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Tag: agreement

Why should I pay child support if the other parent isn’t asking for it (and doesn’t need it)?

This question doesn’t come up very often, but it does come up.

I will answer this question according to the law of Utah, which is the jurisdiction where I practice divorce and family law (which includes the issue of child support, of course):

Even if it could be proven that there is no real need for a parent to pay child support, the fact that this parent would try to avoid that responsibility is so offensive to most people that the question of whether the parent should pay child support gets overshadowed by that parent’s desire or efforts to avoid paying the support.

If your question is whether it can be ordered that a parent pay no child support when the other parent has so much money that it is clear the other parent has no need of any kind of financial contribution from the other parent for the support of the child, the answer is: yes, but only if the court were to find that there is some compelling reason why only one parent should provide financial support for the child instead of both parents providing financial support.

Even in situations where one parent has more than enough money to support himself or herself and the child sufficiently and beyond, it would be rare for a court to relieve the other parent of having to make some financial contribution to the child support, even if that contribution were just a nominal or token or symbolic amount. An amount that, at the very least, is meant to signify that the parent recognizes and fulfills the obligation to be financially responsible for the child.

That stated, however, in the jurisdiction where I practice family law (Utah), whether a parent pays child support isn’t a matter left to the pure discretion of the court.

In Utah, child support is based upon a statutory mathematical formula that factors in the number of children, the gross monthly income of each of the parents, and the number of overnights the children spend with each parent to determine each parent’s financial obligation to the children on a monthly basis. Whether one parent has so much money so as to have no need for child support is not one of the statutory factors.

But as I said from the beginning, it is possible (though highly unlikely) that one could persuade a judge that he or she should not pay child support if that parent could prove 1) that paying child support in any amount would work an undue hardship on that parent and 2) that the other parent has more than enough financial resources to support the child exclusively and without contribution from the parent who is trying to avoid being ordered to pay child support.

Finally, there is nothing to prevent the parents from agreeing that one parent will not pay child support to the other, so long as they can convince the court that such an arrangement won’t be harmful to the child.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

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How can a uncontested divorce be considered a law suit? Does the court even get involved in that case?

How can a uncontested divorce be considered a law suit? Does the court even get involved in that case?

A law suit is a claim or dispute brought to a court of law for adjudication. A divorce action is a kind of law suit.

All divorce cases, whether contested or uncontested, are law suits, although all law suits are clearly not divorce cases.

First, understand the definition of law suit, which is “a claim or dispute brought to a court of law for adjudication.”

Second, a divorce cannot be obtained except through a court, and to obtain a divorce from the court you must file a lawsuit in the form of a petition or complaint (depending upon the name your jurisdiction gives it) for divorce.

So even an uncontested divorce—where the parties do not litigate (“quarrel” “argue”) in court and instead sign a settlement agreement and file that agreement with the court to show the court that they want a divorce but don’t want or need to fight over any of the issues that could have been disputed—must be initiated by at least one of the two spouses filing a petition or complaint for divorce, so that the court can exercise jurisdiction (the power to make legal decisions and judgments) over you and your marriage to grant a divorce.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

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What are ways divorcees reach a mutual agreement when splitting up their assets?

What are ways divorcees reach a mutual agreement when splitting up their assets?

What they often do (but shouldn’t): rationalize and justify their greed and pettiness in advancing their “arguments”* for why they should get what they want. This results in claims for obviously lopsided divisions of marital property and to false and fatuous claims that what is marital property is actually “my separate property” and “that was a gift from my parents to us, so now that we are divorcing, it’s mine.” Being greedy and petty in the division of marital assets is self-defeating because it often leads to wasting more time, effort, and money than the property is worth.

What they could—and usually should—do: 1) think like your divorce court judge will think and do what the law requires your judge to do, i.e., divide all marital property equally (meaning an equal division of the value of the property), unless there are clearly evident exceptional circumstances that equitably warrant an uneven division of marital property.

*the definition of the word “argument” is not what many people believe. An argument is not the same as a quarrel. An argument is “a reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong.”

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/What-are-ways-divorcees-reach-a-mutual-agreement-when-splitting-up-their-assets/answer/Eric-Johnson-311?prompt_topic_bio=1

 

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What are ways divorcees reach a mutual agreement when splitting up their assets?

What are ways divorcees reach a mutual agreement when splitting up their assets?

What they often do (but shouldn’t): rationalize and justify their greed and pettiness in advancing their “arguments”* for why they should get what they want. This results in claims for obviously lopsided divisions of marital property and to false and fatuous claims that what is marital property is actually “my separate property” and “that was a gift from my parents to us, so now that we are divorcing, it’s mine.” Being greedy and petty in the division of marital assets is self-defeating because it often leads to wasting more time, effort, and money than the property is worth.

What they could—and usually should—do: 1) think like your divorce court judge will think and do what the law requires your judge to do, i.e., divide all marital property equally (meaning an equal division of the value of the property), unless there are clearly evident exceptional circumstances that equitably warrant an uneven division of marital property.

*the definition of the word “argument” is not what many people believe. An argument is not the same as a quarrel. An argument is “a reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong.”

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/What-are-ways-divorcees-reach-a-mutual-agreement-when-splitting-up-their-assets/answer/Eric-Johnson-311?prompt_topic_bio=1

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If we agree on our divorce terms, do we need attorneys?

If we agree on our divorce terms, do we need attorneys?

In a less complicated divorce, where each party has already agreed to the split of assets, do they each need to hire their own attorney, and why or why not?

I can answer your questions conclusively in less than 100 words:

If your spouse and his/her lawyer submit to you a proposed agreement that appears to you (and you are not a lawyer yourself) to be a good, fair deal, would you prefer A) just to sign it hoping that it doesn’t contain any errors, omissions, or tricks and traps; or B) to sign it after first having your own independent counsel (i.e., your own lawyer) review the proposal to ensure it doesn’t contain any errors, omissions, or tricks and traps in it?

The correct course of action is obvious.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/In-a-less-complicated-divorce-where-each-party-has-already-agreed-to-the-split-of-assets-do-they-each-need-to-hire-their-own-attorney-and-why-or-why-not/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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Should I review the proposed settlement agreement with my own lawyer?

In a less complicated divorce, where each party has already agreed to the split of assets, do they each need to hire their own attorney, and why or why not? Should I review the proposed settlement agreement with my own lawyer?

I can answer your question conclusively in less than 100 words:

If your spouse and his/her lawyer submit to you a proposed agreement that appears to you (and you are not a lawyer yourself) to be a good, fair deal, would you prefer A) just to sign it hoping that it doesn’t contain any errors, omissions, or tricks and traps; or B) to sign it after first having your own independent counsel (i.e., your own lawyer) review the proposal to ensure it doesn’t contain any errors, omissions, or tricks and traps in it?

The correct course of action is obvious.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/In-a-less-complicated-divorce-where-each-party-has-already-agreed-to-the-split-of-assets-do-they-each-need-to-hire-their-own-attorney-and-why-or-why-not/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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Can you tell the judge to award no alimony if both parties agree and settle?

Well, you can’t dictate to your judge as to what your judge will do, but if you and your spouse agree that no alimony will be awarded and then tell the judge that that is how you and your spouse want the judge to rule, 9 1/2 times out of 10 the judge will do as the parties agree.

This is true of most settlement agreements reached in divorce as to virtually any and every issue the case. If you and your spouse reach agreement as to settlement of an issue, the judge will do as the parties agree, unless what the parties have agreed to constitutes a violation of the law or if the judge deems the agreement to be inequitable.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/Can-you-tell-the-judge-in-family-court-not-to-give-any-alimony-without-a-prenuptial-agreement-if-both-parties-agree/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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