Even if many Salt Lake City, Utah, residents are reluctant to admit it, social media websites like Instagram and Facebook play an important role in our everyday lives. As a divorce lawyer, I’ve seen this impact divorce cases. In fact, many people rely on social media to keep in touch with family members and loved ones all around the world. That is why it can seem all too natural to share life events online, however significant or mundane they may be. When it comes to important processes like divorce mediation, however, social media should not play a role. It’s impossible to police social media.
Unfortunately, many aspects of one’s personal life can be brought up during a divorce dispute. In addition to documents like credit card statements and job applications, the contents of a social media page can also be presented. And when it comes to things like pictures and status updates, it’s almost impossible to guarantee that they are not taken out of context.
PROPERTY DIVISION DISPUTE COULD HAVE COMPROMISED COMPANY
While there are many aspects of the divorce process that can be fairly complex in the state of Utah and beyond, determining which party should maintain rights to certain assets after divorce is often difficult and emotional for each side. Property division involves identifying which, if any assets were obtained jointly during the course of the marriage and whether or not any property should be subject to division. The future of one major oil company was placed in question after it came to light that the majority shareholder might lose a portion of his stake in his divorce.
Harold Hamm is reportedly worth more than $14 billion and owns the majority stake in the oil company he founded years ago. Hamm and his estranged wife have also reportedly been at various stages of the divorce process for years, and the case is not expected to go to trial until this summer. And while it may still be some time before the divorce is finalized, one key component of the case is settled.
An Oklahoma judge recently determined that a substantial number of shares in the oil company would not be divided in the divorce because they were purchased by Hamm before he got married. Because it was not known if the 122 million shares would be split, other company investors were concerned over Hamm’s majority stake and what the potential loss would mean to the future of the organization.
Now that Hamm will reportedly maintain primary ownership of the oil company, he expects that it will continue to grow and thrive as it has been in recent years. It’s estimated that Hamm owns more than 126 million shares of the corporation. It is not stated if any shares were subject to division.
PROPOSED CHILD CUSTODY BILL COULD SET PRECEDENT
As the state of Utah addresses an aging family law system, accounting for the needs of contemporary families and changes in social standards, state policies come under review. For instance, state laws addressing issues like child custody arrangements can be amended to better reflect current trends. And while Utah legislators often focus their energy on matters specific to the state, they still sometimes look to measures passed in other states as models for their own proposals. That is why a bill that was recently proposed in another state may be of interest to Utah state lawmakers and family law experts.
When discussing the proposed bill that recently passed the Illinois House Judiciary Committee recently, one clinical psychiatrist commented on the adversarial nature of current family law practices. According to the psychiatrist, the family legal system functions in a way that encourages conflict between divorcing parties and is counterproductive to developing objective child custody and visitation agreements. It’s for that reason that the psychiatrist supports a bill that was introduced by a Republican representative in the state.
The proposed piece of legislation would give family law judges the ability to develop a shared parenting plan in the event that parents do not establish their own agreement within 90 days. If the judge determined that the noncustodial parent was fit, he or she would automatically be granted 35 percent parenting time with the child.
Because state legislators are also considering a similar bill introduced by a Democrat representative, it is not known whether or not the Republican bill will pass. And while the measure has gained considerable support, critics argue that a specific formula for determining parenting time should not be included in the legislation.
Free Consultation with a Divorce Lawyer
When you need legal help with child custody, support, asset division or other divorce or family law matters, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506