The division of marital property is often unpredictable. There are many guidelines and suggestions in the Utah Code, but very few rules. If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the court can consider almost anything and make its own decision.
My name Melvin A. Cook and I am a Salt Lake City division of property attorney. I have found the best approach is full disclosure. I do all my homework well before the final hearing. I serve discovery requests to the other side, so I know exactly what your spouse does and does not have. You and I spend a lot of time talking about both the assets that you have and your plan for how to divide the marital assets. Working together, we can usually come up with a fair settlement or a convincing court case. Either way, your satisfaction is my goal.
Obviously, houses and cars cannot be split in two between the divorcing spouses. But all property does need to be divided in some manner. The settlement or judgment must be creative. I have seen many occasions in which the husband keeps the investment accounts, but in exchange must pay more alimony. Or, the wife keeps the equity in the house, but loses all rights to the timeshare. If the parties have a prenuptial agreement, the courts nearly always honor such agreements.
Utah family courts begin with the presumption that 50/50 is a fair marital property division. However, judges have a great deal of discretion when dividing marital assets. Their primary concerns are usually:
Utah uses the Woodward formula emanating from the 1983 Utah Supreme Court case Woodward v. Woodward. The Woodward formula divides pensions according to the number of years the person worked at the job during the marriage. Upon retirement, the plan administrator issues one check to each spouse based on that division. Special rules may apply to military pensions and other plans.
My strategy regarding property division is always to develop a plan and then to execute that plan. If we know what we want, we have a better chance of getting it. Contact the Law Office of Mel A. Cook at 801.746.5075 or online to schedule your free consultation with a Salt Lake City Property Division Attorney.
When it comes the family law and social security disability, each client and case is different. It is also important to select an attorney with the experience, skills and professionalism required to address your legal issues. To learn more, contact the Salt Lake City law offices of Melvin A. Cook and schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.