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Salt Lake City Personal Injury Law Blog

Protecting your child in a complex child custody case

The news is filled with stories of couples who successfully co-parent their children. Those stories make it seem as though the days of going to court should be behind parents, including those here in Utah, in favor of coming to an amicable child custody arrangement on their own. While that often serves the best interests of the children in many cases, there are instances where going to court is the only way to protect a child and his or her best interests.

Many Utah parents would go to the ends of the Earth to protect their children. In some cases, that means keeping them safe from the other parent. Far too many children suffer abuse at the hands of a parent who was supposed to love and protect them. If you are trying to protect your child from an abusive parent, you would benefit from compassionate and aggressive representation. An attorney who regularly works with these cases could also help you find the counseling and other assistance that you and your child need.

Important information if you drive through Utah on spring break

If you plan to travel Utah roadways during spring break, you'll want to know about this state's traffic laws and regulations. In fact, familiarizing yourself with traffic laws in every destination location you'll encounter typically makes for a good driving habit. Unfortunately, police officers interrupt many college student vacations when they pull drivers over and charge them with drunk driving. Going to jail obviously isn't on your spring break itinerary. Thankfully, ways to avoid the problem exist.

The easiest way to prevent trouble with the law while you and your friends enjoy time away from your studies obviously includes abstaining from alcohol if you plan to drive. However, that might not keep you safe from arrest. Surprisingly, many people currently facing drunk driving charges throughout the nation never consumed a single alcoholic beverage before getting behind their wheels. This is often due to the fact that other things (such as prescription medications and many over-the-counter cough syrups, for instance) may cause positive Breathalyzer test results due to their ingredients.

Weber County gives new DUI program a test drive

Just being arrested for driving under the influence could cost some people their driver's licenses. This jeopardizes their ability to work and take care of their families. Perhaps a new DUI program that Weber County is taking for a test drive will help rectify this problem.

Put simply, the program allows someone convicted of DUI to stay out of jail and keep his or her driver's license. The judge presiding over the case decides whether an individual qualifies. That person is required to take a breath test twice a day, every day (including Saturdays and Sundays), and any positive test result reinstates the original sentence since this option comes with a zero tolerance policy. He or she must remain alcohol free 24-hours a day, seven days a week for the duration of the program.

Utah doesn't recognize pets as family in a divorce

After taking care of a pet, playing with it and loving it, Utah residents treat them like family. If a couple decides to divorce, the fate of the family pet is uncertain. Under current law, the courts consider pets to be property, just as they would a couch or desk.

Most people these days take offense to that characterization. Even if a couple has trouble getting along in the midst of such a challenging time, they might want to put aside their differences long enough to figure out how to deal with their pet. If they leave the animal's fate to the court, one party would more than likely be awarded it without consideration for the relationship the other party developed.

Ignition interlock devices are an alternative to a DUI conviction

Mothers Against Drunk Drivers says that ignition interlock devices save lives. Yes, they keep impaired Utah residents from driving drunk, but they save lives in another way. Many individuals charged with DUI are spared the negative effects of a conviction by opting to use an ignition interlock device.

According to MADD, somewhere around 2,500 people throughout Utah who use the devices were stopped before they drove drunk. The device is a small breath-testing machine that prevents the car from starting if any alcohol is detected on the driver's breath. Nationwide, approximately 348,727 attempts to drink and drive were thwarted by one of these devices between Dec. 2015 and Dec. 2016. Within the last 10 years, estimates put the number of attempts to drive while impaired that were stopped by the devices at 2.4 million.

Will Scarlett Johansson be awarded custody in her divorce?

Despite their money and fame, many celebrities deal with the same issues as Utah parents when it comes to their children and the end of their marriages. On the other hand, they also have issues that most parents never face. For example, movie star Scarlett Johansson recently filed for divorce from her husband, Romain Dauriac, and where their daughter will live could be the central issue.

Court filings indicate that Johansson asked the court for joint custody, but requested that the couple's daughter live with her. Dauriac claims that her filing was a "preemptive strike," and he wants the couple's daughter to live with him overseas. Reports indicate that the couple signed a prenuptial agreement, but it did not address issues relating to their daughter such as custody and child support.

Be sure to protect your assets in a high net worth divorce

You've worked hard for most of your life to get to where you are today. Your successful career is the result of your efforts, and you've earned the comfortable lifestyle you enjoy.

If you are heading toward a divorce, you might have concerns about what's going to happen to that lifestyle. Perhaps you're uncertain what you're going to lose when the marital assets are divided. Here is a quick look at what happens when splitting property during a divorce in Utah.

Major change is coming to Utah's DUI laws

The Governor of Utah is set to sign a bill that recently made its way through the state's legislature. The proposed law lowers the state's legal blood alcohol concentration limit to .05 from its current level of .08. If signed by Gov. Herbert, the new DUI law would go into effect on Dec. 30, 2018. 

If signed, the law will have a significant impact on drivers. A man weighing approximately 150 pounds would reach a BAC of .05 after two regular-sized beers. A woman weighing approximately 120 pounds would be considered legally drunk after just one drink. The timing of the law's implementation is deliberate. It would take effect right before New Year's Eve celebrations.

Assets in divorce: Now you see them; now you don't?

Provo, West Valley City and other Utah regions pretty much follow the rest of the nation when it comes to divorce. Even highly successful business people (like you, perhaps) go through the process. In fact, many currently face various challenges surrounding issues such as child custody and the protection of assets. The latter can be a major obstacle, especially if you suspect your soon-to-be former spouse of criminal behavior.

If you're convinced that portions of the marital assets went missing, you might find yourself in a situation familiar to many other spouses: your spouse intends to hide assets from you.

Utah couples can put their children first in a divorce

Being a parent is often a challenging job under the best of circumstances. When a couple decides to divorce, parenting can become even more of a challenge. The first challenge many Utah couples face is how to put their children first through all of the changes that occur during and after the process.

First, timing is everything. Parents need to determine the best time of year to go through the process, depending on how it might affect the children. For some couples, this means taking care of the details during the school year in order to keep the majority of the process out of the sight of the children. Other couples find it easier to go through the process during the summer when they can spend more time with the children and make any necessary changes when it does not directly affect the children's daily school schedules.

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