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Salt Lake City Personal Injury Law Blog

Infidelity can affect the outcome of a Utah divorce

Many people would consider one of the biggest betrayals in any marriage to be infidelity. Adultery often destroys not only the marriage, but the family as well, and one party often files for divorce. Most divorces in Utah are considered to be due to irreconcilable differences, but the fact that one spouse broke the couple's wedding vows can still affect the outcome of the proceedings.

You may list infidelity as a grounds for divorce when you file. However, doing so puts a burden on you to prove that your spouse cheated on you in order to obtain a divorce. This is why many attorneys will recommend listing irreconcilable differences as the cause for your divorce. However, that does not mean that the fact that your spouse committed adultery will not play a factor in your divorce.

FedEx driver arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol

Utah employers frown on drinking on-the-job -- especially if a person's job involves driving. In addition to possibly facing criminal charges, the mere accusation of driving under the influence of alcohol can put an individual's livelihood in jeopardy. It is usually critical to enlist the assistance of criminal defense counsel as soon as possible.

It is not yet known whether a Utah driver for Federal Express has retained defense counsel after a single vehicle accident in which he was involved recently. Preliminary reports indicate that he lost control of the FedEx truck he was driving as he attempted to make a turn. The truck then crossed over into the oncoming lane of traffic and flipped onto its side in a creek on the left side of the road.

Do you have to submit to a breath test during a DUI stop?

Here in Utah, prosecutors have two options in their attempts to secure a conviction for driving under the influence. The first is to provide the court with conclusive proof that a driver's blood alcohol level was above the state's legal limit of .08. Failing that, a DUI conviction could only be obtained by proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was unable to operate his or her vehicle safely.

Proving that someone was not able to drive safely is difficult, which is why law enforcement officials rely on breath and blood tests to prove intoxication. During a traffic stop, officers will most likely not warn you that you are not required to submit to a portable breath test or field sobriety tests -- especially if you have not been placed under arrest. You are also not required to speak to the officer or officers.

Jeremy Renner's divorce is taking unexpected turns

Utah fans of Jeremy Renner, whose claim to fame includes the hit movies "The Avengers" and "Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol," might be aware that he and his wife of 10 months are parting ways. The couple has a prenuptial agreement, but Sonni Pacheco, a model who recently started in "The Wingman," asserts in court documents that it is fraudulent. This is only the beginning of the twists and turns that could make their divorce contentious.

A primary reason that couples execute prenuptial agreements is to avoid costly and contentious court battles. If Renner and Pacheco's prenup is rendered null and void by a court, the parties could find themselves facing a long battle. Pacheco is acting as if the court has already ruled.

Utah man accused of DUI-related death will stand trial

After an alleged domestic confrontation, a Utah man drove away from the situation. Allegedly, he sped up to nearly 60 mph as he approached an intersection. Police say that when he sped through the intersection against a red light, he hit another vehicle, which began a chain reaction accident that ultimately involved nine vehicles. That alleged DUI accident led the death of a 43-year-old mother and the critical injury of her 16-year-old daughter. Seven others in the other vehicles suffered minor injuries.

When police interviewed the man at the hospital, they smelled what was believed to be alcohol on his person and noted he had bloodshot eyes. At the scene, officers reportedly observed that he was slurring his speech. No further information regarding his claimed intoxication was provided.

Prenups are insurance policies against a contentious divorce

Admittedly, prenuptial agreements are not typically considered romantic. However, they do serve a practical purpose in a time when divorce rates are high and people are getting married later in life. Taking the time to give each other peace of mind that, if something does goes wrong, a contentious Utah divorce can be avoided.

Many newly engaged couples are often already established in their careers, have acquired their own assets and may even have inheritances to protect. Delineating each party's separate assets -- and debts -- prior to marriage can help avoid any confusion later if the marriage ends. In addition, how any marital assets and debts will be divided can also be determined. Of course, prenuptial agreements can contain any provisions the couples desire, so long as they are not against public police or in violation of current laws.

Woman accused of DUI petitions court for license reinstatement

On Oct. 13, a woman school bus driver was allegedly driving under the influence while transporting students and parents acting as chaperons on a field trip ("DUI suspected by school bus driver in Utah," Oct. 20, 2014). She was accused of DUI, and her driver's license was suspended. Now, through her criminal defense counsel, she is petitioning the court to reinstate her driver's license.

According to documents filed with the court, the 39-year-old woman was suffering from a migraine that day. It was the pain of her migraine, along with numerous radio calls, that led to her erratic driving, not the consumption of alcohol or drugs. The day following her arrest, the woman went to the doctor and was given a shot for her migraine.

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.

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