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This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.
All businesses in Morgan Utah are expected to preserve certain records and information. Failure to do so can prove costly. Speak to an experienced Morgan Utah Corporate Lawyer to know how your business can preserve its vital records.
The tidal wave of mergers, acquisitions, and takeovers of the eighties has subsided and changed somewhat in nature. Merger activity is focusing more on cross-border deals than domestic acquisitions, and is motivated more by long-term, strategic considerations than short- term, financial considerations. Strategic alliances are picking up where today’s mergers and acquisitions leave off. Other changes affecting business today are a continuing effort to be lean and mean through downsizing or restructurings in order to adopt the capabilities of new technologies or respond to changing market conditions. Facility moves also are under way as companies continue to search for better business or real estate conditions.
Managing change is complex and challenging, and a business needs responsive, supportive information systems. Business must be able to respond quickly to changing conditions and expectations among a wide range of constituents: customers, employees, government, stockholders, suppliers, and the general public. Good information systems help identify those changing conditions, and they support the necessary business response. The potential of a good record management support should not ignored. How well a records and information management program is designed will determine how well it supports the business throughout the change process from the point of conceptualization and decision-making through operations under the new business conditions. Records and information systems help ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations, and the fulfillment of obligations to individuals and other entities. This becomes especially important during times of change, which tend to breed more litigation and government investigation. A business may need timely access to records created prior to the change, records that document the change process, and records after the change in order to defend itself against charges or to file any necessary claims.
Whenever joint ventures, strategic alliances, mergers, or acquisitions are considered, there will be the sharing of sensitive and valuable records and information between the parties involved. This information is disclosed to the potential buyers, who may be competitors, customers, employees, suppliers, or investors. Outside professional advisory services also may need access to extensive financial and proprietary information to assist buyers in their analysis of the proposal. These parties may be accounting firms, investment bankers, business brokers, acquisitions specialists, or business appraisers.
An enterprise will want to protect itself and its secrets in order to prevent the takeover of a joint venture, unfair advantages to another party, or unauthorized disclosure of the information to others. Encoding of certain information may reduce the risk somewhat, but every individual or organization that will be in possession of sensitive or valuable records should sign a confidentiality agreement that provides for the protection of the company’s privacy and intellectual property. Publicly held companies also will want to take special care in guarding information about the proposed venture. Improper disclosure of information to outside parties, or improper use of that information, may result in charges of insider trading. Before you disclose any information to outside parties consult with an experienced Morgan Utah corporate lawyer.
If you are planning to sell your business, properly maintained records can help with better valuation. To determine a fair asking price for the business, or the portion(s) of the business to be sold, records will be required to identify assets, liabilities, and any other obligations, such as warranties or other agreements. Even the archives of a business may be treated as an asset in the negotiation of a sale, or as a tax write-off if a decision is made to donate the archives to a nonprofit organization. A potential buyer will want to evaluate the past track record, present outlook, and future potential of the target business. Records will be assembled, processed, and created for the critical financial and legal audits necessary in this evaluation process. Also appropriate may be an analysis of external information regarding current and future market conditions that may impact the business. A legal audit also will require the review of a number of company records. Documents of title and public records may need to be scrutinized to confirm that the assets for sale are free of encumbrances and restrictions on their use. Are there any pending or foreseeable claims, lawsuits, or government investigations? Are there any contingent liabilities, such as warranted products? What is the extent of compliance with various government requirements for safety, labor, environment, wages, taxes, retirement plans, and more? What are the rights and obligations stipulated in contracts, agreements, leases, permits, and licenses? Among the documents and information required for other legal considerations are:
• a list of all states where the target company is qualified or authorized to do business
• deeds and titles
• intellectual properties, including trademarks, patents, and copyrights
• product or service agreements and warranties
• powers of attorney
• contracts for the purchase of materials, supplies, and equipment
• lists of creditors
As the analysis and negotiation process continues, additional records are processed and created on top of the existing records made available for review. Financial models may be developed to evaluate a number of different scenarios. The effects of alternative structures or the timing of a transaction on taxation may be documented for study. There may be other records created in support of certain legal considerations, and records may be produced for disclosure to certain parties or filed with a government agency in order to comply with a government requirement.
If your business is in the process of an acquisition or merger, consult an experienced Morgan Utah corporate lawyer. Throughout the analysis of a proposed acquisition or merger, government requirements or other legal considerations will compel the review, creation, or disclosure of certain records. The burden of compliance with antitrust, securities, taxation, environmental, consumer protection, and other legislation must be assessed. Issues of timing, financing, and other strategies must be considered.
There may be a requirement of prior notification to the Department of Justice or the FTC regarding a merger or acquisition. The shareholdings of a target business may need to be traced to ensure compliance with SEC regulations or appropriate blue sky securities laws of the state(s) involved. A merger may require approval by the seller’s shareholders and the shareholders of the buyer, unless the buying corporation already owns a majority of the stock. There are a number of federal and state laws that require a franchisor to disclose designated information to a potential buyer within certain time frames associated with the payment of deposits and the signing of an agreement. Mergers of companies that are competitors or that produce similar goods or services will need to pay more careful attention to antitrust regulations than mergers of companies that will form a conglomerate. An advance review of business plans for proposed operations or mergers by the Department of Justice will ascertain whether they involve risks of criminal prosecution. Document filings with the Department of Justice’s antitrust division or the FTC will be required when a merger or acquisition meets certain legal criteria, including transaction size and the degree of control being acquired. There may be other legal or government actions necessary before final closure of a deal. Businesses may need to be prepared to justify their actions in response to government investigations or complaints from competitors, suppliers, customers, or shareholders. There may be actions taken by others against one or more parties that result in a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction, litigation, or further government investigation. The existing records and new documents that may be required for any litigation or investigation will need to be organized, indexed, duplicated, and forwarded to the appropriate government agencies or a court.
When one business takes over another business, it typically takes over its assets, customer base, data processing systems, product and environmental liabilities, tax exposures, and other hidden liabilities. A business sale contract typically specifies:
• Assets to be sold
• Assignment of responsibility for various liabilities
• Purchase price
• Financing Arrangements
• Non Competition or consulting arrangements
• Provisions for arbitration
A sale agreement may or may not stipulate that certain or all debts and liabilities will be assumed by the buyer or will be retained by the surviving organization. However, clarification of which assets and liabilities are and are not part of the agreement is critical to the avoidance of lawsuits further down the road. Separate employment contracts often are used in supplement to a sale agreement to ensure the retention of key personnel. It is highly recommended that a clause be included in a sale contract that specifically addresses the responsibilities of each party for the business records in all forms–paper, microfilm, electronic, and so on. In the absence of a clause that speaks to records responsibilities, the assumption is that records responsibilities will go to the party that assumes the relevant assets, liabilities, or obligations as designated in the terms and conditions of the sale contract. Any large volume of inactive records should be mentioned in the agreement, as it may represent a significant expense to the party who will be responsible for the maintenance of those records for as long as they may be needed for legal or government purposes. Under the agreement, the target company may be responsible for preparation of records for the new owner by organizing, consolidating, segregating, and even duplicating and packing the affected records. Time frames should be established for any duplication and transmittal of the records to support the acquired portions of the company. Procedures and responsibility should be determined for any necessary records and information searches resulting from the fact that designated records were not provided at the time of cut-over.
The newly formed organization will need immediate access to important company data from all acquired segments in order to support its assumed customer base, assets, legal liabilities, and other terms and conditions of the agreement. Timely integration of the various information systems into efficient, well-functioning systems is critical to the reconciliation of differences between the old and new organizations while simultaneously maintaining stability and effectiveness. Information from each company is required to identify and resolve transition issues, including:
• identification and notification of all customers and suppliers
• elimination or consolidation of redundant or obsolete business functions and activities
• determination of personnel requirements for the new organization and qualifications of existing personnel
• management and resolution of different employee pay scales, benefits programs, and retirement plans
• disposition of duplicate assets, including equipment, vehicles, and properties
• collection and indexing of documents relevant to pending and potential litigation and government investigation regarding the merger, as well as activities of the individual acquired companies
• development of budgets and realistic timetables for transition activities
The parent company, former board of directors, general partners, or owners normally are personally responsible for the maintenance of a company’s records when an organization is totally dissolved. The records to be maintained are those that may be required by government regulations or court proceedings, and they must be maintained for the time period necessary to meet those obligations. These individuals may be sued or fined for any violations of legal record-keeping requirements.
When the disposition of the acquired company’s records is not clarified by an agreement, that responsibility normally is determined by default. Records related to specific legal responsibilities, debts, and obligations should be retained by the organization that assumes those burdens. Certain records may be required by more than one organization if assets and obligations are divided among the organizations. The new owner should identify records associated with the assets, liabilities, and other business functions it now has assumed, based on the sale agreement, to determine the proper disposition of records.
If the acquired records are well indexed, it may be possible to compare those records with the new owner’s records inventory to identify any duplicate or similar files that may be easily consolidated–especially customer or vendor files. All other active records must be clearly and accurately indexed and labeled so they may be merged with those of the new owner and maintained in the same manner as those records.
When you need legal help for a business or corporate matter in Morgan Utah, please call Ascent Law for your free business law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
Divorce is the legal process of terminating a marital union between a husband and wife for various reasons as we shall discuss in this article. Custody, on the other hand, is the legal right to protective care or guardianship of someone or something. Looking at the current average divorce rate in the U.S.A. stands at 3.4%, but in the state of Utah, the current divorce rate stands at 3.6%, which is above the national rate. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, additional statistics regarding divorce cases in Utah shows that in 2014 and 2013, the divorce rate in Utah was 3.1 per 1000 people. In 2012 the price was at 3.3 while in 2011 it was 3.7%
We’ll discuss matters concerning divorce and custody law in Utah. The requirements that one has to fulfill to get divorced as well as the grounds for divorce are also explained comprehensively. Custody law is also analyzed and simplified in its explanation.
A determination of the monetary obligation parents have for their minor children. This also addresses medical and health insurance coverage, school expenses and the like.
Operating in the best interests of the child, it must be decided whether a child of divorce will reside full-time or part-time with each parent, visitation schedules, holiday schedules, parenting time, etc.
Often, one spouse will be required to provide monetary support to the other spouse for a limited period. Many factors are involved in determining the type of support that should be awarded, as well as the amount and the length of time it should be paid.
Whether a state is a “community property state” or an “equitable distribution state” is a significant factor in determining what is marital property and what is separate property, and how property and debts will be distributed in a divorce proceeding. Other factors, such as spousal support and child support, often come into play as well.
State law varies on the recognition of legal separations, and how the topics above will be handled when a couple separates and/or when a divorce/dissolution is pending.
While in the state of Utah, the law is quite clear on cases about divorce. For a married couple that wants to divorce in the state must have fulfilled the following requirements:
1. The petitioner (the person who files the divorce action) and the respondent (the one against whom a divorce action has been filed) must be legally married.
2. Utah allows you to divorce based on irreconcilable differences.
3. The petitioner or the respondent must have resided within the state of Utah for at least three months before filing for divorce. This is also applicable to U.S military members who want a divorce. Either of the spouses can file a petition where the petitioner has been stationed under military orders.
4. If you are parents of a minor child, you or your spouse must have resided in Utah for at least six months prior to filing, although the courts may make exceptions in certain circumstances.
5. You may need to attend a Divorce Education class if you are parents of minor children. However, the court may nullify if it deems it is not necessary or have any impact on the parents
Once the couple filing for the divorce meets the requirements, then they can be able to file for a divorce in Utah. There are usually various reasons why couples file for divorce. These reasons vary from one couple to the other. Though the state of Utah has some set grounds in which the couple may register for a divorce.
Previously the state of Utah followed the “fault concept” during divorce proceedings. Fault concept meant that for there to be grounds for a divorce, the petitioner blamed the respondent or found fault with the spouse. However, in the year 1987, the state of Utah passed a law that allows divorce when there are “irreconcilable differences” such as when the parties can no longer “pursue the legitimate purposes of the marriage.”
1. impotence at the time of marriage.
2. If the spouse has committed adultery committed after marriage.
3. The willful desertion of the other spouse for more than one year.
4. Willful neglect to provide the standard necessities of life.
5. Habitual drunkenness.
6. If the spouse has been convicted because of a felony.
7. Inhuman treatment to the extent of causing bodily injury or great mental distress, either mental or physical cruelty.
8. If the petitioner and respondent have lived separate and apart under a decree of separate maintenance for a period of three consecutive years — three years under separate maintenance decree.
9. Permanent and incurable INSANITY (must be established by competent medical testimony).
1. Dissolving the marriage
2. Disposing of other issues such as; alimony to be paid, child custody, assets and debt division etc.
During divorce proceeding, both of these parts are usually handled by the court simultaneously. However, the couple may choose to handle the first part, dissolving of the marriage, in a court and then the second part, disposing of other issues outside court.
Do you require an attorney to file a divorce?
In the state of Utah, under the new law, a person can represent him/herself during a divorce proceeding. On the other hand, it is not recommended for a person to represent him/herself, because an average person may not fully comprehend the technicalities involved during legal proceedings, especially when the divorce is contested. Most people usually have no idea of the consequences of legal actions.
Child Custody, in a nutshell, is the protective guardianship or care over someone or something. In Utah, the custody of children is usually determined by checking the fitness of both parents and who is of the child’s best interest to live with.
Custody can be determined by both the respondent and the petitioner outside the court or independently by a judge, especially if the parents cannot agree. While resolving custody cases, there are usually two parts to consider:
1. Legal custody
2. Physical custody
Legal custody over a child means that you have the right, duty, authority, privileges and responsibility to make choices that directly impact the life and upbringing of the child/children. Some of these decisions include; the religion the child will be brought up under, the school the child will attend, major medical procedures that the child might undertake.
In Utah, the judges prefer to issue joint custody of the children to both the spouses which are usually in the best interest of the children if both parents have a say in the upbringing if the child/children. However, if you feel that the other spouse will neglect to share parenting decisions, the other spouse is abusive, the other spouse is not fit to make parental decisions due to the mental state or unfit behaviour. Then you can file for sole custody of the child and convince the judge the grounds as to why you are presenting your case.
Custody cases can be ruled in three different ways;
i. Joint legal custody
ii. Sole legal custody
iii. Split legal custody.
When the judge awards joint legal custody, it means that the spouses have to create a schedule for which they can be able to divide the time they spend with their children evenly. This can be split with alternating weeks, months half years, or years. If both the parents cannot be able to agree on a specific schedule, then the court can enforce one on them through a court ruling.
There is also another type of joint legal custody arrangement where the children stay in the family home while the parents come and go depending on their time to spend with the children. This is known as nesting and usually helps prevent the children from shifting all the time and reduces the cost of maintaining the children in two separate houses.
Most courts will avoid giving sole legal custody as it would not be in the child’s best interest if the ruling is passed. However, if sole legal custody is awarded, then this means that on a parent can determine the child/children’s health, education, moral and religious upbringing, residence and general welfare. The sole legal custodian can permit the child to, join the military if the child is not yet of age, get a tattoo, the school the child will attend etc. before eighteen years.
The parent who has not been awarded legal custody or joint legal custody is known as the non-custodial parent. This means that this parent, who is a non- custodial parent, does not have an input in making the decisions on matters concerning the children.
Split custody is when one parent is awarded sole custody of some of the children, and the other parent has sole custody of the other remaining children. However, split custody rulings are rare since it is usually in the best interest of the children if they are kept together. This is often to avoid emotional and psychological stress; it might cause the children if they are separated.
The second part involved in a custody determination is the physical custody of the child. Physical custody means the residence or place that the child will be brought up. This means that the children should spend a significant amount of time living with both parents and the holidays are split evenly. Joint custody usually works better when both parents live in the same area so that the children can have a sort of a healthy life
However, one parent may be granted sole physical custody of the child/children. In this case, the children will primarily reside with the sole custodian, and the non-custodial parent allowed visitation rights
During court proceedings, the judge usually factors in many aspects before choosing the custody, which will be in the best interest of the child/ children. Some of the things include:
• If both parents are capable of encouraging and accepting a positive relationship between the child and the other parent, including the sharing of love, affection and contact between the child and the other parent;
• Whether both parents participated in raising the child before the divorce;
• The geographical proximity of the homes of the both the parents;
• The preference of the child/ children if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to reason to form an intelligent choice as to joint legal or physical custody;
• Whether the physical, psychological and emotional needs and development of the child will benefit from joint legal or physical custody;
• The ability of the spouses to give priority to the welfare of the child and reach shared decisions in the child’s best interest;
• The maturity of the parents and their willingness and ability to protect the child from conflict that may arise between the parents;
• The judge considers the past and present ability of the parents to cooperate and make decisions jointly;
• If the petitioner and the respondent have any history of, or potential for, child abuse, spouse abuse, or kidnapping; and any other factors the court finds relevant.
Children who are of age and can communicate on their own to the judge can be asked which parent they may choose to live with. This will be taken into account by the judge during the final decision.
If you have a question about child custody question or if you need help with custody, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will aggressively fight for you.
Limited liability company (LLC) operating agreements are much like corporate bylaws in that both types of documents govern the workings of your business.
LLC operating agreements allow the owners of a business to configure the running of their business in a way that best suits their needs. Normally, an operating agreement for an LLC will lay out various key points, such as each co-owner’s percentage ownership share of the business. In addition, LLC operating agreements lay out the share of profits – or losses – that each owner will receive, the rights and responsibilities of the owners, and typically also detail what will happen to the business if one of the owners leaves.
Depending upon the state that you are running your business in, you may or may not be required by law to write out an operating agreement for your limited liability company. However, even if you state does not require it, it is still a good idea to make an operating agreement for your LLC.
By having an operating agreement for your LLC in place, you have a line of protection that guards the status of your limited personal liability for your business’ dealings, and can also avoid or alleviate misunderstandings between owners of the LLC. Having an operating agreement in place can protect this status when and if courts begin looking at your assets to satisfy an obligation of your business. Lastly, each state has default laws you may want to avoid that will govern the running of your LLC if you choose not to make an operating agreement.
If you are a part owner of an LLC that has multiple owners, you will want to ensure that the operating agreement for your LLC lays out the profit- (and loss-) sharing breakdown between all of the owners. In addition, the operating agreement should also clearly define the managerial structures, laying out procedures for decision making about the business as well as what will happen in the event that one of the owners decides to leave the business. If your LLC does not have an operating agreement in place that takes care of these two issues, you may run into problems when your business makes record profits for a year, or when your long-term business partner decides to leave.
Many states have default rules that say that losses and profits should be divided equally among all the owners of the LLC, regardless of their respective ownership interests. However, you can avoid this default rule by agreeing that the share of losses and profits will be split according to the percentage ownership of each member.
Although each LLC operating agreement will probably be a little different, depending upon the needs of each business, there are few essential terms that are contained in a majority of operating agreements. These terms include:
• A breakdown of the ownership percentage of each member;
• The rights and responsibilities of the members;
• A detailed plan showing how losses and profits will be distributed;
• The voting rights of members;
• A management plan for the business;
• Rules for meetings and voting; and
• Buyout or buy-sell rules that govern when a member’s sale of an interest, or a member’s death or disability.
Most of the time, the ownership percentage is determined by the amount a member gave at the start of the business compared to the total amount given by all members. If you choose to do so, however, you do not have to follow this ownership percentage scheme and can allocate the ownership of the LLC in any way you wish so long as you include the scheme in your operating agreement.
Profits and Losses in Utah LLCs are sometimes called the distributive shares. Under most LLC operating agreements, a member’s distributive share is often just a simple calculation under their ownership percentage.
You may also want to make some special arrangements within the operating agreement that deal with unique situations. The operating agreement should dictate how much of the distributive share a member is allowed to take each year.
The LLC operating agreement for your business should lay out details about meetings and voting rights. In general, there are two voting rights schemes that LLCs commonly use. The first is where each member votes his or her membership percentage. Under this scheme, a person with a 40 percent ownership share has a much larger voting power than a person that only has a 1 percent ownership share. The other option is where each member gets one vote, no matter the size of their ownership shares.
Your Utah LLC’s operating agreement should also lay out the procedures required for transitions of ownership. Often, operating agreements have different procedures for this depending upon the circumstances (such as death, selling, disablement, etc). Most often, operating agreements include simple buyout schemes that allow continuing owners to buy out the ownership share of a member that is leaving the company.
When you need legal help with your LLC operating agreement in Utah, please call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
Initially Utah did not allow no fault divorce. However, in 1987, the State of Utah passed a law allowing couples with irreconcilable differences to file for a divorce thereby paving way for the introduction of no fault
divorce in Utah.
In Utah, you can file for a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences – no fault. Besides this ground, Utah law permits divorce on the following grounds:
• The husband was impotent at the time of marriage and this was not known to the wife at the time of marriage
• Either spouse engaged in adultery during the marriage.
• One of the spouses has deserted and hasn’t come back for more than a year.
• Failure to provide the other spouse with common necessities of life.
• Other spouse is a habitual drunkard
• Other spouse has been convicted of a felony offence
• The spouse seeking divorce has been subject to cruel treatment resulting in mental distress of bodily injury.
• The spouses have been living separately for at least three years under a separate maintenance decree.
• The other spouse is suffering from permanent and incurable insanity. This must be proved through expert medical testimony.
An experienced Utah divorce attorney can help you determine the grounds for your divorce.
Utah like many other states has residency requirements for filing a divorce petition. There is a three month residency requirement in Utah. Under this rule either spouse must be residing in a Utah county continuously for at least three months. Speak to an experienced Utah divorce attorney to know if you or your spouse satisfy the Utah residency requirement for filing a divorce petition in Utah.
It is a standard scene familiar to all viewers of the gritty, life-in-the‐ urban-jungle police drama….A suspect is arrested and hustled into the interrogation room. Down the hall, detectives huddle, concocting a strategy to coerce, cajole, or trick the suspect into confessing before he “lawyers up.” A competent attorney, the police know, will force them to honor the suspect’s right to avoid self-incrimination and block their attempts to use the suspect’s fears and ignorance of the law against him. The early involvement of a lawyer moves the issue of the suspect’s guilt or innocence out of the volatile pressure cooker of the interrogation room into the highly structured rules-oriented arena of the judiciary—where it belongs.
Although some marriages shatter suddenly, with literally no warning, the end of most troubled unions comes only after a grueling, arduous ordeal spanning months, or years. Don’t wait for the death rattle. Don’t become a target looking for an arrow. As soon as you realize that your marriage is in danger of coming apart, speak to an experienced Utah divorce attorney.
Pretrial discovery is an important, often critical phase of divorce litigation. If used effectively, the tools of discovery will yield valuable insights into your opponent’s case and unearth vital information supporting your position. An early and aggressive discovery effort can severely restrict your spouse’s ability to raise new allegations later. Also, the discovery phase may intimidate your opponent by making clear the size and shape of the ordeal that lies ahead. And the truckloads of paper rolling back and forth could cause the other side considerable expense.
Interrogatories are written questions that your attorney prepares and sends to your spouse’s lawyer. Your spouse is required to answer each of these questions in writing and under oath. Because your spouse’s replies to your interrogatories are the equivalent of sworn testimony, any contradictions between these answers and your spouse’s later statements for the record can be used to attack her credibility.
Answers to your interrogatories will usually provide your attorney with a valuable preview of your opponent’s case—an essential understanding of what (and who) you are likely to encounter at trial. What you learn in this initial discovery stage will play a significant role in the formulation of your litigation strategy. To expedite the receipt of replies to your interrogatories, your attorney will usually confine the questions posed to a manageable number of specific—and pointed—queries that your spouse should be able to answer simply and directly. A court is much more likely to compel responses to straightforward, relevant interrogatories than to complex, multipart questions.
Early in the pretrial phase, your attorney will send opposing counsel a formal notice requiring your spouse to produce all documents she has that are relevant to your custody dispute. While the primary function of the request for production is to examine and analyze the documentary evidence your opponent has, you may find material useful to your case as well.
A deposition is simply the questioning of a subject under oath. The purpose of a deposition is to discover what the subject knows and/or to accumulate evidence designed to impeach (discredit) his or her testimony at trial. The subject of a deposition can be questioned in person or in writing.
Prior to your spouse’s deposition date, you must participate actively in the preparation of questions. Tell your attorney all you know about your former mate’s personality, parental history, blind spots, and vulnerabilities. During your spouse deposition, your role should be limited to assisting your lawyer in reacting to any new information that arises. Your only other duty is to behave yourself.
There is really no reason to become involved in any conversation with your spouse during her deposition. Allow your lawyer to conduct the examination without interruptions.
There are attorneys and attorneys. But you want an attorney who specializes in divorce matters. Think of it this way – if you have a kidney problem would you consult an ENT doctor or would you consult a Nephrologist? Both are doctors but a Nephrologist specializes in kidney problems. Likewise a divorce attorney specializes in divorce matters.
There is no foolproof method for locating and choosing an attorney, so plan to spend some time in research and interviews. Because it is an important decision, very likely to shape your future, be thorough, and careful.
One of the most common methods for finding qualified counsel is the use of personal referrals. Ask divorced friends to rate their attorney’s capabilities and performance, especially in custody matters. Ask these friends about their spouse’s attorneys, too. Find out who seemed to have the upper hand in court and in negotiations.
A lawyer who currently represents you personally or in your business, or a friend who is an attorney, may be able to offer useful recommendations. Be aware, however, that a social or business relationship between the recommender and the recommendee may provide the impetus for the referral.
The lawyer will probably ask you to describe your marriage briefly—its length, number of children (and their ages), the state of the family finances, your job, your wife’s job, and so forth. Then the attorney will want a concise history of the events and feelings that led to the decision to divorce. He’ll want to know what both you and your spouse have contributed to the breakup. It’s important that you answer the attorney’s questions as completely and as frankly as possible.
To accurately assess the strengths and weaknesses of what will become your case, the lawyer needs to know all the facts, favorable and unfavorable. The natural tendency to “rewrite” the past must be avoided. Your self-delusion will distort the attorney’s perception of what needs to be done and how easy or difficult it will be to do it.
Be sure to tell the attorney something about your spouse’s character and personality. (In divorce cases, psychological profiles are almost as important as facts.) Also, discuss the children’s personalities, and how you think the divorce will affect them. Make your desire for custody or meaningful parental contact known.
Financial aspects of the impending dissolution must also be examined briefly in the initial interview. Be prepared to answer questions about your income, pension, profit sharing, stock options, property, and other assets.
All competent attorneys are attentive and responsive listeners. Unfortunately, many not-so-competent lawyers are good listeners, too. Don’t evaluate a potential advocate on his listening skills—unless he has none. If the attorney you are interviewing cuts you off in midsentence to launch a heavy-handed lecture about what you and your children really need, cross him off your list immediately.
You don’t want a lawyer who decides unilaterally what to do and then pushes you into doing it. You’ll be much better off with an attorney who understands your goals and offers all feasible legal options for reaching them. Also be wary of lawyers who react to your narrative by not reacting at all. You want an attorney capable of at least professional empathy for your situation.
After the attorney has a basic understanding of your situation, it’s your turn to ask some questions. Your objective is to find out all you can about the attorney’s competence, style, knowledge of the local family courts, availability, and success rate. Ask what percentage of the lawyer’s practice involves domestic relations. Be wary if the total is less than half. Ask what percentage of the lawyer’s cases are settled out of court. If the number is less than 80 percent, it’s possible that the attorney is a bit too fond of combat—and the fees that accrue during prolonged litigation. Conversely, if none of the lawyer’s cases are ever decided at trial, the attorney may be prone to bargaining away your rights rather than asserting them in court.
A lawyer’s availability and accessibility are vital elements of the attorney-client relationship. Try to gauge the size of the lawyer’s workload and determine how frequently the attorney anticipates communicating with you. Because most domestic crises occur late at night or during weekends, find out if the lawyer offers twenty‐ four-hour availability for emergencies.
Near the end of the interview, ask the attorney for a preliminary evaluation of your situation. Beware of the lawyer who assures swift and total victory on all fronts, who declares you doomed as doomed can be, or who has no opinion at all about potential outcomes. Prefer a lawyer who is willing to offer you realistic estimates of your chances of prevailing in the resolution of the various issues expected to be in dispute. These initial impressions will necessarily be general, but they should reflect an understanding of your case and an informed prediction of how local court policies, practices, and attitudes will affect your goals. You need a lawyer who is competent, trustworthy, and reliable.
A divorce proceeding can be emotionally stressful. You may not be in a frame of mind to fight the battle alone. Divorce law is complex. A simple slip up can result in serious consequences. Remember ignorance of the law is no excuse. Make sure you are well represented in your divorce proceedings. Seek the assistance of an experienced Utah divorce attorney.
If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.
It is vital for a company to preserve its records. Speak to an experienced Layton Utah corporate lawyer to know which records your company needs to preserve. Records are a principal form of evidence used in judicial and administrative proceedings and in internal, external, or government agency audits. They provide a trail of evidence that may be more trustworthy than the memory of witnesses regarding increasingly complicated business transactions. Lawsuits concerning events of one, ten, or twenty years ago must rely more on records than witnesses. And when a legal proceeding involves the word of one against the word of another, a favorable decision is more likely for the party who can make the better showing in court through witnesses and documents.
Companies with high turnover and those experiencing fast-paced and extensive change will need to rely more on documents than witnesses. The originator of a record may no longer be employed or may not otherwise be available as a witness.
A court will always find a written document of a verbal agreement to be more trustworthy than the memory of a telephone conversation. When one party disputed the terms of a deal that was made over the phone, the court said that written confirmation of the conversation is the only reliable evidence of transactions where the likelihood of remembering the details of any one agreement, among scores of similar deals each day, would be small.
A witness normally sets the foundation for admission of a document into evidence. This could be the person who created or received the document, the individual responsible for a department, or even the records and information manager.
Failure to maintain the required records can prove costly. A well-functioning records and information management program ensures the existence of valuable and legally required records that will support claims by the company and defend against others’ claims. It also reduces costs and exposure to liabilities by destruction of records that are no longer necessary or valuable. Without appropriate record-keeping practices, a business may discover that it has too many records, not enough records, or records that are not admissible as evidence. Seek the assistance of an experienced Layton Utah corporate lawyer. The corporate lawyer can assist you preserve the records that your business is required to preserve under Federal, Utah and local laws.
Business executives tend to want to keep every record “in case we’re sued.” However, this defense strategy could backfire on a company. In addition to the unnecessary records storage and handling expense, the document production process for any litigation will be all the more costly and burdensome. Retention of records for periods beyond business and legal requirements also may senselessly expose a business to additional liabilities when those documents are taken out of context in a legal proceeding, or if they contain unfavorable or damaging information. Because records of a creating party are considered an admission of truth by that party, they carry more weight in a courtroom and are being used more and more to the advantage of opposing parties. Older documents are easily taken out of context, and contemporary documents are subject to misinterpretation.
Attorneys cannot adequately represent a company when records are not properly created and protected. When documents are destroyed before their time, or when some and not others are retained beyond stated requirements, a business may suffer negative consequences in both civil and government actions. If a business has no proof of action or of compliance with the law, it may not receive favorable treatment from an administrative agency or civil court. Or a business may be forced to settle or pay claims when documents critical to its defense or its claim cannot be found. Failure to comply with a court or government agency order to produce records may result in one or more of the following consequences:
• obstruction of justice charges
• contempt of court charges
• a court’s inference that documents were destroyed in bad faith because they contained damaging information
• a finding in favor of the party obtaining the order
Don’t let this happen to your business. Consult with an experienced Layton Utah Corporate Lawyer.
Business has a responsibility to create and maintain records that meet the conditions of trustworthiness and admissibility, as defined in federal and state laws and rules of evidence. Records considered more trustworthy are:
• records of fact–not opinion–prepared by an experienced person
• created at or near the time of an event by a knowledgeable person
• created in the normal course of business
• created and maintained to serve an independent business purpose
• created and maintained to meet a legal requirement
• created by an independent third party
• created before litigation is foreseeable
Testimony by the creator of the record, the records manager, or other qualified witnesses may be necessary to show that these requirements are met. A company also may be called upon to establish in court the existence of a records management program.
When charges of fraud are highly probable, as in financial transactions, an original record will have a higher degree of reliability. When a more accurate determination of age and a handwriting analysis are necessary, the original paper record is preferred by the technical experts performing the analysis. And a paper document bearing the author’s signature will have far more evidentiary weight than the text produced from a word processor–especially when the document’s author is unavailable as a witness.
When the trustworthiness of a record is challenged, the party producing that record as evidence will have the burden of proof of authenticity and trustworthiness. If a record is a duplicate, its owner must be able to show that it is an accurate reproduction of the original.
The easier it is to alter or remove data from a record without detection except by a technical expert, the less likely the record will stand up to a challenge to its accuracy and trustworthiness. As a result, there may be difficulties regarding dependence on computer records as evidence. Until there is clarification in the courts, issues of trustworthiness may be addressed by appropriate record creation, processing, and production procedures, as well as documentation of those procedures. The trustworthiness of records may be determined by the procedures used to create, maintain, and produce them. The methods necessary to authenticate records will vary slightly from one information system to another. In general, a records program that typically produces trustworthy records can document the following activities as having occurred in the normal course of business:
• written records policy and procedures
• development and administration of records retention schedule
• audit trails of procedures to create, process, and produce information
• certifications of authenticity for document reproduction processes, such as filming and electronic imaging
• records management training activities
• records program audits confirming that what was supposed to happen did in fact happen, and any remedial action taken as necessary
• sanctions for employee noncompliance with records policy
The records called upon during pretrial discovery and as evidence during a trial may be a blessing or a curse. If the records contain sufficient data substantiating the company’s claims, charges against the business may be dropped or a reasonable settlement may be reached. Or, they may contain information that may be used successfully by the opposing party. How well records are created, maintained, and destroyed will determine how well the program reduces certain risks and losses from any court proceeding. Based on an assessment of costs, risks, and benefits of various record-keeping practices, an experienced corporate lawyer can determine the best approach that provides flexibility within the legal, ethical, and practical constraints.
Records destruction programs hinge on the premise that nearly any corporate document–no matter how innocent it may seem–may become a weapon in the hands of an opposing counsel. A carefully developed and administered document destruction program is especially important to a business likely to be involved in litigation. It can be most effective in defending against antitrust charges, employee claims, or product liability disputes, because these cases often are won or lost on the strength of incriminating documents uncovered by a grand jury or a plaintiff’s counsel in discovery. A proper document destruction program might eliminate any incriminating evidence.
An experienced Layton Utah corporate lawyer will weigh the costs, risks, and benefits to determine the most reasonable retention period for individual record groups. There certainly will be circumstances in which retention of specific records for the entire statute of limitations is advised. If a company is likely to be a plaintiff, or if an adverse party would have sufficient information to file a claim without the need for discovery, it may be best to retain relevant records for the full statute of limitations. If the risk of a claim and loss against the company is small or nonexistent, or if there is little prospect of being a plaintiff, the corporate lawyer may advise retention of records only long enough to meet business needs because the high costs of storing the records outweighs the risks of any losses.
A Company may determine that the retention of records for the full statute of limitations time period would create an unreasonable and an extraordinary burden. The risks of a shorter retention period also may be appropriate when the statute of limitations is in a state in which the company does little business or when the statute of limitations is deemed excessively long compared to those of other applicable states.
Managers should become familiar with the federal and state rules of civil and criminal procedure that apply to their particular business. A computer printout shown to accurately reflect the data is considered an original record. Government agency regulations may vary regarding any record forms and their technical requirements for records that are subject to investigation and audit. Computer output microfilm (COM) is treated as a computer record, or original, by some agencies, while others treat COM as a microfilm, or duplicate record. A duplicate record may be admitted into evidence in place of an original provided the duplicate accurately reproduces the original and the authenticity of either is not questioned.
A business must anticipate what the legal requirements may be based on existing rules of evidence. However, the use of imaging has been tested successfully in various courts.
It has been estimated that 80 percent of the time and expense of a typical lawsuit involves pretrial examination of facts through discovery. The intent of the discovery process is to help the parties prepare to litigate by cutting down on the number of surprises, and frequently it helps them decide to settle before going to trial. In a typical corporate lawsuit, there may be a formidable volume of documents in the possession of the business, adversarial parties, and third parties. These records, in varying conditions of quality and states of organization, may be scattered throughout a number of locations. Warehouses or rooms of paper have been filled by cases involving complex financial transactions, liability, technical product development, engineering or construction projects, long-term pollution allegations, and multiple plaintiffs and defendants. It is therefore important that your business preserves its records carefully.
When you need legal help for your business, please call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
This is a question that lingers in many people’s minds. Are divorces expensive? The answer is Maybe. There is an impression that divorce comes along with a hefty price tag. This impression has proven to be true some of the time but the price tag is not only placed on money alone but also other factors of life.
Then why is it so expensive to get out of an unhappy marriage? Divorce leaves you with a financial blow that will take you 10 years to recover. Can you imagine having to toil for 10 years in order to recover and catch up with your financial life? Yes, it is a bitter pill but you have to swallow it. Continue reading the article to get a clearer picture on why divorce is so expensive.
Being unreasonable in divorce results to an endless circle of costs and craziness. As you become more unreasonable in divorce, you continue fighting with your spouse. These fights are more emotionally invested.
The more you fight, the more emotionally drained you become. The more emotionally invested you become, the less reasonable you become. And the cycle goes on and on. The main reason behind fighting is for one of you to win. But here is the truth: no one wins in divorce.
Discovery in divorce is a process where you and your spouse get to know information about one another in your divorce. Depending on where you live, this process entails filling out financial affidavits which have full information. In this case, you will be expected to produce some financial documents like bank statements, tax returns, as well as other financial documents. In this case, you may be required to answer very detailed financial questions or present yourself for a deposition.
The process of discovery is quite expensive. It does not only require you to produce, analyze and organize your information, you are also required to have an approval from your lawyer. Most lawyers charge around $300 – $500 per hour. If you drag the process, then this can amount to millions of dollars in a very short duration.
If you take your process faster but your spouse drags his or her process, the process takes longer and more money builds up. Every time the lawyers have to present themselves in court and compel you or your spouse to give out your financial information, more money is added. And every time the lawyers have to go to a conference meeting to tell the judge nothing is going on, the judge goes on with the case. Remember, all that costs money. Therefore, more and more debt is piling up.
This is the primary source of high costs in divorce. There are many instances when you have to pay your lawyer as indicated below:
● Every time the lawyer has to get ready for a contested hearing
● Everytime the lawyers meet and talk
● Every time lawyers write letters to each other
The court process is very expensive to deal with your divorce. Thankfully, these days there are alternatives where you don’t have to litigate your divorce. Options like mediation and collaborative divorce go a long way in helping you save money. But don’t get your head over heels on this one. It is also costly.
In this case, if your spouse fails to be reasonable and maybe delay the process, you are definitely going to experience a high shoot in your costs. If you or your spouse drags his or her feet in delivering financial information, the costs will definitely go high. The worst case scenario is when your spouse refuses to produce financial information or either you or your spouse actively hides the money, both mediation and collaborative divorce does not work at all.
When a married couple divorces, the parent who does not take the custody of the child might be forced by the government to pay some part of his or her earnings as child support. If you are making child support, you should take it seriously because failure to do so, you may negatively affect your credit score and if it becomes serious, you may even end up in jail. Child support mandates you to pay for summer camp, tuition fees, college funds, after school activities, and upkeep funds.
Yes, you need more than a lawyer. Due to the detailed processes, you may be required to hire an accountant to cater for your financial issues and budget them well. That is labor and you have to pay them. You may think that a lawyer is enough to tell you the figures you need but an accountant would validate each dollar spent. There are also filing fees, and extra charges like printing required documents, paying the driver or taking a cab to court every time you have a case. At some point, you have to chip in and buy a meal for one person or two after the court proceedings. There are quite a large number of those little expenses people overlook. Yes, they may cost you a lot. Finances are quite a blow during divorce. It can cost you as much as you used to pay for mortgage. If your spouse decides to be a jerk, then you might be tempted to be a jerk too and drag the divorce process.
In situations where marriage becomes unbearable and you have to divorce, then below are tips to make your divorce less expensive:
Exchange your information voluntarily instead of through formal discovery
There are some information required during divorce like disclosure of assets, property and taxes. If you use formal discovery, this process is quite expensive and time-consuming because you may need to do interrogations and depositions. These processes will need the presence of an attorney and as discussed earlier, attorneys are very expensive. Just offer your required documents voluntarily and make the process cheaper and less time-consuming.
I understand that it can be quite an emotional challenge to talk to your spouse when undergoing divorce. However, it can be less expensive to exchange information among yourselves instead of using an attorney. Attorneys make excellent advisers and they have a good understanding of the law and the procedures needed but you don’t have to have an attorney. You can choose to just communicate on the basic stuff with your attorney. But if communicating with your spouse will elongate, then you can choose to lean on your attorney to fasten the process.
When you marry someone, you can keep some of your property personal and separate from your spouse. Anything that you owned before marriage inclusive of inheritance, gifts and other possessions. Any profits you acquire through your assets are solely yours.
Talking about your divorce can be so hard but expressing your thoughts clearly through your attorney regarding the proceedings can help make sure that you are on the same page. Your attorney will never know if they are representing your best interests unless you take time and speak to them about the details. Do not fear criticism and judgement from the person who is there to protect you. If you are forthright, you will be in a position to streamline your divorce process.
Remember, it is not only your finances that will be a burden. Remember the emotional turmoil that you will go through. Never forget that this might lead you into depression. The therapist visits you will need to get out of the situation may be too costly. Stomach ulcers are also real. There are more diseases that you can get from the stress undergone during divorce. These may send you to hospital and you will encounter more bills over there.
Your children will also be affected. It is not easy for kids to see their parents separate. They take long to adapt to living with one parent. Their performance in school may be adversely affected. Again, they may find it hard to share what they are going through with their friends. How do they end up? In depression. More and more bills.
Remember, your financial strength is what makes you develop in life. Choose the right method if you have to divorce. Otherwise do not divorce at all. If you have to divorce, follow the tips that I have highlighted above and you will be able to save some cash for your financial strength even to be able to meet the bills after you have officially separated with your spouse..
Is divorce expensive? The fact remains: yes, it can be, if you fight, it surely will be. If you go to trial, divorce is very expensive. Plan yourself wisely, marry wisely, budget wisely, and live wisely. Conduct your court proceedings wisely too.
When you need legal help for a divorce case in Utah, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.
Memorial days is the start and Labor Day is the end of the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer in Utah. This is when the most car accidents happen and most people die in Utah. This campaign was a Zero Fatalities awareness campaign. It ran from Memorial Day to Labor Day from Salt Lake City to West Valley City and across Utah. The campaign was to promote road safety and have less fatalities on our highways.
Typically, people drive more and more each year in Utah. I think we need to continue the “Zero Fatalities” campaign. This brings awareness to the drivers in Utah. Even though the Zero Fatalities campaign is over, we can still make it a goal to have zero fatalities on the road. If you are mourning the wrongful death of a loved one, contact an attorney to help you heal. You may even have the opportunity to bring someone to justice.
Most of the people that die in the summer on Utah highways were motorists. We can each do our part to prevent auto accident cases. An easy way to prevent accidents is to stop driving distracted. Put away the phones, the GPS, and turn down the music.
Be aware of other motorists as you are driving. If you get in an auto accident because of another driver’s distracted driving, contact a lawyer to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Eleven pedestrians were killed during the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer. It is necessary to be better aware of pedestrians. If you are in a high pedestrian traffic area, such as a college campus, be extra aware of pedestrians. Not all pedestrians will cross the street at the crosswalk.
If you are a pedestrian crossing the street, you can do your own part. Cross the street at the crosswalks. Before you cross, make eye contact with the driver of the car, so you are both aware of one another. If you are hit and suffer from a personal injury, a lawyer can help you determine the compensation for medical bills, and the pain and suffering.
Even motorcyclists are killed during summer. Before you jump on the freeway to ride your motorcycle to work, check the weather for the day. If it is raining later in the day, don’t risk it. Don’t drive reckless. If you are driving, be aware of motorcyclists. Always check your blind spot. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, a lawyer can help you with the aftermath.
Think you’re too good for a motorcycle safety course? Think again. Whether you’re a novice just starting out on a bike or an experienced motorcyclist, motorcycle safety courses are a great resource; motorcycle safety courses reduce the likelihood of incurring a motorcycle accident (and possible lawyer fees), and benefit riders both on and off the bike.
A motorcycle safety course is truly invaluable for new riders. Not only do safety courses inform new riders about the parts of the motorcycle, relevant laws and safety gear, participants receive hands-on training with course-provided bikes and apparel. Some states require the completion of a safety course for new riders, while others require it for riders under a certain age. In St. George or Salt Lake City Utah a motorcycle safety course is not required by law — but it’s still a good idea.
For experienced riders, a motorcycle safety course is a great way to brush up on old skills or hone new ones. Safety courses give experienced riders a chance to revisit the basics while simultaneously learning new safety maneuvers and crash avoidance tactics.
Many motorcycle manufacturers — such as Honda, Kawasaki & Harley Davidson — offer products reimbursements and discounts to people who have completed a motorcycle safety course; check with your local St. George dealerships. Some insurance providers also offer a discount on motorcycle insurance premiums, so you can pay less and relax in the event of a motorcycle accident — don’t worry about insurance, just focus on finding a good lawyer.
Even if you complete a motorcycle safety course and decide the motorcycle life isn’t for you, you still walk away with a valuable set of skills. Motorcycle safety experience helps drivers maneuver better through turns, keep watch for hazards and lower the risk of a motorcycle accident.
Avoid a crash and a call to your lawyer by keeping an eye out for motorcyclists; with a thorough understanding of a motorcyclist’s thought process, you can predict his next move — and plan accordingly.
When you need legal help for a motorcycle injury in Utah, please call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.