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Salt Lake City Personal Injury Law Blog

Tax issues when splitting retirement accounts in a Utah divorce

The thoughts of Utah couples who are ending their marriages often turn to the division of their property. What they need to know is that there is more to consider than just who will receive which assets in the divorce. Many people fail to take the time to look at the tax implications associated with the division of certain assets.

For example, nearly every retirement account has tax consequences for early withdrawals. Even so, the marital portion of these accounts are often divided in a divorce. Therefore, the method in which the other party's portion of the account is transferred needs to be considered.

Most DUI or DWI defenses begin with the traffic stop

The first contact that many drivers who are suspected of being impaired behind the wheel have with Utah law enforcement officials is through a traffic stop. Once an officer has pulled you over, he or she will automatically begin assessing you to determine whether you are impaired. However, a mere suspicion is not necessarily enough to arrest you for DUI or DWI.

If an officer did not have sufficient probable cause to make the traffic stop, the charges might not stand up to the scrutiny of ta criminal court. This is why every defense to charges in these circumstances typically begins with the evaluation of the traffic stop itself. Many officers develop a sixth sense regarding drivers with experience, but that suspicion is not enough to substantiate a traffic stop.

Divorce affects insurance along with every other financial issue

Utah residents who are ending their marriages are often told that their financial lives will be changed forever, but they might not realize exactly what that means. One of the areas that some people might neglect to consider during the divorce process is insurance. This includes life, health and car insurance, among others.

While many Utah couples focus on the division of their marital estate, they might neglect to pay close attention to how the divorce will affect their insurance. For instance, many people take advantage of health insurance coverage offered by their spouse's employer. What they might not realize is that they will most likely no longer be eligible to use it after the divorce.

Some ways spouses attempt to hide assets in a divorce

When it looks like a Utah marriage is going to end, some people decide that they do not want to have to share certain assets with their spouses. They may begin a campaign to convert and hide assets in an attempt to keep them from being part of the marital estate. If this is the case in your divorce, finding those assets will become a priority.

There are numerous ways that spouses attempt to hide assets. One is to use the social security number of one of the children in order to open a bank account into which money can be siphoned, and you might not ever notice. Purchasing collector's items such as art or antiques is often used as a way to hide other assets. If your spouse is suddenly purchasing items of this nature, it could be a red flag.

Utah man is facing charges for DUI after single-vehicle accident

When a Utah resident is involved in a single-car accident, one of the questions that most law enforcement officials ask is whether the driver was impaired. As part of the investigation into the crash, field sobriety tests could be administered if the driver is not seriously injured. If the individual appears to fail those tests, he or she could end up facing charges for DUI.

One Utah man recently ended up in jail on suspicion of driving under the influence after he lost control of his pickup truck. When he did, it flipped over. When officers arrived at the scene, they claim to have reason to believe that the man was impaired. Reports indicate that he failed a field sobriety test, which is why he was taken into custody.

Which parent can claim the children on taxes after a divorce?

The simple answer to this question is that the Utah parent who is awarded primary physical custody, referred to as the custodial parent, has the right to claim the children on his or her tax returns. However, an exception to this rule allows the non-custodial parent to claim one or more of the children on his or her tax returns after the divorce. Certain requirements must be met in order for this to occur.

First, the parties must be divorced by Dec. 31 or living apart for the latter half of the year. The child must be in the custody of one or both parents for at least six months of the year. In addition, more than half of the child's financial support must come from one or both parents.

Is stopping at DUI checkpoints legally required?

Many law enforcement agencies throughout the country use checkpoints in an attempt to deter drivers from getting behind the wheel of their vehicles after drinking. The question becomes whether Utah drivers are legally required to stop at DUI checkpoints. As is the case with other legal issues, the answer is complicated. 

The first question that needs to be answered is whether these checkpoints are even legal in Utah. The simple answer is that they have been legal since 1992. However, law enforcement agencies cannot simply set up such a checkpoint without first adhering to certain parameters. First, a court order must be obtained to conduct such an operation.

Choosing between mediation and litigation in a divorce

In the first few days or even weeks after announcing the intention to end a marriage, few Utah residents would believe that they have a choice. The truth is that litigation is costly, time consuming and an emotional drain on everyone involved. However, for some people, there is not enough middle ground to even consider alternatives such as divorce mediation or a collaborative divorce. In those cases, the best that can be hoped for is that there are at least a few issues that can be resolved without involving the court.

A traditional courtroom setting immediately puts the parties at odds, and they often stay that way because it can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind that the adversarial process can create. In many cases, neither party walks away satisfied with the outcome. Mediation or collaborative divorce is often less expensive than litigation. In addition, they generally allow a friendlier atmosphere for the parties to resolve their issues.

A prenup lets couples take care of asset division in advance

No Utah couple gets engaged to be married believing the marriage will end in divorce, but that does not mean that the parties cannot be prepared for the eventuality by negotiating and executing a prenuptial agreement. Asset division is often the most contentious part of any divorce proceeding. Taking care of this part of the process ahead of time will save the parties both time and money if they later decide to divorce.

Nearly every Utah couple could benefit from a prenuptial agreement, but there are some circumstances under which a prenup could be considered a necessity. People who have children from prior relationships might wish to ensure that assets are set aside for them in the event of their own demise. Anyone who owns a business, or has interests in one or more businesses, would benefit from a prenup to ensure that those interests remain with the business. If a party is expecting to receive an inheritance, those assets can be protected as well.

Man arrested for driving under the influence of drugs

People in a city here in Utah began making calls to the local police department after witnessing a man acting strangely. By the time police located the vehicle in question, it had smashed into the garage of a home in the area. The driver was taken into custody for driving under the influence of drugs, possession of a controlled substance and criminal mischief, along with fleeing the scene of a crash. 

The first calls to 911 were because witnesses supposedly saw the accused man sitting on a motorcycle while pretending to ride it. He is then accused of getting into his car and driving away and hitting "a few" cars before ramming through the garage door of a home, which pushed the vehicle that was already in it into the home itself. He also supposedly used a guitar to break some car windows.

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