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Custody Battles

Custody Battles

One thing we have done a lot of are custody battles.  They can be some of the most difficult cases to handle. It is highly emotional and probably one of the hardest thing someone will do is go through a contested battle for custody of their children. One of the things that makes these types of cases so hard is that the law gives lists of factors in the code, but leaves it to a judge to determine which factor is most relevant.  I had a case recently where the judge gave custody to the mom because she had taken the child with her on vacation and the father had not after the parties had separated.

Best Interest of the Child

The governing principle in the law is “best interest” of the child.  Utah law can be found here: Utah Custody Factors.  You can click this link if you want.  It basically comes down to what a judge thinks is best taking these factors into play.  We have been to court a number of times and had trials and hearings on these types of cases and feel we can predict with a reasonable degree of certainty what a judge will do, but we have been surprised more than once.

Mediation

Utah has mandatory mediation in divorce cases.  This is the best option to resolve a custody battle.  It allows you to control the outcome and be more creative than a judge would.  Judges tend to follow the law about parent time. Sometimes you can get a judge to follow the optional schedule.  This means that if you want to do 50/50 parent time or something other than what the Utah Legislature has set out as the minimums you better do it at mediation.

Custody Evaluations

If you cannot agree at mediation a lot of judges will order a custody evaluation.  This is done by a mental health professional who has had training and experience is this sort of thing.  They look at these factors to make a recommendation to the court or to hold a second mediation where they present their recommendations to the parties and give them a chance to try and resolve it before court.  Most of the time the judge will do what the custody evaluation suggests.

Call us we can help

If you are in a custody battle.  Call Travis at 435-674-2564  We can help you figure this stressful and important battle out.

Why Should You Hire an Attorney?

Why Should You Hire an Attorney?

There are so many self-help resources available to people online. Some of these online resources even claim to be by attorneys with attorney help and support.   Some are even owned and run by celebrity attorneys. They all claim to be able to save you money on your legal services. Which brings us to our question – Why should you hire an attorney? I believe there are several reasons.

Attorneys have been to law school and passed the Bar Exam

This is a big deal. Quite frankly, someone who believes they can practice law without having gone through the crucible of law school is simply fooling themselves. I know a lot of attorneys will tell you that they didn’t learn how to practice law in law school, and that’s correct, law school trains the mind to think in a legal way. It is grueling and competitive. To survive law school you need brains, focus, and a great work ethic.

The bar exam is a two-day test. It is the hardest test that I’ve ever taken. One day consists of multiple-choice questions the likes of which would make any cruel teacher or professor squeal with delight due to their complexity and nuance.  One day is a series of essay and practical questions to test the test takers writing and analytical abilities.

We’ve done it dozens if not hundreds of times.

It is extremely likely when you first encounter an attorney it is the first time you have had to deal with a particular legal issue or problem. Attorneys, on the other hand, have as attorneys done multiple cases of a very similar type. Personally I have done thousands of criminal cases, hundreds of divorce cases, dozens of other litigation cases, hundreds of collection cases, as well as assisted in excess of 100 small businesses in their initial set up. I have also drafted more than 100 estate plans.  It would be safe to say that this experience gives me insights that you may not have about these issues.  All of us in our firm have a wide variety of experience that helps us to help you.

Attorneys bring an analytical mind to a problem.

There is a saying that I once heard that goes something like this “When emotion is high intelligence is low”. Being brought into the courts can be a scary, frustrating, and maddening situation. Very often you are hurt, scared, or angry. If these emotions were to be the only thing guiding your decision-making, it is likely that the decisions that you would make concerning your legal matter might not be in your best interest. One of our roles as attorneys is to bring that rational, reasoning mind to a legal problem when our clients are suffering the extremes of emotion. We can even take steps to delay or put off the case until our client is able to be thinking clearly in making their decisions.

Call us! We can help!

If you think any of the above applies to you, and you are currently in a situation that you could use the assistance of an attorney please call and schedule a free consultation at 435-674-2564. Ask for Travis. I will be glad to assist you.

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We make divorce easier

We Make Divorce Easier

We make divorce easier.  Our attorneys understand the process.  They have a combined experience of more than 50 years doing divorce in Southern Utah.  In a way you could say we have been there and done that when it comes to divorces. We have handled divorces where there were almost no assets up to divorces involving CEOs of significant national corporations.

The Process

In Utah the divorce process starts out with someone filing a petition for divorce and serving that on the other party. This petitioner and summons requires an answer. After the answer the court sets some deadlines.  These deadlines involve the exchanges of financial and other information.  Utah requires mediation. Mediation is a wonderful tool to resolve divorces. We work hard to assist our clients in a mediation process. We have learned that if everyone agrees to something in mediation several things take place. First, compliance is higher. Second, the cost are down significantly from what they would be if the matter went to trial. Third, if there are kids involved it generally allows them to move on with their lives sooner rather than later after an extensive court battle between the parents.

We Can Help

Divorce is never easy. We have found that if we can work hard and gather the necessary evidence we are able to assist our clients in getting satisfactory resolutions to their cases. We strongly believe that mediation is the best way to resolve a divorce.

Avoid Expenses

If we are unable to resolve the case at mediation, and there are kids involved, generally the next step is to do a home study or custody evaluation. A home study can cost in the neighborhood of $5000. They take anywhere from 60 to 120 days and involve a deep dive into your personal lives by a therapist.

We are good at Divorce

A lot of folks believe that they can represent themselves in a divorce we have found that simply is not the case. People have paid us more money to clean up a mess they created by attempting to do it themselves than by hiring us to begin with. In summary we make divorce easier.

Click this link to go to our contact page and get in touch with us so we can begin to help you.

Contact Us

Estate Planning – Free Consultation

estate-planning

Trust Choice – Free Consultation

When it comes to doing estate planning it is always critical that you talk with an attorney to make a good trust choice.  We offer a free consultation.   We know that there are a lot of online resources that you can use.  However, if you do not do it correctly and execute documents the way they should be executed your trust could be worthless.

A trust involves at least three types of people which are defined by the role they play in the trust.  The first is the Trustor or Trustors.  This is sometimes referred to as a settlor or grantor.  This is the person who creates the trust.  Then next required person is the Trustee.  This person or persons is who is charged with a fiduciary duty to manage the assets of the trust for the last type of person – the beneficiary or beneficiaries.

Trustees

There are usually two types of Trustees.  Immediate and Successor.  The immediate trustees take initial management responsibility.  The successor trustee takes over once the initial trustee is unable to continue serving.

Beneficiaries

There are usually two types of beneficiaries: income and remainder. Income beneficiaries get the immediate income of the trust and the remainder beneficiaries get what is left once the income beneficiaries have passed away or the term of their rights to income have passed.

Can be the Same

In most cases the trustors, trustees, and beneficiaries are the same people.  A person or married couple will create a trust for their benefit during their lifetime. They will be the initial beneficiaries as well.

Other People

Some trusts provide for other people to be involved such as designating an investment trustee, a distribution trustee or a trust protector.  There are even special asset protection trusts that have some big advantages when done correctly.

There are numerous types of trusts.  Estate planning, trust choice, wills, trusts, probate and other things can be confusing.

CALL NOW 435-674-2564

It is important determine which will best meet your needs. Call us at 435-674-2564 and set up a free consultation with Travis Christiansen and make sure these things are not left to chance.

Or you can contact us at Our Website.

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Utah threatens liquor permit of theater showing ‘Deadpool’

Utah alcohol bosses have filed a complaint and will consider revoking the liquor license of a movie theater it says violated a state obscenity law by serving drinks while screening “Deadpool,” which features simulated sex scenes.

The theater said the law is unconstitutional and has threatened to challenge it in court if the complaint isn’t dropped.

Rocky Anderson, an attorney for Brewvies in Salt Lake City, said Monday the law violates free-speech rights and is so broadly written that even a movie featuring Michelangelo’s nude “David” sculpture would be banned if alcohol was served at a screening.

Utah’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control filed the complaint against Brewvies after three undercover state officers attended a screening of “Deadpool” in February.

Investigators cited a state obscenity law that is generally used to regulate alcohol and nudity at strip clubs, which are required to have dancers wearing G-strings and pasties if the club serves liquor.

The law also bans the showing of any film with sex acts or simulated sex acts, full-frontal nudity or the “caressing” of breasts of buttocks. It only applies to businesses with liquor licenses, so most Utah movie theaters, which are alcohol free, are not cited under the law.

Brewvies, which has been open since 1997, only allows people 21 and older to attend movies and serves food and liquor to customers.

The DABC has scheduled a meeting in May to discuss or possibly settle the complaint before further disciplinary action.

The agency’s Vickie Ashby had no comment Monday and said she could not speak to the next steps in the disciplinary process. She directed questions to the attorney general’s office and State Bureau of Investigation, which ran the undercover investigation.

Dan Burton, a spokesman for the Utah attorney general’s office, declined to comment. The State Bureau of Investigation looked into the matter after the DABC sent it a compliant, according to Marissa Villasenor, a spokeswoman for Utah’s Department of Public Safety, which oversees the investigative bureau.

Anderson said he’ll challenge the law in court unless the complaint is dropped and Utah stops enforcing the obscenity law. Anderson said his client should also be repaid for a $1,627 fine the theater paid five years ago when it was cited under the same law for showing “The Hangover Part II.”

Anderson, who provided a copy of the investigative report to The Associated Press, said the fact that the film can be shown at other theaters nearby makes it clear Utah officials are using liquor laws to limit First Amendment rights of free speech.

Anderson said the Utah law is similar to an Idaho measure that lawmakers repealed this year after a theater sued after its liquor license was threatened for showing “Fifty Shades of Grey” while serving alcohol.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2016/04/19/utah-threatens-liquor-permit-theater-showing-deadpool/

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Federal judge declares Utah polygamy law unconstitutional

Utah’s anti-polygamy law is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled this week. State Attorney General Sean Reyes has already said that he plans to appeal the decision.

In December, U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups said that the state could keep the ban, but would not be allowed to arrest people who violate it by living together in common-law marriage situations. This week Waddoups followed that decision with a ruling that the state had violated the religious, free speech, and due process rights of the plaintiffs. The state also owes them court fees, said Waddoups.

The plaintiffs are Kody Brown, star of the TLC reality series Sister Wives, his legal wife Meri, and three other women — Janelle, Christine, and Robyn — who claim to be three other wives of Brown. The four have 17 children.

The Browns sued the state of Utah in 2011 after the show appeared on the air because their now-public lifestyle broke state law, and a county prosecutor threatened charges. They moved to Las Vegas that same year to avoid prosecution.

In a statement, the family’s lawyer said that the ruling was “historic,” and he believed “will stand the test of time.”

As LifeSiteNews reported last year, Waddoups’ decision may have significant consequences for decreasing equality in marriage and society at large, not increasing it. As Dr. Jennifer Morse of the Ruth Institute said, the December “ruling confuses the private desires of individuals with the institution of marriage as a whole.”

“I have no doubt that these individual women and Mr. Brown are living this plural marriage lifestyle voluntarily,” said Morse. “What I dispute is that they are the only ones affected by changing the law to permit plural cohabitation or plural marriage.”

“Polygamous societies look very different from monogamous societies,” she explained. “In polygamous societies, wealthy men are at a huge competitive advantage over men of average means. The wealthy men, in effect, take more than their share of women. This triggers a whole series of reactions. The society begins to sanction the marriage of younger and younger women, sometimes no more than girls, to satisfy the demand for brides. The men grow more and more possessive and treat women more like possessions and less like people.”