The promise of new beginnings waits at the end of every divorce. Amicable or bitter, partners who split are hoping for a chance to start over, sometimes in a new relationship, sometimes in a new location. If children are involved, what can you expect if you want to relocate?
As with any aspect of divorce, the best custody agreements are made outside of court, between civil parents dedicated to providing a stable post-divorce environment for their children. But as experienced family law attorneys, we routinely see that even parents with the best intentions have difficulty agreeing when a custodial parent considers a long-distance move.
If the parents cannot come to an agreement, the court must make legal decisions. In recent years, we’ve seen the Court of Appeals found that issues of relocation should reflect the best interests of children, including the following points:
- Quality of relationship between the child and non-custodial parent
- Impact of a relocation on parenting bonds
- Necessity and reasoning underpinning the relocation
- Emotional, social, academic, and physical needs of a child
- Qualitative improvement of living environment for a child upon relocation
- Reasoning of each parent in support of or in objection to the relocation
Custody actions concerning relocation often reawaken the original conflicts that led to a divorce and create instability for parents and children. When planning a new beginning, get good legal advice and do your best to make all the right moves for you—and your children.
What Happens If a Spouse Dies During the Divorce Process?
With the increasing prevalence of “gray divorces,” a term commonly used to describing divorces involving older adults, spouses and attorneys sometimes must deal with the issue of what should happen if one of the parties involved passes away before the divorce is finalized. This, of course, can add some complications to the process.
In most cases, a court will not grant a pending divorce after one spouse dies, as there is no need to proceed any further. The death officially ends the marriage. However, there is still the issue of what happens to the couple’s shared assets and debts. This may involve determining whether the assets in question fall under the rules of probate.
- Non-probate assets: In Utah, like every other state, there is a difference between probate and non-probate assets upon a person’s death. Non-probate assets, such as retirement accounts or life insurance proceedings, pass directly to a named beneficiary. Regardless of the state of your divorce, you will still inherit the benefits of these plans if you are still the named beneficiary.
- Probate assets and estate: The rest of the deceased assets will pass through the probate process, except for any assets passed through a trust. You could still inherit them through laws of intestate succession if your spouse did not have a will, or even if you were listed in the will.
Top Five Causes of Divorce
You may be surprised to learn that in 2009, Utah had among the lowest divorce rates in the nation. According to an NBC report, 8.4 percent of Utah residents are divorced—the third lowest rate in the United States and over two points lower than the national average of 10.7 percent. The reason for this is simple economics.
Financial difficulties are among leading causes of divorce in the United States. For that reason, areas particularly hard hit by the recession tend to see a spike in the divorce rate. While still feeling the impact of the economic downturn, Utah has fared better than many other areas. This may at least partially explain the low divorce rate.
But marriage is a complicated thing. What causes one to fail can be equally complicated. Some common causes such as infidelity and abuse are fairly obvious. Others are not so clear. Communication problems routinely top lists of common causes of divorce. These can manifest themselves in a variety of ways, from an inability to articulate and reconcile each other’s priorities to difficulties compromising on important issues like child rearing.
Another common cause of divorce is simply loss of interest. This is often a factor for couples who marry too young or after too brief a courtship. Once the initial excitement fades, it gives way to boredom and even resentment. These feelings can ultimately undermine a marriage.
Whatever the cause of your divorce, you need tough legal support to fight for your rights and help ensure a brighter future.
Free Consultation with a Divorce Lawyer in Utah
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 fight for you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506
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