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Divorce and Property Division

Divorce and Property Division

One of the most contentious aspects of a divorce is dividing property. The hate and anger can cause normal people to do the unthinkable – which they later regret. You don’t want to regret things later – you want to take the higher road.

Fortunately, not all divorces get that out of hand. Utah’s Equitable Distribution Law provides for the fair, though not necessarily equal, division of property in a divorce. This statute categorizes property into two types:

Separate property is generally excluded from division in a divorce. It includes property that was owned by one spouse before the marriage. Any inheritance one spouse gets, even during marriage, is separate property. There are instances in which separate property – or the increase in its value – can become marital property.

Marital property includes property obtained by either spouse during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title. For example, if only one spouse’s name was on the deed to a home they bought while married, the other spouse would still be entitled to a portion of its value. In a divorce, the court divides marital property based on considerations including the following – each spouse’s income and property at the time of the marriage. Each spouse’s age and health. How long the marriage lasted. The direct or indirect contributions of each spouse to the household (i.e., as a wage earner or homemaker). Whether the custodial parent needs the home to care for the children. Judges will also consider each spouse’s probable future financial circumstances (including support awarded in the divorce), the loss of inheritance and pension benefits and the tax consequences for each spouse. They might also take into account wasteful spending, property destruction or spousal abuse.

Helps So You Can Begin Your Divorce Process in a Civil Way

When people think of divorce, what often comes to mind are contentious, drawn-out court hearings filled with anger and insults. However, this is not usually the case. The divorce process can be remarkably civil if both sides commit themselves to being calm and amicable.

Below are a few helps to help make your divorce as civil as possible – communicate: At some point, you may need to tell your spouse you’ve been having doubts about your relationship and have decided you want a divorce. There’s no way to “ghost” from a marriage. If you want to take away some of the shock, you can reach the point of using the “d” word gradually. Find several times to discuss your unhappiness with your spouse before you ultimately tell him or her you want to end your marriage. Go to therapy if your spouse wants it: Your spouse may tell you he or she wishes to pursue couples therapy. If this is the case, put in a legitimate effort (unless domestic violence or abuse is involved). Even if therapy does not save your marriage, it can help you reach some important decisions as to how you will tell your children, family members and friends about your split. Deescalate arguments: If you have decided you will move forward with a divorce, it does neither side any good to argue about things that have happened in the past. Nothing good can come of those arguments, so shut them down as soon as they seem like they’re about to begin. This can help you keep things amicable during the divorce process.

Tell your children together: Sit down as a couple and tell your children about your decision. Reassure them it is not at all their fault. Do not blame each other — focus instead on the ways you will keep life as consistent as possible for your kids moving forward. Don’t talk negatively about your former spouse: It is unfair to your former partner and to your children for you to badmouth your former spouse. Your kids need to maintain a good relationship with both parents, so you should never purposefully say or do anything that paints the other parent in a bad light.

Free Consultation with a Divorce Lawyer

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will 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