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Salt Lake City Personal Injury Law Blog

Get a clear financial picture before negotiating in a divorce

Other than custody of a couple's children, finances are often the most important aspect of any Utah divorce. The division of a couple's assets and debts takes up a significant amount of time in a divorce. This is usually because both parties are attempting to ensure the stability of their financial futures now that their marriage is over. However, without a clear picture of family finances, negotiating a fair and equitable settlement may not be possible.

Divorce preparations need to begin with the gathering of information on a couple's assets and liabilities. Deeds, mortgage documents and account statements, along with tax returns for at least the last five years, will help paint a financial picture. It is also important to accurately gather information concerning a couple's debts, as they too will be divided.

Utah man faces charges for driving under the influence of alcohol

The Salt Lake City Justice Court will reportedly consider the case of a 76-year-old man who drove onto the Legacy Bridge and crashed his car. He is facing charges for driving under the influence of alcohol in connection with the incident. The man, who the authorities claim appeared confused, was said to be attempting to find where a lecture was taking place.

Authorities reported that the man cooperated with them. He was given two separate breath tests. The initial test showed his blood alcohol content to be .099. A second test administered by U Police with what was called the "official" intoxilizer test indicated his BAC of .102.

Divorce matters are different for older Utah residents

Retirement accounts, Social Security and health insurance are matters with which many older Utah residents are concerned. When the parties are over the age of 50 and getting divorced, these issues often take center stage. This makes divorce matters for these so-called "gray" couples different from young couples who may not have as difficult a time rebuilding finances after a divorce.

During the marriage, couples often work together to build retirement accounts that would support their lifestyle later in life. When a couple divorces, those pooled resources are often split, which can significantly reduce a nest egg. A divorce decree is often not enough to effect the division of a retirement account. It is important to provide for a Qualified Domestic Relations Order for the transfer of funds and to avoid any taxes and penalties ordinarily incurred.

Driver in DUI-related crash will spend time in prison

On Jan. 24 of 2014, a tragic accident affected the lives of numerous people and their families. Recently, the driver responsible for the DUI-related crash was sentenced to spend up to 15 years in a Utah prison. In exchange for a plea of guilty in September to one count of vehicular homicide, the other charges against him were dropped in accordance with a plea agreement reached with prosecutors. Even so, the man agreed to pay restitution to the other victims who survived the accident.

The crash occurred when the man failed to stop at a red traffic signal. His vehicle was going approximately 65 mph at the time that it slammed into a second vehicle. The impact forced that vehicle into the one in front of it. Ultimately, there were six vehicles involved in the crash; a 3-year-old died and nine other people were injured.

What to do and what not to do when stopped for DUI

A conviction for driving under the influence here in Utah can cost you the loss of your driver's license, up to 180 days in jail and thousands in fines. For this reason, the events surrounding your arrest on suspicion of DUI are critical. Therefore, there are some things that you should and should not do if you are pulled over for a traffic stop.

Being polite and cooperative with the officer will serve you better than trying to be funny or argumentative. Provide the officer with your driver's license, proof of insurance and the registration for your vehicle. However, when asked to participate in field sobriety tests or a breath test, you would be wise to politely decline.

33 people arrested for DUI on Halloween

Utah residents may not be aware of statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that Halloween is a dangerous holiday for motorists. The numbers indicate that more people die in DUI-related crashes on this holiday than die in the same type of crashes on New Year's Eve. If Halloween is on a Friday or Saturday, those numbers rise by as much as 40 percent.

These statistics may be what prompted the Utah Highway Patrol to assign an additional 160 troopers on the roads on Halloween. Their primary focus was to be on the lookout for drivers they suspected were impaired. The UHP says this was done in order to ensure that partygoers and families get home safely.

Making a Utah divorce less contentious

When couples in Utah decide to end their marriages, emotions are often running high. This can create a perfect storm for the divorce to end up in a contentious court battle. However, there are things that couples can do to avoid this time-consuming and expensive option.

The first way is to avoid having to divide property when the marriage is over. If a couple is not yet married, a prenuptial agreement can be negotiated and executed. This allows the parties to make decisions regarding separate property, marital property and other issues at a time when they are getting along and happy. These agreements seem to be gaining popularity as people realize that they are not just for the rich and famous.

DUI suspected by school bus driver in Utah

Recently, some students and parents from various schools in Utah were on a field trip. A school bus driver was assigned to transport the group. During the trip, something caused the 39-year-old driver to begin driving in a manner characterized as "erratic," which led to her subsequent arrest on suspicion of DUI.

One concerned parent called 911 from on the bus, indicating that she was afraid for the safety of the passengers. During that same time, another driver on the road also contacted authorities regarding the bus.  Police were dispatched to pull over the vehicle. Troopers with the Utah Highway Patrol on the scene suspected that the driver might have taken prescription medication found in her belongings. 

Child custody battle that crosses state lines put on hold

Utah readers may be aware that the fate of a 9-year-old girl hangs in the balance while two families await the decision of an appeals court in the state she knew as home from the time she was an infant until January of this year. The child custody battle began when her father was released from prison. Now, her adoptive family hopes they will get to see her again.

While the girl's biological father was in prison, he was stripped of his parental rights. At that time, the foster family who took her in as an infant adopted her. When the man was released after being given a reduced sentence, he wanted his daughter back. The adoption was nullified, and the girl was sent out-of-state to live with her father.

Police suspect DUI in death of bicycle rider in Utah

On a recent night at the end of September, a BMX racer from Utah was out for a bicycle ride. At some point, he was struck from behind by a car and died. The driver of that car was taken into custody on suspicion of DUI.

Reports indicate that the bicycle rider initially survived the crash and was taken to a hospital in the area. He suffered trauma to his back, neck and head. Despite the efforts of medical personnel, he recently died.

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