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What Should I Do When a Family Court Judge Refuses to Look at My Evidence?

What should I do when a family court judge refuses to look at my evidence of abuse because my ex’s lawyer lied about me bringing it to him when I had a witness with me?

What you can or should do depends upon why the judge would not consider your evidence.

You say that the judge refused to review your evidence because the judge believed a lie that your ex’s lawyer told him (I presume) something along the lines of “Objection, Your Honor, I was never given a copy of these documents/photographs/recordings. I’m not prepared to address them.”

You claim that you can prove that your ex’s lawyer is lying because you had a witness with me when you delivered the evidence to your ex’s lawyer (I presume) well in advance of the hearing.

It appears that either the judge did not believe you, or, if you did not bring the witness with you to court, that the judge ruled that without the witness’s testimony the judge would not believe that you served your ex’s lawyer with the evidence, and thus would not allow you to present that evidence to the judge.

The lesson learned here?: when you deliver or serve documents/photographs/recordings to someone and need proof that you did so, use a method of delivery or service that provides an objective means of proving it. Have the lawyer or someone at his/her office sign for the documents/photographs/recordings when you or someone from the post office deliver(s) them.  Or you could email the documents/photographs/recordings to the lawyer, which would another way of proving that you delivered/served them. Another thing you could do is file a copy with the court which, though it does not objectively prove you delivered/served the documents on the lawyer, the point is that if you went to the trouble of filing them with the court, then it’s more than likely you also delivered/served them on the lawyer too. Another thing you or your lawyer should do is file a certificate of service with the court that you or your lawyer served/delivered them.

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

https://www.quora.com/What-should-I-do-when-a-family-court-judge-refuses-to-look-at-my-evidence-of-abuse-because-my-exs-lawyer-lied-about-me-bringing-it-to-him-when-I-had-a-witness-with-me

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What should I tell my lawyer who says that a motion to dismiss is not real?

What should I say to my lawyer who told me that a motion to dismiss isn’t really a thing so we cannot file one?

It may be that a motion to dismiss is in fact not possible (not permitted by the rules under the circumstances of your case) or not wise under the circumstances (possible, but a bad idea), even though you believe otherwise. a lot of people are familiar with certain legal jargon without knowing what it means, and they often throw it around ignorantly and inaccurately. 

I can’t tell you how many times clients have come to me believing they have rights to do this or rights not to do that, only to find out that their understanding was erroneous. 

A few examples: thinking you have a right to certain documents (or every document known to man) under the “Freedom of Information Act”, believing you don’t have to answer provide requested documents or answer certain questions in a deposition or at trial if they claim that the information sought from them is “private” or “confidential,” believing that because they know the truth/right thing to do, the court must agree with them. 

If you have an idea and your lawyer shoots it down without you understanding why, don’t be afraid to ask your lawyer to explain it to you. If your lawyer can’t do that, your idea may not be so bad (but instead your lawyer may not be up to the task). 

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

https://www.quora.com/What-should-I-say-to-my-lawyer-who-told-me-that-a-motion-to-dismiss-isnt-really-a-thing-so-we-cannot-file-one/answer/Eric-Johnson-311 

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Can anyone find out which spouse filed for a divorce?

I cannot speak for all jurisdictions, but in the state of Utah (where I practice divorce and family law), if you know that a couple is divorcing or is divorced, and you know the name of at least one of the members of the couple (and it wouldn’t hurt to have a birth date to, especially if the name of the person getting the divorce is a common one like “Mike Smith”), then you can either go to the courthouse or get online to check court records, find the case number under which the divorce action was filed either by one of the spouses or against the other spouse, at which point you can discover who the petitioner is or was (the “petitioner” is the name of the party that initiates the divorce action, and the “respondent” is the name of the spouse was being sued for divorce).

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

https://www.quora.com/Can-anyone-find-out-which-partner-filed-for-a-divorce/answer/Eric-Johnson-311?prompt_topic_bio=1

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What would you do if your child’s father who is only entitled to supervised visitation filed for a modification of a court order so a family member you don’t approve of could supervise visits?

What would you do if your child’s father who is only entitled to supervised visitation filed for a modification of a court order so a family member you don’t approve of could supervise visits?

Here’s what I would do:

First, remember that merely claiming that the proposed visitation supervisor poses a clear and serious danger to the child’s mental or emotional health without having proof or some highly credible evidence does not simply make for a weak argument, it could call your credibility into question.

  • I would first ask: if you have proof or highly credible evidence that there anything about this proposed visitation supervisor that poses a clear and factual (or at least credible) danger to the child’s life, safety, or health.
    • If the answer is “yes,” then you probably have at least one very good argument against having this person approved as a visitation supervisor.
  • If the answer is “no,” then I would ask if there anything about this proposed visitation supervisor that poses a clear and factual (or at least credible) danger to the life, safety, or health of the other parent or of anyone else?
    • If the answer is “yes,” then you probably have at least one very good argument against having this person approved as a visitation supervisor.
  • If the answer is “no,” then I would ask: if there anything about this proposed visitation supervisor that poses a clear and factual (or at least credible) danger to the child’s mental or emotional health?
    • If the answer is “yes,” then you probably have at least one very good argument against having this person approved as a visitation supervisor.
  • If the answer is “no,” then I would ask if there is anything about this proposed visitation supervisor that poses a clear and factual (or at least credible) danger to the mental or emotional health of the other parent or of anyone else?
    • If the answer is “yes,” then you probably have at least one very good argument against having this person approved as a visitation supervisor.
  • If the answer is “no,” then I would ask if there is anything about the proposed supervisor that indicates he/she is not available to provide supervision as needed and/or cannot provide supervision responsibly and reliably.
    • If the answer is “yes,” then you probably have at least one very good argument against having this person approved as a visitation supervisor.
  • If the answer is “no,” then I would likely see no point to objecting to the proposed supervisor because I would have no valid argument against the appointment of this supervisor.

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

https://www.quora.com/What-would-you-do-if-your-childs-father-who-is-only-entitled-to-supervised-visitation-filed-for-a-modification-of-a-court-order-so-a-family-member-you-dont-approve-of-could-supervise-visits/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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How much does it cost to file for a divorce?

How much does it cost to file for a divorce?

Good question. There are costs and then there are cost for filing for divorce.

Beyond what an attorney would charge you for his/her services, there are other costs to be paid when obtaining a divorce, one of which is the filing fee the court charges you. Here’s a list of what it costs to file for divorce in every state of the U.S.A. as of July 21, 2021, according to Findlaw.com (https://www.findlaw.com/family/divorce/how-much-does-a-divorce-cost-by-state.html):

Alabama $400 ($50 administrative fee included) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000

Alaska $250 (additional $75 fee to file a modification for child custody, visitation, or support, or for spousal maintenance or property division) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

Arizona $280 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

Arkansas $165 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,000+

California $435 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $14,000

Colorado $230 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $11,000+

Connecticut $360 (excluding paternity legal action) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $12,000+

Delaware $165 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $12,000+

District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) $80 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000

Florida $409 (Cost changes per county. Example from Duval County Circuit.) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

Georgia $400 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $11,000+

Hawaii $215 (without minor children), $265 (with minor children) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000+

Idaho $154 (without minor children), $207 (with minor children) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,000+

Illinois $334 (District specific fees. This example is from Lake County Circuit.) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

Indiana $157 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000

Iowa $185 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000+

Kansas $400 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,000+

Kentucky $148 (without an attorney), $153 (with an attorney) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,000+

Louisiana $150 to $250 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000

Maine $120 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,000+

Maryland $165 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $11,000

Massachusetts $200 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $12,000+

Michigan $175 (without minor children), $255 (with minor children) (District specific fees. This example is from Wayne County Circuit.) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

Minnesota $365 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000

Mississippi $400 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees:: $8,000+

Missouri $133.50 (without minor children), $233.50 (with minor children) (District specific fees. This example is from Jefferson County Circuit.) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

Montana $170 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $6,000+

Nebraska $158 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,000+

Nevada $217 (first appearance), $299 (joint petition) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

New Hampshire $400 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000+

New Jersey $300 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $12,000+

New Mexico $137 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $6,500+

New York $335 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $13,500+

North Carolina $75 (absolute divorce), $150 (for civil cases in district court) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

North Dakota $80 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,000+

Ohio $350 (District specific fees. This example is from Washington County Circuit.) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000+

Oklahoma $183 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000+

Oregon $301 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000

Pennsylvania $201.75 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $11,000+

Puerto Rico $400 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000

Rhode Island $400 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

South Carolina $150 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000

South Dakota $95 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,500+

Tennessee $184.50 (without minor children), $259.50 (with minor children) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,500+

Texas $300 (depending on child support or custody factors) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $12,500

Utah $325 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,400

Vermont $90 (if you are a resident of the state), $295 (without a stipulation) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000

Virginia Use this calculator to find your district’s fees. Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $11,500

Washington $314 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $10,000+

West Virginia $134 Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,000+

Wisconsin $184.50 (with no child support or alimony), $194.50 (with child support or alimony) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $8,500+

Wyoming $85 (District specific fees. This example is from Laramie County Circuit.) Average Other Divorce Costs and Attorney Fees: $9,000

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

https://www.quora.com/How-much-does-it-cost-to-file-for-a-divorce/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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When did you know that divorce was the option you were going to choose?

When did you know that divorce was the option you were going to choose?

First, make sure that if you reach the conclusion that you need a divorce that you really do need a divorce. Clearly, a marriage that, through no fault of your own, threatens your life, health, or safety is a marriage you don’t have wonder is worth staying in another moment. But in every other situation, divorce is not a decision to take lightly.

Some people think they need a divorce when they do not. They mistakenly believe that a divorce will be the solution to problems that the marriage is not causing or a solution to problems the marriage is causing when there are better solutions than divorce (many people have told me after their divorce that they wish they had not taken such drastic measures and had tried harder to save their marriage because they realized that 1) the marriage was worth saving and they didn’t “know what they got till It’s gone” and/or 2) divorce only made matters worse).

Even if you do not believe that individual counseling or therapy and/or marriage and family therapy will work for you and your spouse (or your whole family, if that’s a concern), you do not want to live with the regrets that come from wondering “what might have been”. Start reading the scriptures and going to church. Seek wisdom, guidance, and help beyond your own abilities (even if you think it’s a stupid idea, try it before you reject it out of hand). Before taking the drastic, painful, scarring, costly, and permanent step of divorce, try to find out whether the problem(s) in your marriage and family lie(s) with something than your spouse. Try to find out if the problem(s) can and should be solved without divorce. If, after taking these steps, you honestly conclude that your marriage cannot be salvaged, that is when you can and should file for divorce confident in your choice.

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

https://www.quora.com/When-did-you-know-that-divorce-was-the-option-you-were-going-to-choose/answer/Eric-Johnson-311?prompt_topic_bio=1

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Do you need a reason to get a divorce?

Do you need a reason to get a divorce?

Not really, at least not in the jurisdiction where I practice divorce law (Utah).

Even if you get a “no fault” divorce (“no fault divorce” means that you don’t have to accuse your spouse of being the cause of the marriage, i.e., of being “at fault” as the reason you are seeking a divorce), technically the law still requires that there be (and that you allege in your complaint for divorce) irreconcilable differences between you and your spouse that cause continuing the marriage to be impossible.

The reality is that because it is impossible for the court to know whether there really exist irreconcilable differences between you and your spouse, you could be perfectly happy in your marriage, file for a no-fault divorce, and obtain a divorce without the court being any the wiser and without so much as batting an eye.

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

https://www.quora.com/For-what-reasons-are-fathers-most-likely-to-lose-custody-of-their-child/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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Who initiates divorce more often? Husbands or wives?

Who initiates divorce more often? Husbands or wives?

In the United State of America, although the percentages vary depending on the study, the research is unanimous in finding that wives initiate divorce more often than husbands. Between 65% and 70% more, generally. This study published in 2017 set the percentage of wife-initiated divorces at 69%.

You’ll see a lot of articles that claim women file 80% of divorces, but I could not find any studies or statistics to back that claim.

As to why wives file for divorce more often than men, this MSN article (the accuracy for which I cannot vouch) summarized this study from American Psychological Association (ASA) as follows:

  1. Women are more likely to feel like marriage is holding them back.
  2. Women tend to do more emotional labor in a marriage.
  3. Women are less likely to tolerate “bad behavior” today.

I can tell you from experience as a divorce lawyer that one reason husbands are reluctant to file for divorce is because they are afraid of being labeled pariahs; culturally, it’s easier to sympathize with a woman seeking a divorce because there is this belief that a woman seeking a divorce is a victim seeking escape or relief, while men who seek divorce are often presumed to be self-absorbed cads.

According to this article in PMC*

  • when men are not employed, both husbands or wives are more likely to leave the marriage.
  • when wives report better than average marital satisfaction, their employment affects neither their nor their husbands’ exits.
  • when wives report below average marital satisfaction, their employment makes it more likely that they will leave.

*PubMed Central (PMC) is a free archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM). It is a repository for journal literature deposited by participating publishers, as well as for author manuscripts that have been submitted in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy and similar policies of other research funding agencies.

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

https://www.quora.com/Who-are-the-biggest-initiates-of-divorce-Why-is-that/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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Should I accept money from my ex for the kids, even if I’ve already filed in court for child support?

Should I accept money my ex sent for his kids (not enough to support), even if I already decided to take him to court for child support?

I don’t see any reason why you can’t do both: keep the money already given and pursue a long-term child support order (you’re entitled to it, you need it for the kids). Just be sure to give him credit for the child support he’s voluntarily paid you to this point.

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

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