Answering all Legal Questions, Whether They've Been Asked or Not!

Divorce: The Holiday Effect

Two Parents Fighting Over Child In Divorce Concept

The topic of whether to remain married often emerges for our clients at the start of the holiday season. Those who want to initiate the divorce process generally wrestle with feelings of regret. It’s bad enough that hopes and dreams for a long, healthy, happy married life are ending. Now the divorcee also needs to worry about bringing unhappiness and fear to friends and extended family during a season that is normally about bringing individuals together in celebration.

Why Delay?

Even when couples have actually decided to divorce, they will usually only begin the process after the holidays. Particularly when their children are young, the holidays are expected to be magical. Avoiding a divorce til after the holidays holds at bay the concern of interfering with the kids’ joy. There is likewise the hope that going back to a regular school schedule after New Year’s will supply a proper distraction for the children once the divorce and custody procedure get underway.

In spite of all these relatively sound reasons for holding off, divorce’s slap-in-the-face is constantly going to be there. Though it’s tough to fault a couple for hoping that possibly the holiday season can rescue a faltering relationship, the fact is that the holiday season in and of themselves cannot repair a broken relationship. Think about the negatives:

1. Can you actually fake a pleased, civil marital relationship during holiday events with pals, extended family, and coworkers? It typically appears the holiday season bring an unlimited parade of celebrations, work gatherings and trips to see extended family. If your partner’s worst traits come out during this time of tension, or you know it will be difficult to stay civil to one another at holiday events, it might be much better to submit your divorce papers before the seasonal madness starts.

2. Is this best for your kids? The most widespread reason for remaining together throughout the holiday season is so kids can celebrate the holidays with their parents together in the exact same home. However, when you reveal your divorce in January, it’s pretty clear to everybody that you were simply biding your time (after all, there’s a reason that it’s nicknamed Divorce Season). That awareness can make your kids feel as though the previous holiday was a farce and they may wonder exactly what else you tricked them about.

3. Is waiting really the best option for you? Everyone knows the vacations can be demanding. Lots of people therefore wish to wait till things relax prior to declaring divorce. However, the holidays are a time of gathering. As well as if there is absolutely nothing prepared, this is a time when individuals have the tendency to be offered and may be able to rally to support an individual reeling from the awareness that their marital relationship is over.

How to Break the News

The fact of the matter is that there is no perfect time to bring up the subject of divorce. There will always be a birthday, an anniversary, a graduation or a major holiday just around the corner. Fret less about exactly what is coming and focus more on the specifics of the conversation:

  • DO be clear about your intent and your timeline.
  • DO allow your partner time to sort through their feelings and space to respond without being defensive.
  • DO deliver the news with a counselor’s assistance, if needed.
  • DO be kind. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by adding insult to injury.

family split

It is very important to prepare yourself for your divorce assessment. First, you ought to prepare emotionally. Be prepared to discuss things that are very individual, which you might not be accustomed to talking about with others. This is particularly applicable when you are having marital or familial problems. Know that it is alright to express anger, disappointment, and sadness, as well as that it is okay to cry. Acknowledging these emotions before beginning will assist the consultation go more easily for you.

When you have prepared yourself psychologically, prepare yourself mentally as well by considering the questions your attorney will ask you along with any questions you might wish to prepare ahead of time to ask in return.

Questions Your Attorney Will Ask You

During your preliminary consultation with a divorce lawyer, anticipate the attorney will supply you with a summary of what to prepare for relative to a minimum of the following five issues: (1) the divorce process, (2) matters regarding any small kids of the marital relationship, (3) splitting up your assets and liabilities, (4) assistance (both child assistance and spousal support), and (5) the associated lawyers’ charges and expenses. In order to have the ability to resolve these five main issues for you and to supply you with a potential gameplan, it will be required for the lawyer to make a significant query into all sorts of matters. A few of the questions will be standard detail research, but many will relate to small children, finances, and individual matters such as any causal behaviors that led to the divorce.

Know that when addressing these questions the attorney-client privilege is in effect, meaning anything you share with the attorney will not, and can not, be repeated to anyone without your express permission. With that understanding, it is important that you inform the attorney the facts and offer all the related details. The quality of the guidance you receive will be proportional to the sincerity with which you answer the lawyer’s questions.

Questions You Should Ask Your Attorney

1. The number of cases of this type have you taken to trial?

It’s something to have actually “dealt with” divorce cases, and rather another to have in fact taken cases to trial. Most cases settle, and better attorneys excel at settling cases so that litigating is not necessary. Some attorneys however are reluctant to take any case to trial.

While you may be positive your case will settle, it is sensible to think about a divorce legal representative who has a great balance of trial experience while remaining a supporter of negotiation. You do not desire a divorce attorney who takes every case to court because it shows that they might be unreasonable, might not know the law, or might be too focused on collecting court fees. Nevertheless, having actually taken cases to trial suggests your attorney is knowledgeable about the law in theory and practice as you can not “phony” your method through family law in a court.

2. What should I be doing now to safeguard myself?

Before you leave that office, make certain you have actually discussed exactly what you should be doing til the next action step in your case. Should you be paying kid support or alimony (PSS)? How should you handle joint charge account or financial accounts? Immediate sensical actions can conserve you vast amounts of difficulty and a considerable quantity of money in many circumstances.

For example, failure to pay appropriate child support (at standard levels) or short-term spousal support (PSS) increases the possibilities of you being purchased to pay your partner’s attorney charges which can be a little fortune. A divorce lawyer will not be able to give you specific figures at an initial assessment due to the lack of information about your case, however they need to be able to make you familiar with the threat and possible responsibility and provide you some guidance.

In many cases, limiting orders can be obtained to stop a partner from spending or hiding cash and assets as well. A good divorce attorney can assist you decrease your threats and protect your financial future.

3. What can I do to make this simpler on everybody included?

In order to get the most from your relationship with your legal representative, it is finest that you take part in a collective way with them. Attempt to be as arranged as possible since it is in by doing this that you can enable your attorney to be proactive and not reactive to your partner’s legal representative during procedures. By being prepared throughout the proceedings, your lawyer can concentrate on truly promoting for you, as they will have a toolbox filled with all of the appropriate info you have actually provided them with.

Finally, a great lawyer will have advice to offer on the best ways to manage the case smoothly. They can offer coaching, suggest household therapists or therapists, and otherwise provide assistance beyond the courtroom. Bring the topic up. Make the most of their experience.

Hands in Jail

Participating in sexual conduct with a minor is a major criminal offense. Commonly and previously called statutory rape, being found guilty for engaging in sexual acts with somebody in between the ages of 16 to 18 could lead to a jail time, sex offender registration, lifetime probation, and various additional repercussions. However, what if you were uninformed that your sexual partner was under the legal age of consent, or you were made to believe they were of legal age?

In Utah, as long as your sexual partner was at least 16 years of age, mistaking their age can be used as a defense sometimes. If the accused made efforts to know the age of the victim such as checking their driver’s license, it can work as a defense in court.

Sentencing for Sexual Conduct with a Minor

In order for an offender to be found guilty of committing illegal sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old, the district attorney needs to show the list below aspects of the offense, laid out at Utah Code § 76-5-401.2:

  1. The victim was 16 or 17 years old at the time of the offense.
  2. The defendant was either:
  • The victim’s instructor, parent, sitter, coach, or other person in a position of trust and authority.
  • At least seven years older than the victim at the time of the offense.
  1. The defendant understood or need to have known the victim’s age.
  2. The defendant engaged in sexual conduct with the victim, meaning:
  • Sexual relations.
  • Any sex act “involving the genitals of one person and the mouth or anus of another person.”
  • Any penetration of the victim’s genitals or anus, or touching the victim’s breasts, anus, genitals, or buttocks “with the intent to cause… pain to any person or with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.”

Like a lot of states, Utah categorizes criminal offenses as either misdemeanors or felonies. Though felonies have harsher penalties, misdemeanors are likewise capable of leading to high fines, months in jail, and a rap sheet.

Misdemeanors and felonies both have three sub-groups: Class A, Class B, and Class C for misdemeanors, and third degree, 2nd degree, and first degree for felonies. Class A misdemeanors and first degree felonies are the most severe charges in their respective groups of offenses.

Illegal sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old can be charged as a third degree felony or a Class A misdemeanor, depending on the particular details of the supposed incident. It might be possible to have felony charges reduced to a misdemeanor. If the accused is convicted, he or she will deal with the following penalties:

Class A Misdemeanor

  • Maximum Fine: $2,500.
  • Maximum Sentence: 1 year in prison.

Third Degree Felony

  • Maximum Fine: $5,000.
  • Maximum Sentence: 5 years in prison.

In addition to being incarcerated and greatly fined, the accused will also be needed to register as a sex offender for a period of 10 years.

Schmidt & Gladstone Criminal Law Attorneys

If you have been accused of Sexual Conduct with a Minor and are dealing with criminal charges, contact Schmidt & Gladstone today. We have the training, understanding, and ability needed to build you a strong defense and defend your freedom. Call us today at 801-895-3113 to set up your complimentary consultation.

The Office of Recovery Services (ORS) is an organization located within the Utah Department of Human Services. The office was established as a state program in the 1970s. In 1976, ORS ended up being the designated state child support enforcement firm with the 1975 enactment of Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. ORS administers the State Child Support, Kid in Care and Medicaid Recovery Programs.Father with Two Children

What Does the Utah ORS Do?

The mission of the Utah ORS is to serve children and families by promoting independence through responsible parenthood and to guarantee public funds are used properly. This decreases costs to public help programs. ORS works with parents, employers, federal, state and private companies, expert associations, community supporters, the legal profession and other stakeholders and clients in an efficient and courteous way. ORS works within the bounds of state and federal laws and restricted resources.

They provide services on behalf of kids and families in acquiring financial and medical assistance through finding parents, developing paternity and support obligations, and implementing those responsibilities when required. They provide services to repay the state for costs of supporting children put in its care and/or custody, by acquiring financial and medical support, through finding parent, developing paternity and support obligations, and imposing those obligations when essential. This also includes the collection of medical reimbursement from responsible third parties to both repay and prevent state Medicaid costs.

Utah ORS Statistics

  • Utah has in between 70,000 and 80,000 child assistance cases. ORS serves roughly 130,000 children.
  • ORS gathered over $255 million in 2015.
  • In 2015, child assistance collections amounted to over $217 million. Of that quantity, over $207.7 million was distributed to children and families, and over $9 million was dispersed to reimburse State and Federal governments for Temporary Support for Needy Families (TANF).
  • Over $4.3 million was distributed to the Department of Person Services on behalf of Kid in the State’s care.
  • Over $33.1 million was gathered on behalf of the Department of Health, Medicaid.
  • Social Security collections topped $719,000.
  • The state’s share of collections totaled over $2.67 million and was returned to the General Fund.
  • The portion of kid assistance cases with assistance orders established was 87.7%.
  • Paternity is an unsolved issue in only 3.8% of all kid assistance cases.
  • ORS confirmed insurance coverage on 404,388 Medicaid Recipients, assisting to avoid more than $183 million in Medicaid expenses.

Utah Child Support Attorney

Found in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, the offices of Schmidt & Gladstone are backed by experienced lawyers who’ve represented Utah for over 18 years in family law consisting of but not limited to: divorce, adoption, custody, and child assistance disputes.

Consulting with our firm guarantees that you are getting the very best legal guidance for your circumstance. Our innovative, fast thinking, legal minds empower you with the tools needed to make educated choices for you and your household. Contact us today for a free 30-minute consultation.

Joint Custody Child Support

Do I Need to Pay Child Support if I Have Joint Custody of My Child?

It depends on what kind of joint custody you are discussing. Legal custody relates to choice making authority and has nothing to do with child support. Joint physical custody is a vague term and exactly what matters is how time is divided. In the majority of joint physical custody scenarios, the child’s time is divided in between the moms and dads in such a way that means one parent has more time than the other with the child. With this kind of joint custody, child support is payable. If this is a true 50/50 time share, child support is typically still ordered to be paid by the parent with more cash to the one with less, but there are definitely cases where none is ordered.

Legal Custody

Legal custody is when a mom and dad can make significant decisions about the child’s life. Joint legal custody gives both moms and dads the right to make decisions jointly for the child. For instance, parents with joint legal custody should make joint choices concerning the child’s health, education and religious beliefs. Both moms and dads typically have equal access to the child’s educational and health records. Joint legal custody does not affect child support.

Physical Custody

Physical custody relates to with whom the child will reside. If one mom and dad has complete physical custody, the other moms and dad may have visitation privileges. Visitation might be referred to as “affordable” or “structured” in numerous jurisdictions. Sensible visitation suggests that there is not an established schedule for visitation. Rather, it goes through the contract of the parents. Structured visitation happens on a regular schedule, such as certain holidays, weekends and summer visitations. Joint physical custody likewise consists of a schedule of when the child will be with each mom and dad. The child typically resides with both moms and dads at various periods. While some moms and dads might have joint custody, they might not have the child the specific very same quantity of time as the other moms and dad. In many cases, parents have both joint legal and physical custody. In others, they may only have joint legal custody.

Joint Custody Child Support Calculator Utah

Child support is a series of routine payments that a mom and dad pays in order to financially support and look after his/her child. In cases where one mom and dad has full custody of the child, the other parent is generally purchased to pay child support to the custodial parent. The amount of child support that is awarded is often based on a specific formula that is assigned by a state statute. In joint custody cases, the moms and dad with the higher earnings may be bought to pay child support to the parent with lower income. The amount of child support that a celebration needs to pay depends on the state law where the child support order is provided. Use a Utah Joint Custody Child Support Calculator here.

Hands Typing In The Dark

What is Catfishing?

Whenever codfish are transported, they stop moving, and their flesh gets soft, so it’s not as good when they arrive at their destination. Because of this, merchants began adding catfish inside the tank, because this kept the codfish swimming.

“Catfishing” happens when someone claims to be a different individual by taking another person’s photo or other characteristics so as to deceive the victim into getting involved in a romantic connection with that person. In most situations, the person claiming to be a different individual utilizes social network profiles with the other person’s photos and various other details. The connection may be extended with telephone calls, social media contact and many other non-physical types of correspondence in order to prevent the target from learning that the person who is contacting them is not the same as the person the individual is portraying.

The term originates from a 2010 documentary about New Yorker Nev Schulman finding a woman named Megan that he met online. Despite the fact that they talked on the telephone, texted, and swapped numerous messages, when he met her face to face, she ended up being an entirely different person from how she had presented herself online. She had actually gone so far as to invent a network of social media accounts to support the phony persona, including a fictitious sister, parents, and friends.

MTV turned the film into a TV series in which Schulman assists people in figuring out if they too are being tricked by people they have met online. It’s worth noting that when he thought up the term “catfish,” Schulman didn’t necessarily imply it derogatorily; it was just a reference to that previously mentioned fact that they are added to tanks to try to keep other fish moving. “Catfish keep us on our toes,” Schulman said. “Life without them would be less interesting.”

Indicators of Being Catfished

Some dead giveaways of catfishing may include the following:

  • Users who are exceedingly reluctant about sending pictures of themselves. Being careful is always a good idea but at a certain point, that behavior should raise skepticism.
  • Somebody has exchanged pictures yet claims to not possess a webcam. It’s very easy to download photos of anonymous people online. If the other person makes excessive reasons why they cannot video chat with you, that could be a sign that they might be scamming you.
  • People that have a new Facebook account with merely a couple of people identified as friends.

While none of these actions are guarantees that the person is catfishing, they should still be considered skeptically. This is particularly true if two or more are present. When you communicate online, just be aware of warning signs that you experience. You can never be too safe on the web.

What to Do if You Suspect You’ve Been Catfished

Since this term and series of events are new to the country, there are not specific statutes that account for catfishing. Nevertheless, current state or federal regulations might provide a grounds when it comes to recovery. Possible legal theories that catfishing may relate might include fraud, intended infliction of psychological distress, misappropriation of likeness, character assassination, stalking, and harassment. Since every claim is different and depends on state laws that may necessitate a proving of several aspects, an injured party might want to talk about his or her case and circumstances with a legal professional.

The offices of Schmidt & Gladstone have more than 18 years of experience in numerous areas of the law. Contact our team today for a free 30-minute consultation to see if we can help.


10 Dumbest Laws in Utah

The state’s criminal, judicial and traffic codes are published online for easy access, but if you’re not used to sifting through legal jargon, they’re not very helpful. Luckily, we do the sifting for you. And in the process, we’ve come across some pretty bizarre laws. We decided to share some of the most unnecessary, oddly specific, and archaic. The following acts are all illegal or otherwise prohibited in the state of Utah:

1. Causing a Catastrophe

Under Utah criminal code 76.6.105, causing a catastrophe by use of fire, flood or avalanche is a first-degree felony. This law also covers explosions and building collapses via weapon of mass destruction, but we’re not sure why it was necessary to include acts of God in the list of punishable offenses. Guilty parties must also reimburse property owners for any damage caused by said catastrophe.

2. Riding a Bike without Hands

According to traffic code 41.6a.1112, you have to keep at least one hand on the handlebars while riding a bicycle or moped. If you’re thinking about carrying a package in your free hand, think again: that’s also illegal. In neighborhoods with bored cops, we recommend installing a basket… just in case a parcel or package ends up in your possession.

3. Offering Specials in Bars

There are no after-work BOGO margaritas for Utah office workers. It’s illegal for any bar to discount a drink on certain days of the week, which means we never get the pleasure of weekday specials, Ladies’ Nights or dollar draft days.

4. Advertising an Auction with Music

We’ve seen sign flippers and street musicians, but apparently it’s illegal to combine the two in a very specific way in Salt Lake City. If you’re holding an auction in the state capital, don’t advertise it by standing on a public street and playing a musical instrument such as a flute or drum. This violates City Code 5.16.310, and it could result in losing your auctioneer’s license. Incidentally, the following “noisy acclamations” are also prohibited: blowing whistles, ringing bells, and anything else that might cause a crowd to gather.

5. Stepping on the Cracks

Someone needs to tell the state of Utah that the old childhood rhyme isn’t actually true: stepping on a sidewalk crack won’t break anyone’s back. It will turn you into a felon, though, if the sidewalk happens to stretch alongside a state highway.

6. Skipping Premarital Counseling

Well, this one isn’t quite so cut-and-dried, but we still think it’s a little weird. In certain Utah counties, marriage counseling is a required part of any marriage license approval, but the local government can’t charge more than $10 in additional fees. This might seem like no big deal, but according to Utah code 30.1.39, it’s a misdemeanor to thwart this law. That doesn’t just mean you can’t forge your counseling requirements. It also means you can’t get married anywhere else! If you find out that your local government requires premarital counseling, and then you decide to skip the hassle and head to the next county over, you’ll be committing a misdemeanor across county lines.

7. Condoning Biting During a Boxing Match

Unless Mike Tyson is planning to move here, we’re not sure why this law was necessary. According to Code 76.9.705, no one can throw an “ultimate fighting match” that allows biting. Luckily for event organizers, the following are on the list of allowed actvities: boxing, wrestling and kicking.

8. Whaling

We didn’t think it needed to be said, either. But the Marine Mammal Protection Act bans commercial whaling in Utah’s lakes or rivers.

9. Selling Alcohol During an Emergency… If Someone Tells You Not To

We’ve heard rumors about Utah’s alcohol ban during emergencies, but it’s not quite so general. Under 32B.4.407, if the governor declares a state of emergency and a local government official tells you not to sell alcohol, you have to listen.

10. Marrying Your Cousin… Until You’re 65

That’s right! Utah actually makes an incest exception for first cousins who are both at least 65 years old. It’s actually legal up to a decade earlier, but between the ages of 55 and 65, a district court has to certify that one or both parties is infertile.

In order to help our clients navigate Utah’s court system, we have to know its codes backwards and forwards. With laws like these on the books, we won’t get bored any time soon.

These days you can research anything on the Internet, from crocheting a hat to solving a quadratic equation. With the enormous amount of information available online, many people have turned to do-it-yourself remedies instead of hiring professionals. People are doing this with their health, decorating, and even divorce. Many people are choosing to represent themselves in divorce proceedings, usually after researching the undertaking online or talking to a divorced friend, family member, or acquaintance. Unfortunately, many who decide to handle this proceeding alone quickly become overwhelmed with the legal aspects of divorce. Those who chose to represent themselves are disadvantaged in that they are often unaware of the legal jargon associated with divorce, unprepared to handle aggressive lawyers, and uninformed on how to deal with issues that are connected with the divorce (like child custody). Fortunately, DIYers can hire lawyers at several stages of their divorce, allowing them to remedy their situation with professional advice and representation.

Those who have decided to represent themselves but have become overwhelmed sometimes think that it is too late for them to hire a divorce attorney. In most cases, however, this is untrue. There are many steps in a divorce and many places where an attorney can be hired. If you are going to be petitioning for divorce, the best time in the process to hire an attorney is before starting any of the steps in the divorce proceeding. At this time, the divorce attorney can advise you on the upcoming process and help you fill out the petition for divorce. If you are the respondent, not the petitioner, the best time to hire a divorce attorney is when you are served the petition of divorce. In both of these situations, hiring an attorney as early as feasible is a great decision that will help you get the best service possible.

After the petition is filed and the respondent has responded, there is a mandatory waiting period. In Utah, this waiting period is 90 days, but it can vary state-to-state. At this point, contested issues will be handled in mediation. This is also a great time to hire an attorney. Help through the mediation process is invaluable because emotions can run high and discussions can get confusing. After mediation, there will be pre-trial steps like child custody evaluations and conferences. Again, these are great places to hire an attorney. Having a lawyer to guide you through these discussions is helpful. Following the pre-trial steps, the case will go to court and a divorce decree will be issued, not issued, or the trial will be continued.

At any of these steps along the way, you can hire a divorce attorney. Even when the divorce decree has been issued, you can file an appeal within 30 days and hire an attorney for that process. The only time in the divorce proceeding when it is too late to hire an attorney is 30 days after the divorce decree. Thus, even adamant do-it-yourself-ers can get professional legal help at any step, even if they began the divorce proceedings representing themselves.

In troubled times such as the global economic crisis of the early twenty-first century, every government is doing whatever they can to make a profit and save themselves from the worst situation. In such a time, decisions like legalizing marijuana are tough but necessary. Its potential legalization is focused solely on the profits it will bring to the economy. But we must also get an insight into the effect it would have on other factors, especially crime rates of different states.

Marijuana is used in limited quantities for medical purposes. When given to cancer patients it helps renew their appetite, cure insomnia, reduce anxiety and thus help relieve chronic pain. All these medical benefits, especially to ease the troubles of cancer seem worth the trouble. Unlike most other drugs, medical marijuana is not physically addictive, although it can have a high psychological impact.

It is important to understand the effect that marijuana legalization would have on all factors of the social structure:

1.     Less incentive for criminal behaviour:

Often illegal drugs act as a motivation for committing crimes. If marijuana is legalized it would mean that people have one less thing to gain from the crimes they commit like robbery, arson, embezzlement, small thefts or public brawls. Even illegal drug trading and illegal drug mafia would be discouraged.

2.     Lower prices:

Illegality causes prices of Marijuana to steep higher. If made legal, drug cost would reduce dramatically, thus taking away the ‘charm’ from the drug. People often think that things that come at a high price are worth the trouble. On the other hand, if drug rates go down, it will be easily available to the common people, especially young kids. This would mean pushing youngsters into a circle of drug use and abuse. It could lead to irrational behaviour, violent instincts, and increase in petty or serious crimes.

3.     Drug and drive:

Now the police have to deal with alcohol abuse on a regular basis, but with the legalization of Marijuana their problems might get multiplied. People might not be held for illegal possession, but what they do under the influence of  Marijuana could be unimaginable.

4.     Focus on real crimes:

Police might be freed from checking everyone for possession of Marijuana, instead they can focus on the more serious crimes inflicting the society. It will also free people’s minds towards trying pot once in their lives and it will not be a big deal anymore.

It would be wiser to have people use Marijuana under a controlled environment, but that would mean more vigilance from the police. Even with that kind of vigilance, it will not have to be to the extent that they are vigilant currently. The profit that can be made from the legalization would ensure more taxes for the state and federal government. This will, in turn, benefit the average tax paying citizen and can be used to strengthen the judicial and security system for the society, thus ensuring that any kind of crime is discouraged.



Defining the union of same-sex couples and how the laws are letting these people down.