Contested Divorce Cases

Contested Divorce Cases

A divorce or other Domestic matter is considered contested if one or both parties are in disagreement over the terms. For example, if you and your spouse cannot agree on a major item such as debt division, property division, custody, etc., you will probably need to have an attorney represent you in a contested divorce action. For contested matters, Utah Legal Clinic requires a minimum initial non-refundable retainer of $2,000.00. Unless other arrangements are made in advance, the full retainer must be paid before any work is begun on your case. Utah Legal Clinic bills against the retainer at an hourly rate of $175.00-$200.00 per hour for attorney time and $75.00-$100.00 per hour for paralegal or law clerk time, plus costs. Once the retainer is exhausted, another retainer may be required. If there are funds remaining after all work have been completed, the remainder of the retainer will be refunded promptly. Going through any type of divorce in Utah can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. Not only are you forced to admit that the relationship that you previously depended on didn’t quite work out, but you also have to go through the process of dividing assets and all of the other legal ramifications that go along with such an act.

The process can intensify dramatically both emotionally and monetarily if kids are involved, as well. When the divorce process begins in earnest, you will at some point need to make a very important decision. You’ll need to decide if you and your soon to be former spouse can come to an amicable agreement and settle your divorce or if you’ll need to litigate to get not only what you want, but what you feel you deserve. These two types of divorces are called uncontested divorces and contested divorces, respectively. They have a number of clear differences that shouldn’t be ignored, regardless of whether you’re just beginning the divorce process or if you think that you’re reaching that light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

The main difference between an uncontested and a contested divorce is that in the former type of scenario, the two parties will go to trial and will present their case to the court to decide the outcome of the divorce proceedings. If you and your former spouse (and both sets of attorneys) were able to reach an agreement that all parties found mutually beneficial and that everyone was happy with, there would be no need to even consider going to trial at any point during the process. If you’re unable to come to an agreement for whatever reason, however, a trial will begin looking more and more likely. One of the most common reasons why two parties would be unable to come to an agreement in this type of situation is because one party doesn’t actually want a divorce at all.

If your spouse previously believed that he or she was part of a happy marriage that had a normal level of ups and downs, they may have been blindsided by your request for separation and then to begin the divorce proceedings. The reverse can also be true: maybe you’re the one that doesn’t actually want a divorce at all, which can make the “come to a mutually beneficial agreement” part of the proceedings exceedingly difficult. For whatever the reason, a court may need to step in during a trial and settle the dispute once and for all. Remember that just because you’re going to trial in this type of situation doesn’t mean that you won’t be getting a divorce if the court rules in favor of the person who didn’t want to begin the process in the first place. Nobody will be forced to stay married even if they don’t want to. What it does mean, however, is that the court will decide how assets are split, what happens to any children who may be a part of the equation and more.

Family Law Court System

Another important thing to understand about taking your divorce to trial is that the court systems won’t always be fair in the strictest sense of the word. Your definition of fair and the definition that the court uses to decide the ultimate fate of your relationship could be two completely different things. One of the many things that a court will consider during a contested divorce is what happens to any children that you may have had with your soon to be ex-spouse in that regard, the courts will delve into the past of each of the two people involved to try to find the best situation possible not for the husband or for the wife, but for the kids. Even if both parents are deemed completely fit to raise kids, for example, one spouse may be awarded primary custody of the children if it is determined that he or she can provide them with a significantly better lifestyle. A number of factors will also be considered by the court when it comes to determining when or even if you will get partial custody of those children. Courts can subpoena documents about your employment history, your criminal background history, your income taxes and more all in an attempt to definitively determine how capable you will be with regards to raising kids either on your own or through sharing custody with your ex spouse. Utah divorce courts can choose to give full custody of kids to one of the parents and refuse to even award visitation rights to the other if they determine that is the best course of action to take. Though you may not necessarily think that is fair, the court doesn’t necessarily hold your opinion in high regard when it comes to the safety and well being of minors in our society.

Asset Distribution

Another important thing that the courts will consider during a contested divorce is asset distribution. This is especially true if one of the people in the marriage makes a significantly larger amount of money than the other. Consider a scenario where you make several hundred thousand dollars a year more than your soon to be ex wife. If you were the primary source of income in a particular household, the court will determine that your wife has a right to continue to live up to the lifestyle standards that she had previously enjoyed while you two were together. They will consider the standard of living for both parties at the time of either trial separation, marriage or the beginning of the contested divorce trial depending on the specifics of the situation in question. As a result, your alimony payments may be larger than average to close that income gap between the two parties. Even if you don’t necessarily think this is fair, it is well within the court’s power to do so. The caveat in this scenario, however, has to do with when that income was actually earned. If you made a significant amount of money in your life prior to your marriage and haven’t made quite as much per year since, the amount of yearly income that will be used to determine alimony payments is normally only those years where the marriage is in full effect. This is true on both sides of a divorce. If you suddenly come into a huge amount of money by way of a new job position, a huge raise or even the lottery after the divorce is finalized, the court cannot retroactively decide to raise your monthly alimony payments as a result.

What if One Party Doesn’t Want a Divorce in Utah?

It is an unfortunate fact of life that sometimes two people just won’t work out together. Just because you don’t want a divorce doesn’t mean that you can somehow force the other party to stop the proceedings – not even the court can prevent someone from divorcing you if they don’t want to be married anymore. No-fault divorces mean that it isn’t up to just you – it’s up to your spouse as well. It’s also important to consider that contesting a divorce could be more costly in the long run, regardless of how much you want the process to stop as quickly as possible. Contesting a divorce means that you’ll be paying a divorce lawyer for a significantly larger amount of time than if you had just tried to work out a settlement as quickly as possible. If the divorce ends up going to trial, you’ll also be looking at a huge amount of money to that divorce lawyer for the normal costs associated with trying that type of case. Even if you don’t want a divorce, it is sometimes better to just embrace the inevitable and try to help the process along as quickly and as smoothly as possible. This is especially true if you don’t have the money to spend on the process to begin with.

What Can a Divorce Lawyer Do to Help Me?

When entering the divorce process, one of the most invaluable tools that you will have at your disposal is an experienced divorce lawyer. Divorce attorneys are there to help you navigate the rough waters of the divorce process using all of their experience and expertise in the subject matter. Statistically speaking, you are likely looking at the first divorce you’ve ever been a part of. A divorce lawyer, on the other hand, will have been intimately involved in hundreds of different cases with nearly every configuration that you can imagine. Your divorce lawyer knows what it takes to get you exactly what you want and what you deserve. He or she can help get you thought the process as quickly and as reasonably as possible without spending too much of your hard earned money or giving up a significant portion of it to a soon to be ex spouse that doesn’t actually deserve it for whatever reason. Utah divorce lawyers are truly here to help.

How Long Will It Take to Finalize a Divorce in Utah?

It may seem like an easy question. But the answer is hardly simple. The truth is no two divorces are the same. Each case and the parties involved have their own unique set of characteristics and circumstances. However, the question does become easier to answer once several factors are taken into consideration.

Factors Determining the Length of Divorce in Utah

Although divorce may seem complex, it can be narrowed down to two categories—contested and uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorce cases are generally the easiest marriages to terminate. Both parties are able to come to mutual agreements on important issues, such as alimony, child support and the division of marital assets. But when it comes contested divorce, the situation becomes more complicated.

Here are some important factors that will ultimately decide the length of your divorce.
• Are you willing to waive minimum waiting period?
• Does your spouse plan to file an appeal after divorce?
• Are you able to obtain a default judgment?
• Are there any children involved?
Facts about the Minimum Waiting Period
In most Utah divorce cases, there is a 90 day minimum waiting period before a divorce can be finalized. However, it can be waived if either party can prove if there are relevant circumstances that are needed to be addressed by the court. To waive the waiting period, a divorce attorney from either party will have to file a petition with the court. Although 90 days is the minimum requirement to terminate a marriage in Utah, some contested divorces can take several years to resolve.

What If My Spouse Does Not Respond to a Divorce Request?

Contested divorce can often get messy from the beginning. In some instances, one spouse may refuse to sign divorce papers. The recipient spouse has 21 days to respond to a divorce request initiated by the petitioner. Should the respondent spouse fail to respond to a divorce request, the petitioner may be awarded a default judgment from the court.

How Children Affect the Divorce Process

When it comes to divorce in Utah, children are an extremely important factor. The ultimate goal of Utah family courts is to decide what is in the best interest of the children. If both parties have children less than 18 years of age, they will be required to attend a divorce orientation and education classes.

Don’t Forget the Appeal Process

Divorce does not end with a decree from the court. Although a settlement may initially signify a finalized divorce, both parties have the opportunity to file for an appeal. Keep in mind, all appeals must be filed within 30 days of the court’s divorce decree. Contested divorce Utah is a divorce where some aspect of the divorce is disputed by one of the spouses. Often these disputes are over the division of property, debt, or other marital assets; however, the dispute can be over the divorce itself. Contested divorce is much more complicated than uncontested divorce because an entire trial is needed in order for the court to resolve disputes. Contested divorce comes with other consequences such as a much longer divorce period, higher legal fees and court fees, and increased stress. Whenever possible, it is recommended that spouses try to resolve conflicts out of court through an Uncontested Divorce

Contested Divorce In Utah

Much of the same basic information provided for uncontested divorce applies to divorce cases that are “contested”. That is, a divorce petition is filed by one spouse and served upon the other spouse by a constable or the Sheriff’s office. Along with that petition is a document called a Summons. The Summons gives directions to the person being served about what they need to do if they do not agree with what is in the petition served upon him or her. If that person does not agree they must file a written “Answer” to the petition with the court clerk and send a copy to the attorney for the person filing the petition.

Temporary Orders

Between the time the divorce action is commenced and the time it is completed the court has the authority to make and enforce Temporary Orders regarding such matters as child support, child custody, alimony, possession of the house, visitation, payment of bills, possession of personal property, etc. These orders are temporary because such matters will be reviewed again at the time of the divorce hearing or trial. Final orders regarding these matters will be entered as part of the divorce decree. If you want to seek custody of your child or children, the time of the divorce action is the time to seek custody, as opposed to seeking custody later after the divorce is completed. The fundamental basis for determining custody is what is in the “best interest of the child”. This can involve numerous elements, and quite often it is necessary to obtain a “Custody Evaluation”. This is almost always required by the court in custody cases. These evaluations are generally performed by psychologists, usually with a Ph.D. degree in psychology. The prices can vary depending upon the evaluator, the number of children involved, the amount of time to be spent, etc. The cost can range from around $1,800.00 up to $5,000.00, with the average running between $3,000.00 to $3,500.00. Obviously, they are expensive, but they are an essential part of a custody case.

Contested Divorce Case Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help for a Contested Divorce Case in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you with your contested divorce.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Bus Accidents

Bus Accidents

Motor vehicle (including school buses, intercity buses, and transit buses) designed to carry more than ten passengers, not including the driver.” These large vehicles figure prominently in crash statistics. According to the report prepared by the Department of Transportation, there were a total of 247 fatal accidents reported in 2010 and 242 fatal accidents in 2011. Bus accidents also account for 12, 000 injury cases in 2010 and nearly 13,000 the following year. Property damage was reported at 42,000 for 2010 and 43,000 buses for 2011.

From 1975-2009 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) had a policy of lumping fatal crash statistics for large truck and bus accidents. Over the years the report shows a decreasing trend in the number of fatalities from large vehicles. This is supported by a news article published in 2008 that stated that “a commercial bus crashes in Utah about every four days, though it rarely results in a fatality.” The report also cited multiple statistics from FMCSA. From 2002 to 2006 there were 462 accidents in Utah involving buses. These 462 accidents divide out to an average of 92 bus accidents per year. Fourteen people were reportedly killed from nine separate bus accidents while 265 bus accidents injured 461 people. The report also stated that of the fourteen fatalities, seven of those deaths occurred in one accident on Mount Nebo in 2002. (For more details of the FMCSA report, read it here.) School buses are also causes of concern among parents whose children use the vehicle to attend school on the daily basis. Unfortunately, this mode of transportation is not exempt from bus accidents on the road. Recently a new report edition of Transportation-Related Crashes was released from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSTA) covering nine years of crashes from 2001 to 2010. NHSTA defines a school transportation-related crash as “a crash which involves, either directly or indirectly, a school bus body vehicle, or a non-school bus functioning as a school bus, transporting children to or from school or school-related activities.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that:

• There were 1,236 fatal school transportation-related crashes from 2001 to 2010
• During that time period, the 1,236 fatal school transportation-related crashes accounted for 0.34% of the total 363,839 fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes.
• From 2001 to 2010, 1,368 people died in school transportation-related crashes. This is an average of 137 fatalities per year. The majority (72%) of those people were occupants of other vehicles. Occupants of school transportation vehicles accounted for 7% of the fatalities, while the remaining 21% were non-occupants pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.

• An average of eighteen school-age children dies in school transportation-related crashes each year. On average, six of those are occupants of school transportation vehicles. The other twelve are pedestrians killed by school transportation vehicles or other vehicles involved in school bus-related crashes.
• In 2010 there were 129 fatalities in school transportation-related crashes. Of those, sixteen (12%) were occupants of school transportation vehicles: six drivers and ten passengers.
• Since 2001, 123 school-age pedestrians (younger than nineteen) have died in school transportation-related crashes. Over two-thirds (69%) were struck by school buses, 5 percent by vehicles functioning as school buses, and 26 percent by other vehicles involved in the crashes. There were forty-nine (40%) school-age pedestrians killed in school transportation-related crashes between the ages of five and seven.
The safety measures for school buses have been improved over time in the hope of reducing or avoiding fatal accidents. As always, it is the strict adherence to traffic rules that will make a great impact in reducing these statistics.

Causes of Bus Accidents

Bus accidents may happen as a result of environmental, mechanical, or operational influences. Proving the cause of a crash helps direct liability, so accident victims can effectively pursue the compensation they need.

Environmental Factors

Sometimes, driving on poor roads or in bad weather is unavoidable. However, bus drivers must do their due diligence to avoid an accident in unsafe environmental conditions. Failure to take appropriate action can lead to injuries and deaths in crashes, multi-vehicle pileups, rollovers, and more.
Dangerous weather conditions include (but are not limited to):
• High winds: Blowing snow or dust can decrease visibility and create obstructions in the road. Strong winds can make maneuvering more difficult, requiring more vigilance on the part of the driver.
• Rain and snow: Precipitation can create slippery roads and decrease the distance a driver can see. Drivers may then have much less time to react to a sudden stop or other issue.
• Fog: At any time of the day, fog can diminish visibility and a driver’s reaction time.

Adverse weather can damage infrastructure and road surfaces, creating year-round hazards. Debris can be an unexpected obstruction, requiring smart maneuvers to avoid a crash. No matter the environmental conditions at hand, it’s a bus driver’s job to make safe decisions to protect passengers. Negligence on the road can put the bus driver, passengers, and everyone nearby in grave danger.

Mechanical Factors

Since bus companies concentrate on keeping their costs low and their schedules on time, they may skip necessary maintenance work. Buses could be operating with old brakes or tires with no tread. Other times routine engine care has slacked and engines catch fire and belts snap. A bus accident that injures innocent people could have been prevented with properly managed maintenance schedules. Accident injury lawyers help crash victims by collecting the evidence to show exactly how the bus company is responsible.

Operational Factors

Bus drivers might drive aggressively and put passengers at risk. When a bus driver is experiencing road rage, they may cut off other drivers, switch lanes without signaling, or drive at an unsafe speed. In fact, speeding is a top cause of accidents. Discounted bus companies take great measures to keep their costs down and their schedules on time. The more trips scheduled, the more passengers can travel, and the more money the bus company makes. They may push drivers to make their schedules on time, which might make them go faster. However, in doing so they may carelessly overlook certain procedures and maintain unsafe driving speeds on the road. Drivers may also operate their buses when they are tired, which is extremely dangerous.

Bus Accident Injury Claims

If you’re hurt in an accident involving a city/county-owned bus, your injury claim could face some unique procedural challenges. Buses carrying commuters and students are a common site in cities and towns across the country, and bus companies offer a cheaper long-distance alternative to an airline ticket for thousands of travelers. With so many of these large vehicles on the road, it’s no wonder that they’re involved in around 63,000 traffic accidents every year.

Bus Accident Injuries

Any traffic accident can run the gamut from low-speed fender bender to catastrophic collision, and bus accidents are no exception. So it follows that injuries stemming from bus accidents fall across the spectrum of seriousness, from whiplash-type soft tissue injuries, to serious head trauma and broken bones. There are also a few added safety risks that tend to crop up when it comes to bus accidents, owing to the characteristics of most buses and the practical aspects of bus travel. First, the risk of a tip-over or rollover accident is higher for buses than it is for standard passenger vehicles. Second, many buses don’t feature any form of safety restraint or supplemental safety device in other words, no seat belts or airbags. So whether or not the risk of a bus accident is lower when compared with crashes involving other forms of ground transportation, the chances of serious injury are higher when a bus accident does actually occur. With most kinds of accidents, if you’re negotiating a personal injury settlement with an insurance carrier or even filing a personal injury lawsuit in court, the procedure is pretty straightforward (although the claim itself may not be).

In some situations, the crash will be caused by the driver of another car or truck on the road. In that case, if you’re injured as a passenger on the bus, you can make a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer, seeking compensation for losses (“damages”) like medical expenses and lost income, plus non-economic losses like “pain and suffering.” If the bus driver is at fault, however, this is when the law can get complicated. That’s because many buses are owned or operated by government entities, like school districts and public transportation bureaus. And filing an injury claim with a government body is more complicated. The procedure varies from state-to-state and jurisdiction-to-jurisdiction, but you typically must start by filing a “notice of claim” or similar paperwork with the government entity that is potentially liable for the bus accident. And you’ll usually need to file your documentation within a relatively short period of time.

Filing a Notice of Claim with the Government

Again, the specific procedural rules will vary depend on where you live, but typically the “notice of claim” or similar filing must include:
• a statement of the claimant’s intent to ask for compensation for injuries and/or property damage caused by the negligence of the government entity or agency, or caused by an officer, employee, or agent of the government
• a description of the time, place and circumstances giving rise to the claim (details related to the bus accident, in other words)
• the nature of the claimant’s losses (description of injuries, property damage), and
• the claimant’s name and address.
Each state or municipality has its own time limits for filing an injury claim, and you may need to submit your claim using a certain form. Claim filing time limits and other filing rules are important. If you miss a filing deadline or don’t submit the right paperwork, you may lose your right to file a lawsuit. And there may be special time limits that apply if a person has suffered fatal injuries as a result of a bus accident. Speak to a local personal injury attorney if you are unsure about the time limits or how to file the proper paperwork.

Besides injuries suffered as a bus passenger, the same claim filing procedure will apply if you were driving a vehicle that was hit by a government-owned bus.

Fault Factors in Bus Accident Cases

Sometimes, to help determine liability (fault) for a bus accident, some special investigation will be needed. A number of factors may cause or contribute to a bus accident, including:
• bus drivers working while fatigued
• drivers who have not been adequately trained or properly screened for employment
• drivers who are under the influence of intoxicants
• buses that are overloaded or improperly loaded, and
• buses and equipment that is not properly maintained.
After any kind of vehicle accident, it’s important to get proper medical treatment. This way, you put your health first, and later on you can use your medical records and bills to document and support any injury claim you decide to make. Bus accidents are not incredibly common, but when they do occur, they can have devastating results. Buses are generally more difficult to maneuver, harder to stop and less safe than other vehicles. Buses are also often lacking important safety features, such as seat belts and airbags. When bus passengers are involved in a bus accident, they can suffer serious and life-threatening injuries. These victims will likely face extraordinary medical expenses that will only be exacerbated by forced time away from work for a period of recovery. These victims must often turn to a personal injury claim for damages against the person(s) responsible for the bus accident. Unlike a car accident, determining liability in a bus accident can be difficult. In some cases, bus accidents may be caused by a third party. Potentially liable parties could include other drivers on the road, pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists. Bus accident victims can name these other parties as defendants in a personal injury lawsuit if they exhibit negligence. Victims must prove that the third party had a duty to prevent harm, breached that duty in some way, and that they were harmed as a result.

Third parties could breach this duty by changing lanes without using a turning signal, failing to yield when merging, driving while using a cell phone or electronic device, or following a bus too closely. In other cases, bus accidents may be caused by the bus driver. Bus drivers have a difficult job and have a greater responsibility than other drivers to operate the vehicle safely. Buses are considered common carriers, which imposes a greater duty of care on operators. Rather than exhibiting reasonable care, common carriers must exercise “the utmost caution … or the highest degree of vigilance, care, and precaution.” If a bus driver is even the slightest bit negligent, he or she could be liable for injuries that result. Examples of bus driver negligence could include driving while intoxicated or fatigued, improper or inadequate training, permitting the vehicle to become overloaded, and texting while driving. Personal injury lawsuits can become more complicated when the bus driver is at fault. This is because many buses are owned and operated by the government. School buses and city buses are prime examples. When bus accidents are caused by the bus driver, victims may face difficulties in recovering compensation. There is a different process for filing a claim against the government. It is important to remember that each state will have slightly different procedural rules for filing a claim against the government. If a bus accident victim wants to file a claim against the bus driver and/or government entity, he or she will likely have a very short window of opportunity to do so. The statute of limitations in personal injury cases against the government is generally much shorter than other personal injury lawsuits. In some states, this statute of limitation can expire in as little as six months after an accident. This means that victims must move quickly.

In most bus accident cases, a victim will have to file a claim directly with the local government entity that is responsible for operating the common carrier. The claim must generally state the specific person, entity, or employee that was allegedly negligent; a thorough description and explanation of the accident; and the victim’s name. Victims must make their case for damages in this claim. The government must review and respond to the bus accident victim’s claim. If the claim is accepted, the government will work with the victim to compensate them for their injuries. If the claim is rejected, the victim must then file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. The process will then resume a normal trajectory and proceed as any other personal injury case. The government must essentially be given the opportunity to deal with the claim in-house before victims can attempt to take them to court. There are, of course, a number of other potentially liable parties in bus accident lawsuits. Many states permit victims to recover compensation from more than one negligent party. As a result, it is important to thoroughly investigate each individual case to determine each and every possible avenue for recovering compensation.

Bus Accident Law

Bus Accident Law falls under common carrier law, because buses offer transportation services to people as part of a business. A common carrier is an individual or business that transports people, goods, or services for a fee, and offers its services to the general public under license or authority provided by a regulatory governmental body. Common carriers can be private companies or public entities. These laws are regulated on the local, state and federal level. The Federal government regulates common carriers that transport passengers or cargo across state lines under the Interstate Commerce Act, and individual states regulate travel within a state. Other modes of transportation that fall under the category of common carrier include school buses, taxis, trains, light-rail, trolleys, cable cars, tour boats, cruise ships, ferries, airplanes, airport shuttles, and, in some states, limousines. Common carriers have a legal responsibility to show a higher duty of care since they offer their services to the public for a fee.

While non-commercial drivers must operate under reasonable care, a common carrier must use the highest degree of care and vigilance for the safety of its passengers, and the public. Failure to adhere to that higher duty of care can be considered negligence. Therefore, if you are a bus passenger and injured as the result of an accident, special rules apply. If a bus accident is due to the negligence of the carrier; such as speeding, fatigue, maintenance failures, tire failures, or inadequate bus driver training; the carrier is liable for damages under personal injury or wrongful death tort law. When minor children, ill or disabled persons are injured as passengers on a bus, special rules may apply as well. It is important to note that because many common carriers are governmental agencies, usually very specific and limited time frames apply for filing a claim for these types of cases. This time period is called a statute of limitations. In addition, with governmental entities, there may also be special notices that must be filed within a certain time period before filing a legal claim. Therefore, it is advisable if you or a family member has been injured due to a bus accident, that you consult with an attorney experienced in common carrier law.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a bus accident in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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International Business Contracts

International Business Contracts

An international contract refers to a legally binding agreement between parties, based in different countries, in which they are obligated to do or not do certain things. International contracts may be written in a formal way. Most businesses create contracts in writing to make the terms of agreement clear, often seeking legal counsel when drawing important contracts. Contracts can cover all aspects of international trade. In international trade, the UNIDROIT Principles establishes general rules applicable to commercial contracts. They shall apply when the parties have agreed that their contract be governed by them. They also may be applied when the Parties have not chosen any law to govern their contract. In other cases they may be used to interpret or supplement domestic law. A contract is the result of inquiry, offer and negotiations process. It is a piece of duly signed document, which contains the negotiated and agreed detailed terms and conditions for the export and/or import of goods and/or services. It is a legal document binding on both the importer and the exporter for a specific deal in a fixed time frame. It specifies the areas of responsibilities and liabilities for the exporter and the importer. It comes into force at the time when both the interacting parties ratify it and stamp their acceptance in written form.

Types of International Contracts

There are several types of contracts; each has its own peculiarities and specialties depending upon the parties’ involved, legal aspect, important issues, expectations, responsibilities, extent of coverage and duration. Some of the most common types of contracts are listed below:
• Commodity contracts,
• Service contracts,
• Commodity cum technology contracts,
• Technology contracts,
• Technical assistance contracts,
• Agency contracts,
• Machinery contracts,
• Project contracts,
• Long term contracts,

Structure Of An International Business Contract

A contract has to have three main objectives, fairness, flexibility and security in its structure, besides it must be structured in such a way that the contracting parties are transparent in knowing their rights and responsibilities. For the domestic trade there are a number of standard contract formats but for the international trade there is so far no universally accepted format though efforts are being made by many world organizations like International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and the International Trade Center (ITC) under United Nations Council for Trade Development (UNCTAD). What they have proposed is still at infancy stage and cannot be termed as being universally accepted format. Diversity of the commodities, regions, local laws, international conventions, and the interacting importers and the exporters are the limiting and the guiding factors for the formation of a standard format.

Parties to the Contract

Any contract or agreement must have more than one party. While forming up a contract with another party it is important they must be properly identified by reference to their name (official letterhead) and physical address (mailing address, phone, fax, e-mail, web site etc.). If the contracting parties have more than one physical address (branch offices, subsidiaries) and one of such offices would be partially or totally involved in the execution of the contract than the physical address of such extensions must also form part of the contract. The contracting parties must also specify the main communication address and the addresses where copies of the communications have to be sent during the execution phase of the contract. Lastly the name(s) of the key persons with designations who will be handling the day-to-day formalities and communications for the implementation part of the contract must also be mentioned in the body of the contract. At the onset it must be clarified as to who will be the person to sign the contract with his/her designation and the power of authority to do so, from the competent authority within the organization and his signatures duly certified by the local chamber of commerce (in case of the organization). In case the contracting authority is an individual than a documentary proof for his/her being the owner (letter from the bank or the related export promotion council, his exporter’s code, etc.) and his signatures are being duly attested by the local chamber of commerce.

Elements of a Contract

A standard contract has following elements:
• Item,
• Specifications {Standards IS/JIS/BS/ASTM/din etc., Chemical composition, Physical properties, Engineering drawing,
• Dimensions and tolerances,
• End Usage,
• Quantity,
• Quality,
• Delivery,
• Currency,
• Price,
• Payment,
• Packing,
• Inspection,
• Documentation,
• Force majeure. Hardship and Termination,

International Items

This refers to the product name both the commercial and technical. The best way is to use the one, which is referred to in the inquiry. The word item as referred in international business or any business, relates to various products, which are in variably also referred to as the commodities. “Commodity” is a representative system of classification, which makes it easier to understand the movement of products across the national borders. This classification was essential for the proper statistical data formulation of the trading nations.

The need for this classification was felt long ago when global trade started picking up especially after the formation of the United Nations in which some of the governments of the nations were represented. As the membership steadily grew and covered most of the globe the need for such standards was felt strongly than ever. The statistical commission of the Nations finally created a standard form of classification as the Standard International Trade Classification or in short SITC. Under SITC commodity grouping system each group is assigned a number. The single digit code number representing the broad category. These are called the sections. The double digit representing the sub groups called the divisions of the single digit groups. The three digit numbers are sub groups of the corresponding double-digit sub groups. All the commodities and the products have their specific markets, which are defined as primary commodities markets, industrial goods markets, and consumer goods markets. Volume wise primary goods are traded the maximum, but value wise the consumer goods are traded the maximum

Specifications

Any item, which has a name, has well defined specifications as well. In fact there cannot be any product, which has no specifications. The advancing technology has given birth to numerous products and the number is increasing day by day. Not only the products but their applications are also diversified constantly. As such the need for their proper classification is a must for proper understanding and study. This is done through standardization, which is based on the chemical composition, physical properties and the end usage. The term “specification” of a product relates to their chemical composition, physical properties and end usage. This identification is done through well-documented standards. The chemical information covers the % contents of the various elements like carbon, iron, manganese, copper etc. The physical properties cover the tensile strength; yield point and the strength of the item. The variation in the chemical composition is used for determining the net properties of the end product. Under each standard there are many sub groups or grades, each referring to different product. Though there are various standards but for given product there are equivalent standards, in business when supplier cannot supply against one specific standard, he asks for its equivalent in other standards for which he is familiar. Though the standards relate to technical studies and usually the engineers are supposed to have thorough knowledge but it is a must for a business man as well especially for the products that he is dealing with.

Dimensions and Tolerances

The dimensions and tolerances are directly related to the performance and economy of operations. These look very elementary but in reality they are the root cause for rejections and/or male functioning of the end product. As a matter of fact most of the rejections at the international level are caused by this factor only. When any product is designed and is ready for production it is given specific dimensions, which may include length, breadth, height, curvatures etc. These are calculated keeping in view the inter-relationship of various components and sub-assemblies, which must work in unison to perform, pre-determined work or the output. If any component or sub-assembly is out of tune than the whole unit fails to work in a specified manner. On the other hand suppose you manufacture the pipe with +2 mm tolerance than your pipe will be okay but consider the situation when your competitor can manufacture the same pipe with +0.5mm tolerance. His price will be competitive as compared with yours because he used lesser material to make the same pipe.

Quantity

After price and specification, the weight of the contracted goods is perhaps the most important point because it refers to the net goods to be physically transferred to the importer. As such care must be taken to indicate the specific quantity as mentioned in the contract and based on which the total value of the goods have been calculated. The unit of weight used for price calculation must be same with the one mentioned by the importer in his/her inquiry. There are two international systems of weight & measures, the imperial and the metric system. Now a day only the metric system is universally used at the international trade level, but in USA and in some other countries the imperial or some other system is also used. While specifying the measure or weight is specific in what you mention and mean, or what the other party is requesting and what you are offering. The difference between Long ton, Short ton and Metric ton must be clearly understood and used cautiously to avoid any confusion at a later stage.

Quality

Quality is the integration and utilization of Facilities and minds for perfection of reproducibility of performance with zero defects and compromises. Quality can also be regarded as performance without fault at affordable price. This is perhaps the most crucial point as far as international business is concerned. Your quality of product and service will decide whether you are in or out of the market. The thumb rule is that quality is what the customer needs. Your responsibility is to understand those needs and translate them into tangible products, which are acceptable to the customer. On the other hand if the customer is satisfied with your quality level than you have to deliver the same to the customer, nothing less and nothing more.

Delivery

The delivery terms also define the price to be calculated for the contracted goods depending upon how the goods are to be delivered. The supplier needs time to make goods ready for delivery to the importer. This time is calculated either from the date of the receipt of the detailed purchase order or the payment order likes Letter of Credit or both, from the importer. In some cases the importer may insist on calculation of the delivery period from the date of the purchase order, but mentioning in the purchase order that the L/C will be established say 2 months prior to shipment. The advantage with the importer is that his money is not blocked for the duration of the shipment period. The disadvantage with the exporter is that till the time they receive the L/C they have to use their own funds or borrow from the bank and/or the financial institutions for meeting the raw material and other utilities requirements. In some cases there are chances that the exporter has to import certain raw material for meeting the export production commitments. In such cases also he has to depend on the credits from the banking and/or institutions. In all such cases it is up to the exporter to agree or not to agree depending on the business potential and past record of exports to the importer.

Currency

The international trade is carried out for earning (and investing) the hard currency, which can be stored and exchanged as per the needs. The international currency, or as a matter of fact any currency can also be treated at par with other commodities like brand names, durability, market position, demand and supply etc. This requires a serious consideration on part of the exporters and importers to understand the term currency in its full identity and use it judiciously for the conduct of their global trade. In order to develop the basic concept and understanding of the currencies it would be better for the students, especially those without any financial educational back ground, to understand the terminology used in foreign exchange sector. Some of the most commonly used terms are discussed here under. The two may be same but not necessarily be the same. The forward rate is influence by the interest rates charged and expected to charge by the banking system. The future rates are influence by the demand and supply situation in the currency market. A hard currency is the one which can be trusted by majority of the international trading communities as dependable and freely exchangeable with minor fluctuations, the country issuing that currency must be financially solid and has depth of financial and commercial transactions world over, the country has political stability, and the country’s financial institutions are free from any restrictive controls.

Price

It may be defined as the value of a commodity or service expressed in terms of money. The survival of the organization depends on this very factor. The price in its generic term does nothing but a value indicator, but when applied to competitive market conditions of demand and supply, it shows up its worth. As an exporter or an importer you have to be very careful about the ultimate price to the final customer for getting a positive result. Therefore whether as an exporter you quote on EXW or DDP terms you have to take into consideration the impact of your price on the market and the final customer or the point of consumption. If the importer asks you for an EXW or FOB price than he has some idea of the various price loading factors up to the point of sale in the target market. An exporter who is concentrating only on the price asked for is just working on the surface of the market, but the exporter who studies the market and then decides on the pricing strategy has better chances of success. This exercise is required irrespective of whether you are working on the consumer goods or the industrial goods though for the consumer goods segment this exercise needs micro level studies as compared to the other segment where macro level studies would be sufficient. In order to understand the price structure we better understand its various units or the single elements, analysis of these elements will help us to decide the pricing strategy (also for the export marketing) for the market and/or the customer specific. And when he asks for the DDP price then he is not confident to competitively control the rest of the price elements. However this is not the rule. There are specific cases when the exporter wants to exercise control over the movement of the goods in the destination market, in that case he opts for DDP terms instead of any other term.

Factors Affecting the Export Pricing Strategy

Pricing is perhaps the most difficult factor for the international business. The starting point in any case is the corporate policy and main objective, once a decision is taken to enter a market than there are various variables, which affect your pricing strategy. What then you quote for a specific market is largely affected not only by your competitors in the market but also by the market situation itself at that particular point of time. Also if your price is subject to certain minimum quantity to be ordered of for specific delivery period than you must mention the same in your price very clearly and boldly. Anything, which is not mentioned directly, would lead to problems sooner or later depending upon which becomes the aggrieved party, the exporter or the importer.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Uncontested Divorces In Utah

Uncontested Divorces

Uncontested divorce can be relatively quick and less dramatic since it most often will avoid a trial. Your divorce is traumatic enough so going the uncontested route shows empathy for both parties and hopefully a solid foundation for co-parenting if children are involved. In the state of Utah, an uncontested divorce is certainly an option, this type of divorce is generally less expensive and faster than traditional divorces because you can avoid sky-high litigation fees, and the stressful drawn out trial hearings, which wind up being a complete waste of time. This is where hiring an experienced divorce attorney comes in, as understanding the divorce process can be very daunting. However, if you and your spouse can agree to be fair at least on the major issues regarding your divorce such as financial and property distribution, and child custody particulars, then an uncontested divorce is a real option.

Before you and your soon to be ex-spouse can rest easy you must first pummel through the following areas with a fine tooth comb:

• Real estate and personal property distribution
• Distribution of debts and assets
• Child custody and visitation agreement
• Child support, health, and insurance coverage for all children
• Alimony or spousal support & any lingering issues that need addressing

To obtain an uncontested divorce in Utah, you must meet the following criteria:
• Residency requirements: you and your spouse must have lived in Utah for 3 months; if you have minor children you must have resided in Utah for 6 months.
• All custody and support issues are agreed upon in writing and notarized by both parties.
If all criteria are met, you may begin divorce proceedings in the state of Utah, by completing the necessary forms. You may also seek help by researching online for help with completing the forms through online publications or by speaking with an experienced Divorce Attorney to help you complete the necessary forms.

What Forms Are Needed

The Utah court sites offer a detailed description of the forms that need to be completed. However, to make sure you complete the correct forms, understand the process better, and not relinquish your rights, it is best to seek the advice of an experienced divorce attorney.

To give you a more detailed explanation of the types of forms needed to complete your divorce process, you will expect to complete and sign the following forms below:
• Civil Coversheet
• Petition for Divorce
• Vital Statistics Form/Certificate of Dissolution
• Acceptance of Service
• Stipulation
• Affidavit of Jurisdiction and Grounds
• Military Service Declaration and Order
• Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law
• Decree of Divorce
If you and your spouse have children together under the age of 18, then the following forms must be completed as well:
• Child Support Worksheet
• Affidavit of Income and Compliance with Child Support Guideline
• Financial Declarations, and
• Child Support Locator.

Can I file for my divorce in the State of Utah?

In almost all cases, you file for a divorce in the state where you reside. This means that if you are a resident of Utah, you file in Utah and are governed by Utah’s divorce laws even if you were married, for example, in California. You must meet Utah’s residency requirement for a Utah court to have jurisdiction over your divorce. Utah Divorce works as long as both you and your spouse agree about everything and both of you are willing to sign the divorce paperwork.

Do I need a lawyer to file for divorce in Utah?

Thousands of people divorce in Utah every year without hiring a lawyer. When spouses cannot agree about the terms and conditions of their divorce, they sometimes end up in court where a judge makes decisions for them. This is called a contested divorce, and hiring a lawyer is a good idea in this case. When a Utah divorce case is uncontested and both parties are willing to sign, (when you and your spouse agree about everything) filing your own divorce is a common choice in order to cut down legal expenses.

The residency requirements for a divorce in Utah are as follows:
• Either the Petitioner or the Respondent must be a bona fide resident of Utah for three months and of the county of filing. This applies to members of the armed services who are stationed in Utah.
• No hearing for the divorce may happen until 90 days have elapsed from the filing unless the court, “for good cause shown and set forth in the findings, otherwise orders.” This 90-day provision does not apply in any case where both parties have completed the mandatory classes.

What if my spouse does not live in Utah?

After you have printed all the divorce paperwork, you simply mail the documents to your spouse and he or she signs them. After your spouse returns them, you file in your local district court.

The grounds for divorce in Utah are as follows:
• No Fault: a) irreconcilable differences of the marriage, b) husband and wife living separately under a decree of separate maintenance of any state for three consecutive months without cohabitation.
• Fault: a) impotency of the Respondent at the time of the marriage, b) adultery committed by the Respondent subsequent to the marriage, c) willful desertion of the Petitioner by the Respondent for more than one year, d) willful neglect of the Respondent to provide for the Petitioner the common necessities of life, e) habitual drunkenness of the Respondent, f) conviction of Respondent of a felony, g) cruel treatment of the Petitioner by the Respondent causing injury or great mental distress to the Petitioner.

How long does a divorce take in Utah?

Once the divorce paperwork has been filed in court, it takes at least 30 days for a divorce to be final unless a party is exempt from the 30-day provision mentioned above. The start to finish time of the divorce may vary depending on the caseload of the court and the availability of judges to sign the final divorce papers. In Utah, a divorce hearing is not typically required unless you and your spouse have children. If there are children involved, a short hearing, generally about 15 minutes, gives the court an opportunity to make certain that you understand the parameters of custody, visitation and support that are ordered as part of your divorce. If there are no children, the process in very streamlined. Since you and your spouse are in agreement, there is nothing for the court to decide.

How do I calculate how much child support I owe?

We provide Utah Child Support Worksheets inside your account. These worksheets make it very easy to calculate a monthly support amount. The support calculation is based on a number of variables, but the primary one is income. Once you have calculated the amount, you and your spouse decide if you want to deviate from it and the reasons for doing so.

Utah permits deviation from its child support guidelines if the court finds sufficient evidence to rebut the Utah Child Support guidelines by considering all relevant factors, including but not limited to: a) the standard of living of the parties; b) the relative wealth and income of the parties; b) the ability of the oblige to earn, e) the ability of an incapacitated adult to earn, or other benefits received by the adult child on the adult child’s behalf including Supplemental Security Income; f) the needs of the oblige, the obligor, and the child; g) the ages of the parties; and h) the responsibilities of the obligor and the oblige for the support of others. Child support can be modified based on a change in circumstances. In Utah, a change in circumstances means “a significant change in circumstances,” generally, changes “not considered when the original judgment was entered” that are “permanent and substantial” and/or “affect one’s current standard of living.”
What documents do I receive with my Utah account?
• Utah Filing Instruction
• Cover Sheet for Civil Filing Actions
• Verified Petition for Divorce
• Acceptance of Service, Appearance, Consent and Waiver
• Marital Settlement Agreement
• Schedule for Visitation/Parenting Time of Minor Children (attach to MSA)
• Affidavit Regarding the Children
• Affidavit of Income Verification and Compliance with the Uniform Child Support Guidelines
• Child support Obligation Worksheet (Sole Custody)
• Child Support Obligation Worksheet (Joint Custody)
• Child Support Obligation Worksheet (Split Custody)
• Insurance Premium and Child Care Adjustment Worksheet
• Child Support Obligation Table
• Child Support Obligation Worksheet Required Location Information
• Motion fort Entry of Default Certificate
• Default Certificate
• Petitioner’s Affidavit of Jurisdiction and Grounds for Divorce
• Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
• Decree of Divorce and Judgment
• Notice to Submit for Entry of Default Decree of Divorce
• Certificate of Divorce. Dissolution of Marriage, or Annulment

The following is a list of some of the major issues that must be resolved between you and your spouse before filing an uncontested divorce action in Utah:
• division of real estate and personal property
• division of debts and assets
• child custody and visitation if you and your spouse have minor children
• child support, health and insurance coverage
• alimony or spousal support, and
• any other issues related to your marriage.
To obtain an uncontested divorce in Utah you must meet the following criteria:
• you or your spouse have resided in Utah for at least 3 months, if minor children are involved, you must have resided in Utah for 6 months
• you and your spouse have agreed on all issues in your divorce, and
• child support and spousal support, custody and visitation are not requested, or there is a written agreement signed and notarized by both parties resolving those issues.

If you plan to file for divorce without the help of an attorney, you will be responsible for filing the right documents with the right court. Utah’s district courts oversee divorce cases and trials. Utah has approximately 70 judges serving in the state’s eight judicial districts. Where you live will determine where you file for divorce because generally, you will file your divorce paperwork in the county in which you live. If you and your spouse have separated but still reside in Utah, either the county in which you lived, or where your spouse has lived for the last three months is proper to file your paperwork. Utah has a mandatory 30-day waiting period to complete a divorce. Under extraordinary circumstances, the 30-day waiting period may be waived. However, before a divorce will be granted to parents of minor children, both spouses must complete the Divorce Education Course. Utah does not require that you attend a court hearing before a judge will finalize your uncontested divorce. Instead, if all your paperwork is filed correctly and the judge finds that your agreement is reasonable and/or in the best interests of your children, then the judge will sign the Findings and Decree of Divorce. Note that the date the judge signs your Decree, is when your divorce becomes final.

There Are Predictors for Divorce in Utah

If you enter into marriage under the age of 20 and/or have an income of less than 25,000, your risk of divorce skyrockets. Throw in a spouse losing their job or a surprise pregnancy, and your marriage may be doomed before it begins. Here in Utah, we have a tendency to marry quite young. The median age of marriage in the United States is 27 for women and 29 for men. Now compare that to the average age of marriage in Utah, which is 24 for women and 26 for men.

Divorce Has Declined Nearly Everywhere Except Utah

Utah’s divorce rates run slightly higher than the national average. Statistics often attribute this to Utah having larger families than the national average, citing more than 5% of families have 7+ family members compared to the 3.25 national averages (2013). Modifications of court orders can sometimes be legally complex and hard to understand. Sometimes the order itself will dictate if and how an order may be modified. Often, discussion and mediation between the parties is a pre-requisite before a petition to modify may be filed. Having a post divorce modification lawyer in Utah on your side can help you can be fully informed of your rights If you have additional questions about obtaining an uncontested divorce in Utah, contact an experienced family law attorney for assistance.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Ascent Law St. George Utah Office

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Source: https://www.ascentlawfirm.com/uncontested-divorces-in-utah/

Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents can result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Lawsuits to recover damages for injuries in bicycle accidents with automobiles involve many of the same issues as any auto accident lawsuit. Liability for bike accident injuries often comes down to negligence whether the car driver’s negligence caused the cyclist’s injuries, and whether any negligence by the cyclist caused or contributed to the accident.

Bicycle Accident Liability Basics

Cyclists and drivers are obligated to obey the rules of the road. These rules include traffic laws, as well as the duty to exercise ordinary care in regards to one’s own safety and that of others on the roadways. Like other vehicle accident lawsuits, bicycle accident lawsuits are governed by state law, and often informed by state and local traffic laws.

Negligence and Bicycle Accidents

When a cyclist sues to recover damages for injuries suffered in an accident with an automobile, the outcome often depends on two questions:
• Did negligence (or recklessness) on the part of the driver cause the accident and resulting injuries to the bicyclist?
• Did any negligence of the bicyclist cause or contribute to the accident?

Driver Negligence or Recklessness

Negligence by a driver can take many forms. For example, speeding, running a stop sign, and drifting into a bike lane all constitute driver negligence, or even recklessness if done with knowing disregard for the safety of others. In a lawsuit alleging negligence by another person, plaintiffs typically must prove that the defendant acted in a way that violated a duty owed to the plaintiff. In auto accident cases, this means violating the basic duty of care owed to everyone else on or near the roadways. Accident lawsuits come down to facts specific to the individual case, and often the ability of the plaintiff to prove negligence through eyewitness testimony or other evidence. In car accident cases, however, behaviors which constitute traffic violations can constitute “negligence per se.” This means that if a driver was cited for a violation such as speeding at the time of the accident, evidence of the speeding violation counts as evidence of negligence. The burden then shifts to the defendant to prove that he or she didn’t cause the plaintiff’s injuries. Whether a cyclist sues a driver, or a cyclist is sued for causing someone else injury, cyclist negligence can determine the outcome of the lawsuit. Examples of biker negligence include riding the wrong way on a one-way street, running a stop sign, and turning abruptly into traffic. Negligent cyclists may be unable to recover damages for injuries they suffer in accidents involving cars.

Such negligence is called contributory or comparative negligence, meaning that the cyclist’s negligence, at least in part, caused the accident to happen, and thus caused at least some of the cyclist’s injuries. If a cyclist rode negligently, and that negligence caused injury to someone else, the cyclist may be held liable for that person’s injuries. In accident cases involving children on bicycles, courts hold drivers to a higher standard.

Get Your Legal Claim Evaluated

Accidents involving automobiles and bicycles can involve serious injuries and large liabilities. Bicycle accident lawsuits often come down to whether the driver or the cyclist negligently caused or contributed to the accident. This negligence determination can be a complex and require in-depth analysis. If you or a loved one has been in a bike accident, you should consult with an attorney to best protect your rights. You can have an experienced law firm evaluate the merits of your claim.

Things To Do If You’re Involved In A Utah Bike Accident

• Contact the Police Immediately
• Document the Bicycle Accident Scene
• Seek Medical Attention As Soon as Possible
• Avoid Discussing Your Utah Bike Accident
• Contact a Utah Personal Injury Lawyer


The steps that you take after being injured in a Utah bike accident can significantly impact your rights to receive compensation for your personal injury and damages.

Contact the Police Immediately

After all traffic accidents, including a bicycle accident, you need to contact law enforcement to report the bicycle crash. Calling 911 is typically the quickest and easiest way to report a bike accident in Utah. The 911 operator can quickly dispatch emergency medical services and a police officer from the correct law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the crash scene. When a police officer arrives, provide a short statement regarding the facts that lead to the bicycle accident without accepting any fault for the bike crash. Until an injury attorney investigates the auto accident, it is impossible to know for sure whether you were partially to blame for the cause of the bicycle accident.

Document the Bicycle Accident Scene

While waiting for the police and EMS to arrive at the accident scene, try to document the accident scene, if you can do so safely. Take photographs and record video of the bicycle accident scene immediately after the bike crash. This can provide crucial evidence for proving fault and liability. Try to capture all the details of the accident, including the position of the motor vehicle, your bicycle, and the surrounding area. Also, ask bystanders and eyewitnesses if they are willing to provide a statement. If you can record the statement on your cell phone, that could be helpful. Always make sure that you ask witnesses for their names and contact information. The police officer may not speak with everyone at the accident scene, and some witnesses leave the scene of a vehicle accident before police officers arrive.

Seek Medical Attention As Soon as Possible

Receiving prompt medical attention is important for your health and your personal injury case. Because you cannot be 100 percent sure that you did not sustain serious injuries, it may be best to allow yourself to be transported to the hospital by ambulance. Refusing medical treatment or transportation to the emergency room is typically noted in the police officer’s accident report. If you do not go directly to the hospital after a bicycle accident, see a doctor as soon as possible. To recover compensation for a Utah bicycle accident claim, you must prove that the driver of the motor vehicle was responsible for causing the bike accident. You must also provide medically verifiable proof that you sustained injuries as a result of the bicycle crash with a motor vehicle. Insurance companies like to use your actions against you. If you experience any delay in seeking medical treatment, fail to follow up with doctors, or fail to follow a medical treatment plan, they will use that as an excuse to deny or undervalue your claim. The insurance company will allege that the personal injury case is not valid or strong because a victim would have sought medical treatment if he or she were truly injured in a Utah bike accident. That’s why you should always visit a health care provider immediately after a bike accident. Follow through with your medical treatment until your doctor releases you from care. Failure to follow through with medical care could result in a lower settlement amount for your personal injury claim.

How much is my bicycle accident case worth?

Working with an injury attorney can help you receive the maximum compensation available by law for your personal injury claim. However, the value of insurance claims depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to:
• Whether you are partially at fault for the cause of the accident
• The severity and type of your injuries
• The amount of your financial losses and expenses
• How long it took you to recover from your bicycle injuries
• Whether you sustained permanent impairments or disabilities because of the crash
• The availability of insurance coverage for your accident claim
In most bike crash cases, when the driver of a motor vehicle is at fault for the collision, the bicyclist is entitled to receive compensation for economic losses and noneconomic losses (pain and suffering).

Examples of economic or financial losses include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses related to the crash or the rider’s injuries. Noneconomic or pain and suffering damages refer to your physical pain, scarring, emotional distress, disabilities, permanent impairments, mental anguish, and loss of quality of life.

What Are My Rights as a Bicyclist in the Event of an Accident?

If you have been involved in a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle, you might be entitled to compensation under Utah personal injury laws. The same laws that protect accident victims in traffic accidents protect cyclists who are injured by a car, truck, or motorcycle. If the driver of the motor vehicle caused the accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your physical injuries, financial losses, and emotional distress. You are also entitled to compensation for property damage to your bicycle, which could total thousands of dollars for some riders, and any other personal property damaged in the accident. However, you must prove that the driver’s actions, omissions, or other wrongdoing was the cause of the bicycle accident. A Utah bicycle injury attorney takes several steps to protect your legal rights after a bicycle accident including but not limited to:
• Investigating the bicycle accident, including gathering evidence from the accident scene; searching for videos (i.e. traffic cameras, surveillance cameras, etc.) and interviewing eyewitnesses
• Working with your medical providers and doctors to determine the extent of your injuries, including permanent impairments
• Documenting financial and noneconomic damages
• Filing an insurance claim with the driver’s insurance provider
• Researching applicable Utah bicycle laws, personal injury statutes, and traffic laws to prove fault
• Working with experts and accident re-constructionists, when necessary, to prove fault
• Protecting you from insurance tactics used to lower the value of your bicycle accident claim, such as pressuring victims to provide statements, sign medical release forms, and accept settlements that are much lower than the value of your claim.

Drivers owe a duty of care to bicyclists to avoid causing accidents. For example, motorists should avoid dangerous driving behaviors, such as distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, and drowsy driving, which can increase the risk of a traffic accident. However, bicyclists must obey Utah traffic laws and Utah bicycle laws. A favorite insurance tactic used by many insurance companies is to blame the rider for the accident. If the insurance company can blame the rider for any portion of the bike crash, Utah’s comparative negligence laws allow the bicyclist’s compensation for the accident to be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the cyclist. A personal injury attorney can help you fight these allegations to protect your legal rights after a bicycle accident in Utah.

When Can You Seek Legal Compensation for A Bicycle Accident?

You have the right to seek legal compensation for a bicycle accident whenever you sustain injuries or damages in a bicycle crash caused by another party. A Utah bike accident attorney can provide the legal advice, support, and guidance you need after being injured in a bicycle accident.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Bicyclists crashing into automobiles are a common cause of bike accidents. Each year in Utah, on average, nearly a thousand cyclists are injured and seven are killed. Most states with high motor vehicle/bicycle fatality rates are in the Sun Belt – Florida, Arizona, and Nevada are all ranked highly. Utah, with its plenitude of days with sunshine and avid outdoors enthusiasts, is ranked #10. Children and teens make up by far the largest proportion of victims of vehicle/bike crashes – those age 10 to 14 are the most likely to be hit by a large margin. Unfortunately, reported rates of helmet use are particularly low among young bicyclists. In 2003, adults wore helmets at eight times the rate of secondary school students. Certain risk factors make it less likely that a teen will wear a helmet: use is significantly lower among males, in rural areas, and in neighborhoods and at schools with a lower socioeconomic status. However, adult men are more likely to wear a helmet than adult women. Utah has no legislation requiring the use of helmets. Laws and education are significant in promoting proper helmet use.

What Causes Bikers to Crash?

• Bicycle rider using the wrong side of road
• Auto driver making unsafe left or right turn
• Bicyclist riding from driveway or sidewalk into path of car
• Auto driver opening door as bicycle passes
• Bicycle rider weaving, leaving edge of road or bike lane
• Bicyclist making unsafe left turn
• Bicycle without headlight or reflectors

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Annulments In Utah

Annulments In Utah

There are two ways to legally end a marriage—annulment and divorce. An annulment is a legal procedure which cancels a marriage. Annulling a marriage is as though it is completely erased, legally, and it declares that the marriage never technically existed and was never valid.
A divorce, or legal dissolution of a marriage, is the ending of a valid marriage, returning both parties to single status with the ability to remarry. While each individual state has its own laws regarding grounds for marriage annulment or divorce, certain requirements apply nationwide.
An annulment case can be initiated by either party in a marriage. The party initiating the annulment must prove that he or she has the grounds to do so and if it can be proven, the marriage will be considered null and void by the court.

The following is a list of common grounds for annulment and a short explanation of each point:
• Bigamy – either party was already married to another person at the time of the marriage
• Forced Consent – one of the spouses was forced or threatened into marriage and only entered into it under duress
• Fraud – one of the spouses agreed to the marriage based on the lies or misrepresentation of the other
• Marriage Prohibited By Law – marriage between parties that based on their familial relationship is considered incestuous
• Mental Illness – either spouse was mentally ill or emotionally disturbed at the time of the marriage
• Mental Incapacity – either spouse was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the marriage and was unable to make informed consent
• Inability to Consummate Marriage – either spouse was physically incapable of having sexual relations or impotent during the marriage
• Underage Marriage – either spouse was too young to enter into marriage without parental consent or court approval.

Depending on your state of residence, a divorce can be much more complicated than an annulment. Like annulment cases, each state has its own set of laws regarding divorce. In most divorce cases, marital assets are divided and debts are settled. If the marriage has produced children, a divorce proceeding determines custody of the children, visitation rights and spousal and child support issues. Each state can have either a no fault divorce or a fault divorce. A no-fault divorce allows the dissolution of a legal marriage with neither spouse being named the “guilty party” or the cause for the marital break-up. Many states now offer the “no-fault” divorce option, dissolution of a legal marriage in which neither party accepts blame for the marital break-up. In the absence of a “guilty party,” some states require a waiting period of a legal separation before a no-fault divorce can take place. For this reason, in addition to cases where one spouse wishes to assign blame, some parties seek to expedite the legal process by pursuing a traditional, fault divorce. A fault divorce is only granted when one spouse can prove adequate grounds. Like an annulment, these grounds vary from state to state; however, there are some overarching commonalities. These guidelines often include addition to drugs, alcohol or gambling, incurable mental illness, and conviction of a crime.

The major grounds for divorce that apply in every state are listed below:
• Adultery – one or both spouses engages in extramarital relationships with others during the marriage.
• Desertion – one spouse abandons the other, physically and emotionally, for a lengthy period of time.
• Physical/Emotional Abuse – one spouse subjects the other to physical or violent attacks or emotional or psychological abuse such as abusive language, and threats of physical violence

Reasons for Divorce or Annulment

There are different reasons for pursuing a divorce versus an annulment. At the core, ending a marriage is generally because one or both spouses want to leave the union. But, a divorce, which is much more common, is sought when the parties acknowledge that the marriage existed, and an annulment is sought when one or both of the spouses believe that there was something legally invalid about the marriage in the first place.

Divorce: Depending on state laws, there may be evidence required in order for a court to grant a divorce. Generally, a no-fault divorce, in which both parties agree to end the marriage, is becoming common, although the divorcing couples may still have disputes about property, finances, child custody, and more that must be settled through court orders.

Annulment: An annulment ends a marriage that at least one of the parties believe should never have taken place. If the marriage took place despite unknown facts, such as a secret child, or even a secret illness, it may be a marriage that is voidable. An annulment can also end a marriage if the marriage was not legal to begin with, making it void. This might occur if issues such as bigamy or incest made the marriage illegal.

After a Divorce or Annulment

Legal experts explain that, among the differences between the two types of marriage dissolution, the marriage is never considered to have legally happened after an annulment. In simple terms, An annulment essentially turns back time so that the act of marriage never happened. The main benefit of annulment is the law treats the marriage as if it never existed. It’s over, and there are no further issues to deal with. Divorce, on the other hand, may mean involvement with your ex-spouse for years to come on issues such as support, property division and raising children. Annulment isn’t for everyone. Only a small percentage of those who are married can even qualify for one.

Finances

After a divorce, spouses are often entitled to a certain number of years of spousal support, alimony, or a portion of each others’ profits or property gained during the marriage. With an annulment, in contrast, the parties are not really considered to have been valid spouses and are not entitled to these same rights.

Length of Time of the Marriage

Often, people assume that a very brief marriage can be ended with an annulment due to the short duration. However, legal experts disagree. While many states will not grant an annulment after a maximum length of time, there is not an automatic annulment granted to end a marriage because the couple wants to end it after a short period of time. Annulments are only granted when the marriage is void or one spouse misled the other spouse regarding a material fact prior to the marriage. Annulments are granted based upon very limited statutory grounds such as fraud, duress, mental incapacity such as (intoxication), failure to consummate, and incidents which involve prohibited marriages such as bigamy or close blood relatives. The length of the marriage is irrelevant when it comes to annulments.
Both types of marriage dissolution can be fairly complicated from a legal standpoint, requiring costly and lengthy legal proceedings. Yet, either a divorce or an annulment can also be simple and low-cost if both parties agree to end the union without too many disputes or disagreements about how to do so.

Religious Rules

Many religions that have guidelines regarding divorce and annulment. Often, permission is granted by religious clergy or by written guidelines. Obtaining permission to have an annulment or a divorce from your religious leaders is usually a completely separate process from the legal process. The rules regarding divorce and annulment in your religion often determine whether one, both or neither of the partners has permission to marry again within the religion or in a religious ceremony or to participate in religious rituals. A court of law may consider your religious marital status but does not have to recognize the religious determinations when making rulings about spousal support, property disputes, or any other legal issues. A family court judge may issue an annulment at the request of one individual, or at the couple’s mutual request. Generally, a judge will be inclined to grant the annulment request if the parties agree to an annulment, and to the reason(s) for why the annulment is sought, however, in many instances, only one party seeks an annulment. A party that seeks an annulment can do so by bringing an annulment action in family court. If the other person does not want an annulment or does not believe there are grounds for one, the judge will hold a hearing. At the hearing, the judge will consider evidence from both sides as to whether an annulment can be granted. Typically, these hearings are not held before a jury. Annulled marriages are regarded as though they never existed. Therefore, courts faced with how to divide assets in an annulment situation attempt try to leave the couple in the same financial it was in before the marriage ever happened. This means that if the parties did not have any marital assets, the parties will each be left with whatever money or property they brought to the marriage with them on their own. Sometimes, couples obtain shared property or assets before the annulment. Courts must decide how the property should be divided.

Generally, courts divide shared property, and shared debt, on an equitable basis, or equitably. In equitably dividing assets and debt, courts look at the facts and circumstances in each case. Courts attempt to reach an equitable, or fair, resolution. A fair resolution for both parties involves taking each party’s specific needs (including financial needs) and circumstances into account. Generally, children born to a couple whose marriage is later annulled are considered legitimate. In other words, after the annulment, both parties to the annulled marriage are the legal parents of a child, just as they would be had the marriage ended in divorce. If, upon annulment, there are child support and child custody issues, courts will generally apply the state’s laws regarding divorced couple child support and custody issues. Generally, there is no period of time (e.g., three years, ten years) after the marriage by which an annulment must be sought. Practical considerations, however, might make obtaining an annulment earlier, rather than later, a prudent idea. The longer a party or couple waits or decides to request an annulment, the more complicated it becomes for a court to equitably divide assets and work out child custody and support issues. A party who brings an action for annulment later rather than sooner may have harder time presenting evidence. This is because, among other reasons, memories fade, details are forgotten, and witnesses may die or become unavailable, with the passage of time. Also, many people seek an annulment to escape a social or religious stigma of divorce. Delay or wait in obtaining an annulment is, in effect, a delay in a person’s ability to remarry, whether they wish to do so consistently with their faith or for other reasons unique to the individual.

How to Be Eligible for an Annulment

While a divorce terminates a legal marriage, an annulment means that the marriage never existed legally. To qualify for an annulment, a marriage must be legally void or voidable. Void means that it is not valid, while voidable means that a court can declare it to be invalid if it is challenged. To be eligible for an annulment you must be able to prove one of the specific grounds to establish that your marriage is void or voidable. Otherwise, eligibility for an annulment is simple. However, many states require strict proof to declare an annulment.

Step 1: Meet one of the legal grounds for annulment. Although the grounds vary from state to state, several reasons for annulment are common to all states. If a spouse did not have the legal capacity or the legal intent to enter into the marriage, an annulment is possible. Some common reasons that a spouse does not have the legal capacity to marry include a preexisting marriage, mental incapacity or being underage. Another reason is consanguinity, or a marriage between close relatives, which is illegal.

Step 2: Determine if you were married without the proper intent, as an alternative to lacking the capacity to marry. A person who marries under fraudulent circumstances or under duress lacks the proper intent to enter into a marriage. For example, a person with false identity commits fraud if he marries someone who has no knowledge of his true identity. Another example is a sham marriage, in which the parties marry to deceive a government or corporate entity. A marriage that has not been consummated by physical relations can be annulled in some states.

Step 3: Be the innocent spouse in your marriage in order to file for an annulment. In some states and under certain circumstances, the wrongdoer in a marriage cannot be the plaintiff in a lawsuit for annulment. For example, if a man forced you to marry him under duress, he cannot file for annulment himself. Or, if you were tricked into marrying someone but remained married after you learned the truth, you cannot file for an annulment in many states because your actions retroactively approved the marriage agreement.

Step 4: Meet the residency requirements for the county and state where you seek an annulment. Usually, you or your spouse must have lived in the county for at least 90 days prior to filing for an annulment. Many states require a much longer period of residency. A lawyer or other officer of the court can tell you if you meet the residency requirements.

Step 5: Meet your state’s statute of limitations for annulment. For example, you might have to file within 90 days of the wedding ceremony, depending on the reason you are filing. You can find out if your state requires you to file within a certain time frame by consulting a lawyer, or you can look up this information in your state’s code of laws. You can usually find the state code online by conducting an Internet search or in a public library.

Annulment Attorney Free Consultation

When you need help with Annulments in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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What Is A Real Estate Offering Memorandum?

What Is A Real Estate Offering Memorandum

An offering memorandum is a legal document that states the objectives, risks, and terms of an investment involved with a private placement. This document includes items such as a company’s financial statements, management biographies, a detailed description of the business operations, and more. An offering memorandum serves to provide buyers with information on the offering and to protect the sellers from the liability associated with selling unregistered securities.

An offering memorandum, also known as a private placement memorandum (PPM), is used by business owners of privately held companies to attract a specific group of outside investors. For these select investors, an offering memorandum is a way for them to understand the investment vehicle. Offering memorandums are usually put together by an investment banker on behalf of the business owners. The banker uses the memorandum to conduct an auction among the specific group of investors to generate interest from qualified buyers. An offering memorandum, while used in investment finance, is essentially a thorough business plan. In practice, these documents are a formality used to meet the requirements of securities regulators since most sophisticated investors perform their extensive due diligence. Offering memorandums are similar to prospectuses but are for private placements, while prospectuses are for publicly traded issues. In many cases, private equity companies want to increase their level of growth without taking on debt or going public. If, for example, a manufacturing company decides to expand the number of plants it owns, it can look to an offering memorandum as a way to finance the expansion. When this happens, the business first decides how much it wants to raise and at what price per share. In this example, the company needs $1 million to fund its growth at $30 per share. The company begins by working with an investment bank or banker to draft an offering memorandum. This memorandum complies with securities laws outlined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). After compliance is met, the document is circulated among a specific number of interested parties, usually chosen by the company itself. This is in stark contrast to an initial public offering (IPO), where anyone in the public can purchase equity in the company. The offering memorandum tells the potential investors all they need to know about the company: the terms of the investment, the nature of the business, and the potential risk of the investment. The document almost always includes a subscription agreement, which constitutes a legal contract between the issuing company and the investor. An offering memorandum is a legal document that discloses the terms, conditions, risks, and other information about a private placement. It is not the same thing as a prospectus (those are for issuance of publicly-traded securities).

How Does an Offering Memorandum Work?

For example, let’s say Company XYZ is a private company that operates a chain of restaurants. It wants to raise $20,000,000 to open more restaurants, but it does not want to go public or borrow the money. So it decides to sell equity to investors in a private placement. In order to comply with state and federal securities laws, and in order to inform potential investors, Company XYZ writes an offering memorandum, which it circulates among interested parties. The offering memorandum details the terms of the transaction (such as the minimum investment amount, deadlines for purchasing shares, and investor qualifications), the nature of the business (including recent financials, a detailed description of the company’s operations, management biographies, customer data, financial forecasts, plans for the use of proceeds, and similar information), and the risks of the investment (including tax issues, litigation issues, and other company-level, industry-level, and economy-wide vulnerabilities). The offering memorandum usually includes a subscription agreement, which is the formal contract between the issuer and the investor for the purchase of the investment. In many cases, the law limits investors to those who are “accredited,” meaning they meet minimum net worth requirements and/or other requirements as dictated by the SEC and state laws.

Why Does an Offering Memorandum Matter?

Offering memorandums (also called private placement memorandums) are vehicles for raising capital. State and federal laws require them for most private placements, and they provide companies with a way to disclose key information to potential investors so that the investors can make informed decisions. This in turn provides protection for securities issuers as well.
Real Estate Offering Memorandum: Elements Every OM Should Include

How do you make an offering memorandum for a real estate deal?

An offering memorandum (OM) is typically published as a PDF and then shared with prospective investors. It covers a substantial amount of legal and marketing material, including an executive summary, deal structure details, risks and disclosures sections, and an investor suitability form. A securities or real estate attorney most often assembles your OM for you while sourcing transaction-related content from you.

Executive Summary

The Offering Memorandum begins with an executive summary, which lays out the high-level. In simple terms, the acquiring entity is seeking capital and there’s a brief description of your investment company (which may control or be the acquiring entity), its mission, the deal you’re pitching, a detailed description of the executives’ industry experience, and finally, deal financing requirements.

Location

Right after the executive summary, we jump into the location of the asset. Add images of the property’s location on a map, an aerial view of the site, and a second map highlighting important places (demand generators) near the property such as an airport, public transportation, restaurants and stores.

After describing the property’s physical location, insert multiple images of the actual property. For example, if it’s an apartment unit, add images of the interior, such as the kitchen and bathrooms. If the property is a retail center, show images of the different stores, the parking lot, and what visibility and access looks like from the street.

Investment Summary

The investment summary section covers various subtopics, each of which has its own separate section and brief description.

This section shows the amount of equity and debt to be raised, which are then add up to form the total sources of funds. You can copy and paste a screenshot into your OM from an excel model like in the example below. Also included shall be the uses of funds, including purchase price, closing costs, acquisition fee, working capital, and fronted capital expenditure, for example.

Loan Terms

The loan terms section is broken into the following subtopics:
• Loan amount: What is the approximate loan amount and the percentage of the purchase price it makes up.
• Borrower: Which entity will be borrowing and what kind of company it is.
• Interest rate: What is the locked interest rate?
• Term: How long is the term, and is it a fixed rate or variable rate?
• Amortization: Does amortization begin right away, or is there a period of interest-only servicing?
• Collateral: What collateral does the lender have on the deal

This table depicts the competitors in your market, where you stand against them, and each competing property’s financial information.

Every industry is different, whether residential, retail or another niche. Briefly describe what the specific industry for your property type is like in today’s market.

Similar to the industry overview, the market overview gives geographic specific insight on the real estate market where your building is located. Include facts about the city, such as population and financial status in addition to real estate market performance.

Risk Factors

Every real estate deal has multiple risk factors. This section should include every risk related to the business, tax, accounting, and legality of the property. There are often 10 to 20+ risks and each one should have its own paragraph description.

Real estate deals frequently receive support from accredited investors. This last section in the OM describes what types of investors the deal is suited for, and may be based on rules and regulations with regards to investor accreditation or general solicitation. These are the guidelines that concern the investors’ financial status and their ability to bear the risk of losing an investment.

Pull all of this info together into a neatly formatted document and you’ll be ready to start soliciting investments for your deal. It may take quite some effort to get all of this information, but having a complete and thoughtful offering memorandum that includes the sections suggested here will go a long way to instill confidence in your investors and serve as a guide throughout your process of issuing a new offering.

Real Estate Development Offering Memorandum

A real estate OM, or Offering Memorandum, is a document used to raise capital that outlines the securities rules and regulations, and the company’s terms to investors. When a company is seeking to raise money for building or construction pursues in the general real estate development industry, drafting a Offering Memorandum for such investment purposes is a standard. This is true for single family home projects to commercial developments to housing and condos.

Types of Offering Memorandums

There are many varying types of Offering Memorandums. The type of offering will determine the specific nature of the OM. The two-main private placement offering memorandum documents used throughout the world are an equity private placement or a debt private placement.

• Equity: In an equity offering, a company will sell an ownership stake. The most common type of equity Offering Memorandum is one that sells shares or stock in a company. In addition, an limited liability company (LLC) or a limited partnership (LP) may sell units, or limited partnership interests of the company. Some issue sweeteners, like preferred shares or preferred stock.

• Debt: In a debt offering, a company will sell securities such as a bond or a note. In a debt Offering Memorandum, a company will detail the securities being sold, such as the interest rate, maturity date, and other terms of the notes or bonds. In other types of debt issuance offering memorandums a company might offer convertible bonds or convertible notes. In this type of transaction, the debt securities will convert to equity at a pre-determined date.

• Rules: In addition to debt or equity, there are various national and in some cases, international rules that apply to each Offering Memorandum. For example, there is Rule 504, 505 and 506 of Regulation D (Reg D). Included in Reg D is also 506b and 506c offerings. There is also Regulation A (Reg A). A popular rule in the equity and debt private placement sphere is Regulation S (Reg S) and Rule 144A. Whether you require an equity OM or a debt Offering Memorandum, our team at Prospectus.com can assist.

Sections of an Offering Memorandum

There are many features and sections that go into the writing of an Offering Memorandum that is geared for raising capital. Here are just a few segments of the OM:

• Executive Summary: an executive summary is normally a one or two-page summary of the business plan. It’s always suggested to include an executive summary in a private placement offering memorandum document as this help explain what the business does.

• Jurisdictional Legends: the jurisdictional legends are specific country and state regulations governing the sale of securities in each jurisdiction. If it’s a US or Reg D offering, the jurisdictional legend will comprise of various states and rules for raising capital for selling stocks or bonds. If a company is raising capital worldwide they will use international legends that are country specific. Each country has their own rules regarding the flow of capital from outside investors and local investors.

• Terms of the Offering: the terms of the offering will highlight the relevant features of the issuance. Included in the offering term section will be the stock or share price, or bond or note price, investors requirements, use of proceeds, some risks factors, and, if a debt offering, the maturity date and interest rate. The terms of the offering are the main component of a Offering Memorandum.

• Investor Suitability: the investor suitability section of a OM will deal with investor standards. For example, if a company is raising capital and is required to only accept accredited investors then this section would detail that. Or if the suitability standards allow for non-accredited investors, or non-US investors under Regulation S (Reg S), or US investors in a 144A offering, the investor suitability section will detail that, which may include net worth requirements for each investor.

• Risk Factors: the risk factor section will deal with the pertinent risks of the business. Included in the risk factors would be industry specific risks that could materially affect the business, as well as micro and macro risks toward the company, including competitors, and factors outside the control of the company such as natural disasters, recessions and so. Listing the company’s risk factors is important as omissions can come back to haunt entrepreneurs.
• Management Team: the management team section will showcase the team’s skills, including the CEO and the support staff, and possibly even the board of directors or an advisory board. It is wise to include the strengths of the management team as this can help build investor confidence.
• Use of Proceeds: the use of proceeds section is one page or more that details where the company plans on spending the capital they are raising. The use of proceeds is not always the most elaborate chart, but should be a solid breakdown of the plan of where the proceeds from the offering will be spent.
• Tax Implications: the tax section of the Offering Memorandum will detail the implications for an investor. Most OMs will not detail the specific state tax requirements so each investor would be required to speak with their local accountant. For international clients, non-US (or not from the country of one’s offering), the tax implication will be important for profit and loss and each country will have their own rules.
• Subscription Agreement: the subscription agreement is a synopsis of the terms of the entire Offering Memorandum and acts as the contract between the issuing company and the investor. The agreement will outline the terms of the offering, and the securities being sold, such as the bonds, notes, stocks, shares, warrants, or convertible securities.
• Exhibits: one of the final sections of the OM is the exhibits, which are ancillary data related to the business of the company or the securities being sold. Examples of exhibits that go into a Offering Memorandum may be an image of a patent granted, or licenses or a company’s incorporation certificate.

Securities Law

A Offering Memorandum is meant for an issuing company to be compliant with both state and federal laws, no matter where the OM is issued. A company selling securities wants to ensure they do not break any laws when approaching investors and are exempt for registration requirements. For an investor to make an educated decision the OM should contain all the noted data above, including financial projections and past financial performance and of course the risk factors of the business and industry. Risk factor information will not scare away experienced investors who are most likely well aware of such language being placed in an Offering Memorandum. The important thing is make sure your company is compliant with securities laws and regulations when raising capital.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

Recent Posts

Alimony

Boating Accidents

Divorce Mediation In Utah

Living Trust Vs. Will

Adoption Legal Help

Divorce Modifications

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Divorce Modifications

Divorce Modifications

Although a divorce decree is the final order of a judge, its terms can be changed in two situations. If you think the judge came to the wrong decision regarding any aspect of your divorce, you have the ability to appeal that decision to a higher court, provided you do so within a narrow window of time following the issuance of your divorce decree. On the other hand, if something changes after the decree is finalized that affects certain aspects of the divorce, you may be able to file a motion to modify the decree to accommodate those changed circumstances.

Filing a Motion to Modify

• Find the correct forms: Most courts provide a form for divorce decree modifications. Especially in cases involving children, modifications are common as circumstances change. Keep in mind that after the period for appeal has passed, you can’t have the division of property modified. However, any ongoing obligations or responsibilities such as child support, spousal support, or child visitation are subject to modification if circumstances change. You may have to use a different form depending on whether you want to modify custody and visitation, child support, or spousal support. Go to the website of the court where your original divorce case was heard and see if there are modification forms available for you to download. You also might find paper forms at the clerk’s office.

• Draft your motion: To have a divorce decree modified, you must demonstrate that there has been a significant change in circumstances since the decree was entered. For example, if your ex-spouse recently got a promotion and should be paying more child support as a result, you can have the divorce decree modified to account for this change. In some states, court rules establish a rebuttable presumption that child support should be modified if the new amount calculated using the child support guidelines varies more than 10 percent from the original amount.

• Sign your motion in the presence of a notary. If you’re making factual statements in your motion, you should sign it in front of a notary public. If you don’t know where to find a notary, check and see if your bank provides free notary services to its customers. You also can find notaries at some private businesses such as check-cashing companies, or in the courthouse. Nearly every aspect of child or spousal support and visitation can be modified. If you’re the one filing the motion for modification, it’s up to you to prove that the change is great enough to require the decree be changed to accommodate it. For example, suppose your original decree had your kids coming to visit you every other weekend. However, your employer is about to transfer you to a new plant 500 miles away, which would make such frequent travel for such short periods of time unfeasible. In these circumstances, a judge might be willing to enter a modification with a more reasonable visitation schedule.

• Assemble your motion and make copies: Once you’ve signed your motion, assemble it and all attachments and make enough copies to send one to your ex-spouse and keep at least one for your records. Include any evidentiary documents as attachments. For example, if you are requesting the amount of child support be modified because you’ve changed jobs and have a significant change in income, you might attach copies of paycheck stubs. You also should attach a copy of the original divorce decree. Make sure you have a certificate of service and notice of hearing. These forms usually are available at the same place where you got the forms for your motion.

• File your motion: Take your originals and copies to the clerk’s office of the court that issued your divorce decree and file your motion to modify. The clerk will stamp your originals and copies “filed” with the date after you pay the filing fee, usually around $100. The clerk also will schedule a date and time for your hearing and include this on the notice of hearing attached to your motion.

• Serve your ex-spouse: After your motion has been filed, you must send copies to your spouse to provide notice of your request for modification and the hearing scheduled. You can contact the sheriff’s department or a private process serving company to serve the papers in person, or you can mail them certified mail.

• Attend mediation or pre-trial conferences as required: A motion to modify can become as lengthy and formal as a divorce trial itself. For this reason, many jurisdictions require you to complete mediation or attend a pre-trial conference before the motion is heard by a judge.

• Appear in court for your hearing: If your ex-spouse continues to contest your request for modification, or you are otherwise unable to reach an agreement, a judge will hear your motion and make a final decision on whether to modify the decree.

• Arrive at the courthouse early so you have plenty of time to park and go through security. Dress conservatively and professionally, and bring copies of all the documents you’ve filed along with any witnesses or evidence you wish to present.

• In court, rise when your name is called and speak only to the judge. Since you filed the motion, you will have the opportunity to speak first.

• After you’ve presented the reasons you believe the decree should be modified, the judge will give your ex-spouse the opportunity to present her side. Do not speak to her directly or interrupt her; speak only to the judge.

• After hearing both sides and any witnesses, the judge will issue her final ruling on your motion. You may receive the final order that day, or it may be mailed to you later.

Filing an Appeal

• Determine whether you qualify to appeal: You have a brief period of time, usually 30 days, after your decree is entered to appeal some portion of the judge’s decision. Either spouse can appeal a trial court’s decision to an appeals court. An appeal turns on what happened during the trial, not what has happened since the trial. You can’t introduce new facts or evidence on appeal – you’re only arguing that the trial judge’s decision was incorrect based on the information he had at the time. Keep in mind that settlement agreements typically can’t be appealed, because you both agreed to the terms. You may be able to modify the agreement if circumstances have changed.

• Consider hiring an attorney: Even if you didn’t have an attorney represent you at trial, appellate practice is considerably more complicated than trial practice, and divorce decisions are rarely overturned on appeal. If you did have an attorney, she may be willing to continue to represent you, or she may refer you to another attorney who specializes in appeals. Appeals arguments typically focus on issues of legal interpretation rather than factual disputes. Appellate judges generally won’t second guess a trial judge’s factual conclusions. An attorney will ensure that you have solid grounds for appeal and that all necessary documents are filed ahead of any deadlines.

• Draft your appellate brief: The appellate brief contains your legal argument as to why the trial court judge’s decision was wrong and should be overruled. Unlike your initial divorce petition, you likely won’t find forms to fill out for an appellate brief. You may be able to find briefs filed in other cases in the same court to use as guides. Typically an appellate brief argues the judge made a mistake either in applying or interpreting the law – not that the judge made a mistake of fact. For example, if the court concluded that your total income was $100,000 a year, you can’t appeal that factual conclusion. However, if the judge arrived at that conclusion because he included money that legally should have been excluded from your legal income for the purposes of calculating child or spousal support, that would be an issue for appeal.

• File your appellate brief: When you file your brief, you must also follow your appellate court’s rules for “perfecting” your appeal. These vary not only among states but also among appellate courts within a state. In addition to paying a filing fee, you typically will have to file a notice of appeal and order a trial transcript along with a written order asking the trial court clerk to send the trial court record to the court of appeals.

• Attend the appellate court hearing: After the appellate court receives all the documents for your case, it may hold oral arguments on either party’s request. No testimony or evidence is presented; rather, appellate attorneys argue their cases based on the record of the case at trial. Once arguments are heard, the appeals court, typically consisting of a three-judge panel, will decide whether to accept or deny your appeal. In most cases, unless your judge made a serious error, the appellate court will uphold the original decree and you will have to follow it.

How Much Does It Costs to Go Back and Modify My Divorce?

Divorce agree on the proposed, agree on the proposed change, alter the terms, change, change in circumstances, difficult to alter, difficult to alter the terms, divorce, divorce decree, ex-spouse, file a petition, file a petition to modify, modify, petition to modify, proposed change, reached an agreement, show the court, term in question, terms, terms of your divorce. Sometimes circumstances change after the judge signs your divorce decree, which lays out the terms of your divorce. It can be difficult to alter the terms of your divorce unless you can show the court the modification or appeal is justified. Once the divorce decree is signed, you have the right to file an appeal the terms of the divorce or a motion to modify certain specific terms. An appeal must be filed within thirty days of the original judgment. Modifications can be requested at any time after the divorce is finalized. If both parties agree to the appeal or modification, the lawyer may charge $2600 to $6800 to file the necessary paperwork for you and there is a filing fee as well. As long as both parties agree then it doesn’t matter if there has been a substantial change or not, the judge will usually grant it since it is by agreement. If one party does not agree to a modification, the lawyer may charge at least a $2,500 retainer to file it on your behalf. It can be difficult to alter the terms of your divorce since you will have to show the court a convincing reason why you want to modify your divorce. The most common type of modification involves child support and spousal support. They usually require some type of life change in order to modify (e.g., significant change in income, major medical event, etc.). To alter the terms of your divorce decree, one party much file a Petition to modify the decree. If you and your ex-spouse agreed on the term in question during the divorce process, then the petition would be to change certain aspects of the agreement.

If you and your ex-spouse did not agree on the term in question and the term was decided by a judge, then you would petition to change the judge’s decision. In the latter instance, even if you and your ex-spouse agree on the proposed change, you’ll still have to convince the judge to modify the court’s order. If you and your ex-spouse do not agree on the proposed change, you’ll have to argue against your ex-spouse and argue your case to the judge why your proposed change is necessary. If it is a prior agreement to be amended without both parties agreeing to the change, then you will need to show a change in circumstances that justifies the proposed change. If you and your ex-spouse do not agree on the proposed modification, you will need to file your Petition to Modify without an agreement and it will be set for a hearing. At the hearing, your ex-spouse can object to the changes and the two of you can litigate the issue to have the judge determine the contested issues for you. This can cost quite a bit in attorney fees, but either party can always file a Petition to Modify and have a hearing even without having reached an agreement with the ex-spouse. If you have reached an agreement in your divorce and file a Petition to Modify a few months after your divorce decree was entered, you may have difficulty since you agreed to the Settlement Agreement just a few months prior and now want to change it. There has likely not been enough time passed for there to be a substantial change in circumstances.

When you agree to a Settlement Agreement in a divorce, it is a binding contract between you and your ex-spouse. Like any contract, you agreed to it at the time, so a judge is not going to let you out of the contract very easily. The more time that has passed since you agreed to the contract, the more likely a judge is to let you alter parts of it or get out of certain aspects of the agreement as situations are more likely to change significantly over a period of time. Sometimes if former spouses still get along well, they may informally decide to change or modify certain terms of their divorce. For example, they may make informal adjustments to how they divide their property, how much one party pays the other for child support, and custody plans. It is not advisable for you to do this. If one spouse changes their mind, they can go back and hold you to the original terms and potentially get the court involved. Maybe you were getting along fine with your ex-spouse, and they decided you could keep the car, even though they got it in the divorce. Well, maybe you start dating again and they hear about it and get jealous. They can demand the car back, and you have to give it to them unless you want law enforcement at your door. Stick to the terms of your divorce and if you do find yourself in need of modification, contact us so we can get it done for you the right way.

When a divorce or paternity decree is entered, the court orders reflect the general circumstances in place at that particular time. If a substantial change occurs in the years after entry of your divorce or paternity order, the court will allow you to file a petition and seek a modification of the terms of the order with a post-divorce modifications lawyer in Utah. This is a legally complicated matter which requires a skilled and knowledgeable family law attorney. Generally speaking, rulings of a court, including decrees of divorce and paternity, are the court’s orders until modified by the court or by agreement between the parties. Whether or not a party may request the court to modify its order depends greatly on changes in circumstances, if any that may have taken place after the entry of the decree. Parties often seek relief from the court to modify court orders. Sometimes, both the parties seek the change to ratify something that is already taking place, such as a change in a parent-time schedule and wish to formalize the agreement they have.

Other times, the parties are not in agreement and seek the court’s determination of whether the order should be modified and this is the best time to have a family lawyer on your side. Common areas of post-divorce modifications in Utah include:

• Alimony
• Child Support
• Parent-time
• Custody

Modifications of court orders can sometimes be legally complex and hard to understand. Sometimes the order itself will dictate if and how an order may be modified. Often, discussion and mediation between the parties is a pre-requisite before a petition to modify may be filed. Having a post divorce modification lawyer in Utah on your side can help you can be fully informed of your rights.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Boating Accidents

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Source: https://www.ascentlawfirm.com/divorce-modifications/

Boating Accidents

Boating Accidents

Millions of people every year enjoy boating, jet skiing, and other forms of watercraft. Unfortunately, one wrong move can lead to a motor boat accident. Depending on the conditions and severity of the accident, a motor boat injury could be sustained as a result. Boating accidents result from inexperience, intoxication, equipment failure, poor weather conditions, and simple driver error. The law requires boat operators to exercise a great deal of care and caution when out on the water. When failure to do so leads to injury or wrongful death, they can be held responsible for the aftermath.

Some of the most common types of Utah boating accidents include:
• Drug and alcohol accidents
• Wakeboarding, tubing, or waterskiing accidents
• Parasailing accidents
• Boat collisions
• Commercial fishing boat accidents

Boat accident lawyers can help with all these cases. If you’ve been injured as the result of a boating accident, you may deserve compensation for your compromised health. Almost any Utah boat accident lawyer will tell a client that it is far better to aim for a settlement than a trial. Trials are expensive, lengthy, and have uncertain outcomes. While you may not get as high of compensation through a settlement as you would have in a trial, the money will come quicker, and the risk will be removed. Because every boating accident is unique, it’s difficult to pinpoint how much money you can settle for. There are two ways to go about arriving at a settlement. The first is to negotiate directly with the person at fault or their insurance company. If the circumstances of the accident are fairly straightforward and show the driver was in neglect, the insurance company will be eager to settle the case. The wiser choice is to seek the advice of a boat accident attorney before moving forward with settlement negotiations. A Utah motor boat injury attorney with experience and expertise in the field will be able to evaluate the case and determine if the potential is there for greater compensation. The boat accident lawyer will be able to argue on your behalf and likely raise the settlement amount.

Legal Fees

Most boat accident attorneys structure their fees on a contingency basis. In other words, their fee comes from the eventual settlement or award. It costs nothing out of pocket for the client. Many of these attorneys will also waive their initial consultation fee, meaning it costs nothing for you to bring your case to them. Seek the advice of at least two or three lawyers before you decide to seek your settlement directly. If you have a strong connection with an attorney during your meeting, hire them. Let them deal with the stressful process.

Compensation

Should your case prove successful, the opposing party may be required to compensate you in several arenas. Here are the most common areas of compensation:

• Medical Bills: Getting treatment after a boating accident can be expensive. Even if you’re properly insured, deductibles and coverage limits could force you to spend much of your own money. Every year, thousands of people are forced to declare bankruptcy from hospital bills alone. Compensation can be used to cover these medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and other expenses related to treatment. If you’ve been injured in a boat accident, these costs may be exorbitant.

• Lost Income: If the boating accident has left you unable to perform your job duties or forced you to take time off from work, the opposing party may have to compensate you for lost income. If a doctor can attest that your injuries are directly responsible for the missed work, it may be incumbent upon the defendant to pay for the lost time. If the accident left you permanently disabled, the compensation may have to be great enough to cover future lost wages as well. This takes away the financial stress of having to miss work.

• Pain and Suffering: Many states have done away with punitive damages in these personal injury cases, but pain and suffering can still be a factor when a jury considers their verdict. A traumatic boating accident could lead not just too physical pain but to emotional anguish as well. Professional therapy is sometimes needed to find ways to cope with this mental pain. Compensation can be used to pay for this treatment.

Claim Process

To successfully bring a boating accident case to fruition, there are some steps you should follow. The first step is to file a boating accident report with the correct law enforcement body. The faster you can get a legal record of the incident in the system; the better off you’ll be when it comes time to talk compensation. Next, gather as many names and phone numbers of witnesses that you can. Take photographs of the accident, your injuries, and any property damage that occurred as the result of the boat crash. Seek medical attention for your injuries. This may be the first step if your injuries are severe. Always worry about your health first. Lastly, take copious notes about what you remember. Memories are unreliable and can change over time. If you have notes to look back on, it will prevent you from misremembering later. Boat accidents come in all stripes, sizes, and types. Whether you’ve been injured at sea or simply want to keep yourself abreast of the hazards, it can be instructive to know something about common forms of boat injury.

The three primary boat accident categories are those that occur due to:
• An error on the driver’s part
• Equipment failure
• Environmental factors
Of the three, operator error accounts for the biggest slice of the pie. Boating injuries can result from incompetence, inexperience, alcohol and drugs, rule violations, and other forms of negligence. It is also worth noting that not all accidents have a single point of blame. In many cases, two or more factors may come into play. If this is the case in your accident, don’t let that stop you from seeking compensation. A good boat accident attorney can make a case for you even if you share in some of the blame. Leave it to a judge, jury, or impartial panel to decide who most at fault in the accident was.

Prevent Boat Accidents: Follow Boating Safety Guidelines

Boating should be a fun and safe experience for everyone. Here are some standard guidelines to further prevent boating accidents:
• Remain Sober: By consuming drugs or alcohol while boating, you significantly increase your chances of being involved in a boat accident. Statistically 35% of boating accidents that resulted in a fatality involved drugs and/or alcohol, and 20% of all boating accidents have reported to involve drugs or alcohol.
• Regularly maintain and safety equipment: Standard boating safety equipment includes life jackets, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, lights, flotation devices, an anchor, and emergency supplies.
• Learn standard boating safety: Regularly check exhaust. Carbon monoxide exposure is deadly and can lead to a boating accident. Maintain and test carbon monoxide detectors on each voyage. Regularly inspect your boat for damage, cracks, or leaks.
• Make necessary safety preparations: Always tell someone where you are going if you are leaving on a boat trip. Do not overload your boat because excessive weight can affect the boats performance and potentially cause a boating accident. Follow proper boat launching etiquette to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
• Wear a life jacket: In almost all fatal boating accidents, the victim was not wearing their life jacket. If you become injured and are unable to swim a life jacket can save your life.
• Follow standard navigation and boating rules: This can help avoid accidents with other boats or boating accidents involving stationary objects such as buoys, rocks, ramps, etc.
• Stay Observant: Keeping a watchful eye can help avoid boat accidents and keep you and your passengers safe from injury. Weather and water conditions and the locations of other boats must be paid attention to at all time, negligence of these things are often responsible for boat accidents.

Boat Accidents and Injuries: Laws

Boating laws vary from Utah to the east coast, but there are some general rules regarding negligence that tend to stay somewhat uniform. Before you purchase or rent any watercraft, know the law for your safety and the safety of others. If you’ve been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, the law states that you have the right to seek reasonable compensation. In a case like this, evidence should point to carelessness or malicious intent on the part of the driver at fault. In order to reach an agreeable settlement, the plaintiff must show that monetary damages occurred as the result of the accident. With the assistance of a good boating accident lawyer, you can fight for your rightful compensation.

Reporting and Documenting

Federal law requires that if you have been involved in a boating accident which resulted in an injury or damage exceeding 2,000 dollars that you must file a report with your state boating authority and local law enforcement. Here are the precise requirements to report a boating accident within 48 hrs:

If a person dies due to the boat accident
• Any person needs medical attention outside of standard first aid
• A person has disappeared as a result of the boat accident
If no one was harmed during your boat accident, you are required to file a boating accident report within 10 days if there is damage to the involved boats or someone’s property.

Common Types of Boating Accidents

• Commercial Boating Accidents: When you make your living on the water, every day presents unique dangers. Careless operations, equipment failures, and deck fires are just a few of the ways in which seamen can suffer life-changing injuries. Whether you work on a tanker, barge, tugboat, or any other commercial vessel, a serious injury can keep you laid up and out of work for a long time.

• Jet Ski Accidents: Jet skis and other personal watercraft can be fun and exhilarating. But a combination of speed, water conditions, and a lack of experience or instruction can lead to tragic consequences. So too can operating such craft under the influence of alcohol or drugs or while disregarding basic safety rules. Being so close to the surface and fully exposed with minimal if any protective gear, Jet Ski operators are particularly vulnerable to serious injuries or death.

• Yacht Accidents: Money may be able to buy you a beautiful yacht, but it doesn’t necessarily buy owners or operators of yachts the proper training and experience to safely operate such large and hard to maneuver vessels. This, along with many other factors such as speeding, ignoring safety rules, failing to maintain the vessel, and failing to follow navigational rules, can lead to injuries to passengers as well as those on other boats. No matter the cause or nature of injuries caused in a yacht accident, a good lawyer can help victims of boater negligence get compensation for their injuries.

• Shrimping and Fishing Boat Accidents: Boat owners owe their crewmen a duty to provide a safe working environment, which includes maintaining and operating the boat properly. If fishing or shrimping boat crewman is injured through negligence or unseaworthiness, he may claim damages for lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, and medical expenses.

• Pontoon Boat Accidents: Among the types of boating accidents to consider, one type relates to pontoon boats. Pontoon boats are perfect for a relaxing afternoon on the water, but the fact that they aren’t built for speed like other types of boats doesn’t mean they are free from danger. In fact, passengers on pontoon boats may be even more at risk for injuries. More people die in pontoon boat accidents every year than in Jet Ski accidents, for example. That can be due to conduct such as “bow riding,” or sitting outside railings on the edge of the boat, dangling feet over the side. This can lead to drowning, propeller accidents, and run-over accidents. Poor training, alcohol use, and failure to follow safety rules can all contribute to pontoon boat injuries or deaths. Operators of the boat as well as concessionaires who rent pontoon boats can be held accountable for their negligence.

• Marina and Dock Accidents: Not all boating accidents happen away from shore. Dockworkers, longshoremen, and others who work or are present on marinas or docks can be injured when boats or other equipment are operated or maintained negligently. Workers may have remedies under the Jones Act and other federal law, and we have the experience and knowledge of dock operations to effectively obtain compensation for our injured clients.

• Party Boat Accidents: It’s no surprise that alcohol can be the culprit in many party boat accidents, whether it is an intoxicated operator who causes a collision, or a drunk passenger who falls overboard. But other factors may lead to serious injuries as well, and when those injuries are the result of negligence on the part of the owner, operator, or others responsible for the boat, we fight to hold those parties responsible.

• Waterskiing and Towing Accidents: Being pulled behind a boat at high speed can result in horrific injuries when vulnerable and unprotected individuals crash into the water, other boats, or other objects such as docks and wharfs. If the driver of the boat acts recklessly or in violation of safety rules, they can be held accountable for the injuries they inflict on those who put their trust in them.

Types of Boating Injuries

This includes obtaining compensation for those injured in:
• Propeller Accidents – serious lacerations, dismemberment, and internal injuries are just a few of the impacts that the sharp, rapidly spinning blades of a propeller can inflict on those in the water as well as those on the boat.

• Run-over Accidents: Swimmers or passengers who fall overboard can suffer traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, disfigurement, and death when run-over by a boat.

• Overboard Accidents: When passengers or workers fall overboard, the impact can not only seriously injure them but can also render them unconscious. This, along with rough water conditions or an inability to swim, can lead to drowning.

• Drowning Accidents: Any time spent on a boat can lead to time spent in the water unexpectedly. Dangerous conditions, lack of life jackets or ability to swim, and injuries which interfere with a person’s ability to stay above water can cause drowning accidents.

• Slip and Falls on a Vessel: As do owners of property on land, boat owners and operators must keep their decks and other surfaces free from slip and fall dangers which can lead to serious injury.

• Crew Member Accidents: The nature of the work and equipment used on commercial vessels present constant dangers to crew members.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Source: https://www.ascentlawfirm.com/boating-accidents/

Alimony

Alimony

Alimony or spousal support is a monthly payment made by one spouse to another in accordance with either a settlement agreement or a court decision. The purpose of alimony is to correct any unfair economic effects caused by a divorce, such as when a stay-at-home parent suddenly needs a source of income after the divorce but has never held a job. Spousal support is generally issued in connection with cases involving divorce or legal separation. Also known as alimony, spousal support is where one spouse pays the other ex-spouse a certain sum of money, usually on a monthly basis. Courts may require this in instances where one party is much more financially stable than the other, and the other party needs assistance in beginning life after the divorce or separation. Spousal support is issued on a case-by-case basis, and each case will be different in terms of the spousal support analysis.

In most cases, only persons who have been involved in a marriage of a longer duration (usually over 5 years) are qualified for spousal support. Also, the court will take into account several factors when making the support determination, including:
• The earning capacity of each spouse
• The assets and property owned by each person
• Whether one party is significantly involved in debt
• Whether the parties were engaged in a shared business
• Each party’s contribution to the relationship (for instance, as a homemaker, or in terms of joint careers/education)
• Whether the parties have worked out spousal support provisions in a prenuptial agreement
• Various other factors, such as mental and physical health conditions
• Certain factors can disqualify a person from child support, such as a history of abuse or a history of certain charges on one’s criminal record.

Spousal support orders that are issued by the court are final and enforceable by law. However, they can sometimes be altered due to unique or special circumstances that become present later on. An example of this is where the spouse receiving support payments begins cohabiting with another partner who begins supporting them financially. Another example is where one party is experiencing extreme hardship. Spousal support can also be terminated for various reasons. It is usually ordered after a divorce when either the spouse mutually agrees on the payments or when the judge looks at all the relevant factors and decides that alimony or spousal support is necessary to support one spouse. Spousal support is generally awarded to a spouse who has been out of work during the marriage or makes a lower income and needs the support of the other husband even after the divorce. The judge could order one spouse to pay the alimony payments in one lump sum if the spouse has the ability to do so or make monthly payments. Alimony payments can also be modified depending on the ability to pay. For example, if one spouse gets a significant raise in income or loses their job and cannot pay, then the spousal support is also modified since it changes the ability to pay. Alimony, now often known as spousal support or maintenance, is a payment made by one ex-spouse to the other to help them maintain the same standard of living they enjoyed while in the marriage. If you and your spouse are unable to negotiate an alimony settlement, a judge will calculate the amount and duration of spousal support. It is not gender-based; either spouse may request alimony from the other. A court will award alimony only to a spouse who is financially disadvantaged, however. In other words, you can’t get alimony out of your spouse if you are the one who has more income, property, or both.

Most states have their own alimony calculator or alimony guidelines for calculating spousal support. However, judges generally look at the following factors:
• The length of the marriage
• Each person’s current salary and future earning potential
• Each person’s other income from sources such as interest, dividends and trusts
• Whether one spouse contributed to the education and career advancement of the other during the marriage
• Whether one spouse was a homemaker during the marriage
• If the couple has children, whether the custodial parent’s future earnings will be limited because of their parental responsibilities
• The age of each spouse and whether either spouse has any physical, mental or emotional issues
• Whether either party was at fault in the divorce
• Whether there are other economic circumstances that seriously affect either spouse. If a spouse is unable to meet the appropriate standard of living without help from the other spouse, then the court looks to a series of factors to determine the amount and duration of alimony. It evaluates the recipient spouse’s financial resources, needs, and earning capacity, as well as the payer spouse’s ability to pay. The court is not required to order an advantaged spouse to pay support if so doing means that the paying spouse won’t be able to be self-supporting. Likewise, the court can’t make the payer spouse pay more than what the recipient spouse needs to meet the marital standard of living, no matter how much money the paying spouse might be able to pay.

• Once the court settles the spouses’ property rights, it will consider a request for alimony. Generally, the court looks to the standard of living enjoyed at the time of separation to determine appropriate alimony, but it can also look at the situation at the time of trial if there has been a significant change in resources since the time of separation – the loss of a job, for example. If your marriage was short and there are no children, the court could use the standard of living at the beginning of marriage instead. After looking at these factors, the judge will decide whether either spouse is entitled to maintenance payments. The judge will also decide how much alimony a person is entitled to and the length of time during which alimony will be paid.

Many factors help determine how much alimony a spouse can get. There is no definite formula to help compute the total amount of spousal support. However, it is computed based on circumstances such as:
• Property and income of the husband and wife,
• Impairments in the capacity to earn,
• Standard of living,
• Length of marriage,
• The number of children to be raised,
• Each spouse’s capacity to earn, and
• Contributions and sacrifices of one spouse for the other spouse’s education or career.

If you are earning more than your spouse, you have a chance of receiving less alimony. If there are children involved and other factors that can help you with your situation, you should be able to get a reasonable amount of alimony. Getting alimony is done through the agreement of both parties. They will discuss how much will be paid on a monthly basis. In case of differences or non-agreement, attorney assistance is needed. If there is still no agreement despite the help of the lawyers, the court will decide on how much money a spouse should get.

Legal Process Of Alimony

Figuring out how much you as a divorcing woman can get for alimony may require help from an attorney. You and your spouse, together with your lawyers will sit down and discuss details such as your ability to earn, your children, standard of living and more. Once the amount is determined, you will then compute if you will receive your alimony on a monthly basis or as a lump sum. It is also advisable to consult with a tax professional about the implications of taxes when receiving alimony, as it is counted as an income on the part of the receiver. Negotiations take place after all the details are discussed. Both spouses, together with their lawyers, will meet with each other. Negotiation is faster compared to a court order, which is why both parties should agree during this period as much as possible. If the terms are agreed upon, both parties should sign the agreement. Otherwise, it will be discussed in court.

To file for alimony in court, as a divorcing woman, you should do the following steps:
• Separate from the spouse: The spouses must first be separated in order to receive alimony. A temporary alimony is received during the beginning of the separation.
• Gather financial information: The courts will require you to present any form of financial information to prove your financial capabilities. Documents such as bank statements, pay slips, proof of rent or mortgage payments and the like are supporting documents to show your financial situation.
• Take it to court: You must file the alimony to the proper courts. You should file it to the court where you and your spouse are currently living.
• Fill out the forms: To properly file for alimony, you must find the forms that are applicable to your case. Once you are done with the forms, you can file them and pay the corresponding fees.
• Inform your spouse: A notice of the alimony petition as well as the divorce is needed in order to inform your spouse. However, if the both of you already signed a joint divorce petition, wait for your spouse’s reply. This will take 21 up to 30 days. Once you get a reply, wait for your court hearing date. You and your spouse will then meet in court and await a decision.

Modification or Termination

Unless the spouses have made a specific written agreement about when alimony ends or under what circumstances it can be modified, when and how an alimony award can be modified depends on the type of alimony.

• A bridge-the-gap award is not modifiable under any circumstances.
• A court might modify rehabilitative alimony if the recipient fails to comply with the rehabilitative plan or completes the plan early.
• Rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony, and permanent alimony are all modifiable if there has been a substantial change in financial circumstances for either spouse; however, except in extraordinary circumstances, durational alimony can only be modified in amount, not in duration, and even in exceptional circumstances the duration can never exceed the length of the marriage.

Both permanent alimony and temporary alimony end automatically if the recipient remarries or if either spouse dies. A court can also modify or terminate an award of permanent alimony if the recipient lives with an unrelated person in a supportive relationship. The spouse asking for a modification on this basis must prove the supportive nature of a relationship. The court will find consider the following:

• the extent to which the two people in question have held themselves out as a married couple. for example by using the same last name, using a common mailing address, referring to each other as “my husband” or “my wife”
• the length of time they have lived together at a permanent address
• the extent to which they have pooled assets and income, or otherwise exhibited financial interdependence
• the extent of mutual support between them, including support for each other’s children, regardless of legal obligation
• performance of valuable services for each other, or for each other’s company or employer
• whether the two have worked together to create or enhance anything of value
• whether they have purchased property together, and
• evidence that the two have either an express or implied agreement regarding property sharing or support.
• Average Duration of Alimony
• In short and medium-length marriages, courts generally award alimony for a duration of one-half to one-third the length of the marriage.

For marriages of 20 years or more, a court may award permanent alimony, depending on the age of the spouse receiving alimony. For example, for a marriage that lasted at least 20 years, the spouse receiving alimony can receive permanent alimony if the spouse is over age 50. The recipient of alimony receives alimony payments as long as the spouse has a need for support. Therefore, when the alimony recipient remarries or cohabits, the spouse’s alimony payments can be discontinued. Once your divorce is final and alimony decisions are made, either by the court or through your own agreement with your ex, they can be changed. Once again, it depends. If alimony is granted for an extended period, it normally terminates if the receiving spouse remarries, unless there’s an agreement or court order to the contrary entered at the time of the divorce. However, judges in some states, in some circumstances, have the discretion to continue alimony even after the spouse receiving it remarries unless your written settlement agreement specifies that payment will stop if one of you remarries.

Alimony Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need legal help with alimony, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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