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Salt Lake City Personal Injury Law Blog

Planning to file for divorce? Get prepared before filing

Whether Utah residents decide to end their marriages, have a suspicion that their spouses want to do so or are completely surprised by the request, certain steps should be taken before moving forward. One of the central issues in nearly every divorce is finances. Without the appropriate preparation, any attempt to divide the marital property fairly and equitably could be in vain.

As the saying goes, "knowledge is power." Understanding the family's complete financial picture often creates an advantage at the negotiation table or in court. This requires gathering as much documentation as possible on the assets and liabilities a Utah couple shares. Even those assets and liabilities that may be considered separate property need to be identified.

VIDEO: Why is a trial needed in family law? | Kristopher K. Greenwood & Associates

Many divorces settle before going to trial. Yet that doesn't mean that you should be scared of going to court. If the parties in a divorce are unable to resolve one or more issues, a trial is a time-tested way of finalizing the proceeding. 

Shauna Lake suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol

Many Salt Lake City residents are familiar with local news anchor Shauna Lake. As she drove Interstate 215 early one Wednesday morning, a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol noticed a vehicle driving slower than the posted speed limit in the inside lane of the highway, which is often commonly referred to as the fast lane. The trooper initiated a traffic stop. After speaking with Lake, the trooper suspected her of driving under the influence of alcohol.

The trooper claimed to smell alcohol coming from the inside of the vehicle and that Lake's eyes were supposedly bloodshot. The trooper also noticed a plastic cup and asked Lake what was in it. She told the trooper it was empty and passed it out the window. The trooper's report indicates that the inside of the cup smelled of alcohol. 

Your business can have a future, even if your marriage doesn't

Business owners often invest a great deal of time and money into building a successful enterprise. You might have started your business at an early age, and at the time, it may have been small, but perhaps now it has flourished financially. You are likely extremely proud and relieved that all your effort has paid off, but perhaps you haven't given thought to what might happen to it in the event of a divorce.

If you are facing the end of your marriage, chances are you might worry about how the process will impact this crucial asset. You will probably want to secure the future of your enterprise, but you could be in need of guidance and assistance in the process.

Minimizing the impact of a divorce on retirement funds

After working for several years to build a retirement account, ending a marriage could result in a significant loss of funds. There could be ways to reduce the impact of those losses during the divorce process. Utah couples who are concerned about making up for the loss of a portion of their retirement accounts might benefit from the information below.

First, even though it causes the reduction of your account, the parties need to carry out the provisions of their divorce settlements. In order to avoid costly tax ramifications when dividing an account, the parties more than likely secured a Qualified Domestic Relations Order from the court. With this order, the IRS will not impose the usual tax penalties associated with taking money out of an account. While dealing with any agreed to transfers, each party should also review the respective beneficiary designations and change them if needed.

Prom night party gone wrong: Teen faces DUI and other charges

For most Utah teens, prom night is supposed to be about partying and ending the school year on a high note. Unfortunately, one teen's prom night partying resulted in a devastating crash that killed two passengers, injured two others and caused injury to the driver as well. The now 18-year-old driver faces numerous charges, including DUI, automobile homicide and possession of alcohol by a minor, among others.

In the early morning hours of March 5, the driver and his four passengers were traveling south when police say the driver took a curve too fast. The vehicle then flipped several times before finally coming to rest. During the crash, three of the passengers were thrown out of the vehicle. Two of them died. The third survived, but remained in critical condition at last report after being flown from the scene.

Avoid these mistakes when getting a divorce

No two families are the same, so the challenges facing each family when a marriage ends are unique. However, there are some commonalities among most divorces, whether here in Utah or elsewhere. People also make some common mistakes during the divorce process that could ultimately cost them dearly.

First, it is not always a good idea to immediately move out of the marital home. Doing so could cause repercussions when it comes to dividing assets and negotiating a child custody agreement. Consider the options carefully before making any decisions. Of course, in some situations, moving out is the only safe and logical choice, but if the option is available, take time to think it through.

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.

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