the divorce. A good way to organize the history is chronologically from when you met your spouse. Put together a time line of important dates. Also, list the major assets you and your spouse own and any property that one of you claims is separate.

Share Sensitive Information.

You probably don’t want to tell your attorney you are having an affair or physically abusing your spouse or children, but it’s critical that your attorney knows about these difficult facts so he or she can be properly prepared to defend you if they come up in the course of your divorce. During the discovery process, if you opt for a litigated divorce, these facts are likely to come up and in a collaborative divorce; you are obligated to share all relevant information with the other side. Some attorney use investigators to search for damaging facts, and if there is a suspicion of an affair, an investigator is likely to be involved. If you are in an abusive relationship, make certain you tell your lawyer, even if you are ashamed of it. Also, if you have contracted a sexually transmitted disease or have hidden assets or debts, tell your lawyer.

Issues to Discuss

There are a number of important issues you will need to discuss with your attorney during the first meeting, including child custody, child support, and spousal support, division of the marital estate, any separate property claims, community debts, and your expectations about the likely outcome of the case. You will want to discuss sole or joint custody of the children, standard visitation or shared custody of your children, who is likely to be responsible for paying child support, how much that might be, whether your spouse is eligible for spousal maintenance, and the division of your community estate. Make certain you share with your attorney any facts that might favor you getting a larger share of the community estate, such as higher income earned by your spouse, health issues, disability, separate property of both spouses, and whether there has been spousal abuse.

Things Not to Say.

Finally, there are some things you should not say to your prospective attorney, such as “I don’t care about costs because I want to punish my spouse, I want to bring a friend with me to our meeting, I need to get this over with as soon as possible because I want to remarry, or I will never pay child support to my ex-spouse.” Telling a lawyer you don’t care about costs may double your attorney’s fees. Bringing a friend to the meetings with your attorney may destroy attorney-client privilege. Being in a hurry will put you at a disadvantage and may increase the cost of your divorce. Never say never, because you will likely have to change your mind during the course of the divorce process. Finally, make certain you are clear about attorney fees, who will manage your divorce, and if you understand what your attorney has told you.

Is it better to file for divorce first?

When marriages begin to fall apart, most spouses know that something is wrong. However, many spouses are hesitant to be the first one to file for divorce. Some are unsure about whether divorce is really the solution, others may wonder if they are being hasty and still others may just not know how to proceed. While people’s hesitation to file divorce is understandable, people considering divorce should be aware of the potential benefits that accompany being the first spouse to file for divorce.

Financial benefits of filing for divorce first

Being the first spouse to file divorce means that a person can begin the proceedings at a time when he or she is financially prepared to do so. A person would have had time to collect copies of all important legal documents, such as deeds, bank and investment account statements, wills, life insurance policies, social security cards, titles to property. They will need these papers as part of the property division process, and it may be more difficult to obtain copies after the divorce starts. Also, a person can assess the family finances and determine the extent of their assets and debts, so they will have an accurate idea of what will be divided in the property division. People filing for divorce first also have the advantage of doing so after they have ensured that they have access to money and credit to meet their needs during the divorce process.

Possible legal benefits of filing first

One of the main legal advantages that a person gains by filing the divorce petition before his or her spouse does is that the filer can request a Standing Order from the court when filing the petition. Such an order prevents either spouse from making changes to beneficiaries on policies such as life insurance or retirement accounts, selling, borrowing against or transferring property, changing bank accounts and other similar financial moves. This can be important if the spouse filing divorce suspects that the other spouse will attempt to hide assets. The person who files for divorce also chooses the jurisdiction in which they litigate the divorce. In situations where spouses have lived apart from each other for a substantial period of time, possibly great distances from each other, filing the divorce petition first can prevent having to conduct matters related to the divorce far away from where a person lives. If the matter should go to a hearing, the person who files the petition usually presents his or her case first. This can be a drawback for a spouse if he or she does not wish to reveal his or her strategy to the other spouse. The other spouse then has the opportunity to adjust the presentation of his or her case after seeing the other side.

Talk to a lawyer today

Many people become paralyzed by indecision when faced with such a monumental question as whether to file for divorce, or just wait until their spouses file first. This is not a decision that a person should make without gathering all the information possible. Those who feel their marriages are coming to an end should speak with a seasoned divorce attorney who can discuss their specific situations with them and help them decide the best way to move forward.

Divorce Lawyer

When you need legal help with a divorce in Clearfield Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

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