Tag: divorce

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

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We have great attorneys!

We have great attorneys. Travis Christiansen recently was honored for his work by his peers.  He practices estate planning, divorce law, criminal defense, DUI and business law.

Attorney Travis R. Christiansen has Achieved a BV Distinguished™ Peer Review Rating™ from Martindale-Hubbell®.
Travis R. Christiansen, a lawyer based in St. George, UT whose primary area of practice is Estate Planning, has earned a Peer Review Rating™ from Martindale-Hubbell®

St. George, UT May 12, 2017 – Martindale-Hubbell® has confirmed that attorney Travis R. Christiansen still maintains the BV Distinguished Peer Review Rating™ from Martindale-Hubbell, even after first achieving this rating in 2017.

For more than 140 years, lawyers have relied on the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings™ while searching for their own expert attorneys. Now anyone can make use of this trusted rating by looking up a lawyer’s rating on Lawyers.com or martindale.com. The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ are an objective indicator of a lawyer’s high ethical standards and professional ability, generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States and Canada. It is achieved only after an attorney has been reviewed and recommended by their peers – members of the bar and the judiciary. Congratulations go to Travis R. Christiansen who has achieved the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating™.

Travis R. Christiansen commented on the recognition: “The Martindale-Hubbell BV Distinguished Rating is a credential highly valued and sought after in the legal world. It used to be a sort of secret among attorneys who used the rating as a first screen when they needed to hire a lawyer they did not personally know. Now, thanks to the Internet, the Rating is a great way for anyone ñ lawyers or lay people – to use to screen lawyers. I am thankful to my peers who nominated me for this distinction, and proud to have earned this rating.”