In addition to Utah’s new no-fault divorce law, the Utah State Assembly has made several other important changes to domestic relations law that took effect on October 14, 2010. These laws provide greater protections to the financially disadvantaged spouse in a divorce action and clarify the circumstances under which a parent can obtain a modification of a child support order.
In the past, it was common during divorce for the spouse with the higher salary or greater assets to wage a war of attrition against the other, driving up costs and forcing the financially disadvantaged spouse to use up his or her resources. The new laws in Utah, however, seek to level the playing field and allow financially disadvantaged spouses to stand up for themselves during divorce proceedings.
Under recent legislation, a financially disadvantaged spouse can receive temporary maintenance—a monthly income payment while the divorce is pending—so long as his or her income is two-thirds the income of the other party or less. Additionally, the financially advantaged spouse is now presumed to be liable for the attorney fees of both parties unless he or she can show good cause why this should not be the case.
New child support laws have also taken effect. A parent may now seek a modification of a child support order following a 15 percent fluctuation in the salary of either parent. This law, however, does not include voluntary reductions in income and places an affirmative duty on unemployed parents to seek employment.
You need knowledgeable legal support during a divorce. Consult a highly qualified attorney with the skill to help you fight for your rights.
How Can I Enforce a Child Custody Agreement?
If you have trouble enforcing a child custody agreement, you must seek legal assistance as soon as possible. A team of knowledgeable and experienced attorneys can help you initiate the legal proceedings needed to enforce a child custody agreement.
The first action the court takes if a parent violates a child custody agreement is to hold the noncustodial parent in contempt of court. Contempt of court is a civil penalty that imprisons the noncustodial parent until he or she agrees to comply with the child custody agreement.
If your spouse still refuses to comply with a child custody agreement, your legal team can use the following remedies:
• Habeas corpus
• Punitive modification
• Modification of child support and maintenance
• Posting of a bond
• Money damages
• Injunctive relief
• Discretionary powers
In some cases, a parent may face criminal charges if he or she takes a child away from a custodial parent. To find out if you have a criminal case against your spouse, contact your attorney as soon as possible.
Before initiating any of the above-mentioned remedies, you must notify your spouse of the action you intend to take. Additionally, your spouse is entitled to a full hearing. During a hearing, with the help of a forceful attorney, you may question your spouse about why he or she refuses to comply with the custody agreement.
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It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506