Tag: legal advice

Can anyone recommend a good attorney for father’s rights?

Many fathers and those who care about them ask this question. It’s no wonder why. But beware. “Father’s Rights Attorney” is, for the most part, a scam. Don’t misunderstand me: fathers unquestionably get treated unfairly in child custody disputes. And there are a few attorney’s out there who may legitimately make focuses solely (and expertly) on defending and preserving and advancing father’s rights in child custody disputes, but generally, the “Father’s Rights Attorney” is just a marketing ploy. Have you ever wondered why you don’t see any “Mother’s Rights Attorney” advertising? Because men have more money than women (generally), so the “Father’s Rights Attorneys” play upon the fears of fathers by convincing fathers that “we specialize” and “we care” and “we know what it takes to get fathers JUSTICE!!!!!” Stuff like that to get fathers to open their wallets.

If you are a father and you are concerned that you will not be treated fairly or you are not being treated fairly by a biased judge, you’re likely not looking for a “Father’s Rights Attorney”; what you’re looking for is a skilled, knowledgeable, diligent, honest attorney who will first tell you whether he/she believes you have a fighting chance, and if so, will help you prepare and argue your case, so that you and the children are dealt with fairly when it comes to your involvement in your children’s lives.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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How much should you trust your lawyer?

The more power to be entrusted, the higher the stakes, the less I trust anyone under such conditions. 

Many of us find or will find ourselves in a situation where we must retain an attorney’s services. Essentially, it must be done, we have no real choice. Not retaining an attorney is worse than going it alone. 

Even then, hiring a lawyer does not relieve you of responsibility for your own case, of responsibility for protecting/advancing your interests. A good lawyer is a means of improving and augmenting your ability to do this, but only as long as you remain vigilant personally. If you don’t understand what your lawyer is doing or advising you to do, but “trust” that your lawyer is doing right by you, you’re just being lazy. If and when you fail to make informed decisions, you’re needlessly risking disappointment and failure, and that’s on you. You are responsible to find the best lawyer you can. I consider a good lawyer to be someone who is as honest and fair as he/she is skilled as a jurist and litigator. Don’t hire a mercenary, a shark. This calls to mind the proverb “He who will lie for you will lie to you.” 

Remember: a lawyer you can and should trust is not a lawyer who is infallible. Even the most trustworthy, skilled attorney cannot control the opposing parties, witnesses, law enforcement and court personnel, or the judge(s). Sometimes an attorney’s best advice fails. Any choice as to how to handle a legal matter is not without trade-offs and risks. That’s not a matter of how trustworthy your lawyer is. 

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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What will the court do if I do not sign a letter sent by my ex-husband?

What will the court do if I do not pick up a letter my ex-husband sent that needs to be signed by me from the courts about his back court ordered alimony of $20,000.00 that he is in default already and has been ordered by the courts several times? 

This is a question you need to ask of a local divorce attorney in your jurisdiction. 

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277  


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What will the court do if I do not pick up a letter my ex husband sent?

What will the court do if I do not pick up a letter my ex husband sent that needs to be signed by me from the courts about his back court ordered alimony of 20,000.00 that he is in default already and has been ordered by the courts several times? 

This is a question you need to ask of a local divorce attorney in your jurisdiction. 

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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What is the best DIY book about divorce in the U.S.?

There isn’t one. There can’t be. I’ll explain why and what you can and should do if you want to go the DIY divorce by the book route. 

The main reason there is no “best DIY divorce book in the U.S.” is because each state has different divorce laws. While all the states’ divorce laws share many, many similarities, it’s impossible for one book (that one could manageably read and understand) to speak authoritatively about specific divorce law for all states. 

Consequently, most DIY divorce books deal in generalizations, so that they can appeal and apply to a national audience (can’t write a bestseller on “DIY Iowa Divorce”). This is not to say that generalized books on the subject of divorce aren’t worth reading, but they Clearly are not the best way too undertake a DIY divorce (not to put too fine a point on it, but anyone who would try to do his or her divorce by himself/herself by reading one of these generalized books on divorce would be a fool—there is a much better way to go the DIY route). 

That stated, I know there are people out there who have written DIY guidebooks and forms set on divorce for specific states. It wouldn’t hurt to check your local library and bookstores to see if you’re one of the lucky states where someone bothered to write a do-it-yourself book specifically on the divorce laws and procedures for your particular state. Just make sure that such a book is up-to-date. Divorce laws and rules of procedure change frequently. 

It would also be a good idea and worth the effort to see if local attorneys have written a book on DIY divorce for your particular state. These are often offered through the attorney’s website in various forms: e-books, slideshows, “online seminars”, forms set, a link to purchase a hard copy of a self-published paperback, etc. 

Be warned about local attorney-authored DIY divorce books: many lawyers (most, in my opinion) who write so-called “do-it-yourself divorce” books/guides often do so to overwhelm you, intimidate you, psych you out, and persuade you not to do it yourself and instead hire an attorney (specifically the attorney who wrote the book). Make sure the DIY book you get is a truly completed and effective tool. 

BONUS: Even if you believe you have mastered the art of DIY divorce in preparing your own divorce pleadings and other court documents, please Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish: pay a few hundred dollars to meet and talk with an experienced, skilled divorce attorney to review your documents and to ensure they are complete and compliant before you file them with the court. It is well worth the investment. That doesn’t mean you must hire a lawyer throughout the whole process, just pay a lawyer to review your documents to ensure they are up to snuff before you file them. I daresay it’s a crucial part of the DIY process. It could be the difference between success or failure (and in divorce, most of the time you only get one shot to succeed; failure can often be irremediable and permanent). 

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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I have no money and a non-cooperative ex, how do I get legal help?

How can I obtain assistance in a custody matter when I have no money and my ex-husband is not following the current court order? 

In some jurisdictions there are legal services that exist for the purpose of helping the poor. They provide anywhere from discounted services to free services. Sometimes what you pay (if anything) is based upon your income (the less your income is, the less you pay). Not everyone qualifies for these reduced-fee or free services, and it should come as no surprise to that (with occasional exception), when it comes to free or cheap legal services, you get what you pay for.  

Some law schools offer some legal help in the form of clinics staffed by law students who are supervised by a lawyer or lawyers. As you can imagine, because law students are students and not yet lawyers, the legal knowledge they have is limited, as is the kinds and amounts of legal help they can give. These legal clinics usually provide help in the form of showing you how to do-it-yourself. Rarely will legal clinics staffed by law students provide you with limited or full representation in court.  

Some bar associations host legal clinics as well. Again, these are not soup to nuts outfits. They usually limit themselves to the kinds of legal questions the poor face: eviction, divorce, small claims, consumer protection issues, petty crime. These lawyers will volunteer to meet with you for a few minutes to an hour or so because a lot of people come to these clinics, so you won’t be getting all the information and advice you may want or need. And the same lawyers aren’t always at the clinics each time you show up. And some clinics may limit the amount of time you get to spend there, so that people don’t hog the free help.  

Finally, some jurisdictions have laws that provide for the possibility of your ex paying for your lawyer—while the case is pending, not after the case is over—if you can’t pay for one yourself while the case is pending. For example, in the jurisdiction where I practice law (Utah), there is this statute: 

30-3-3. Award of costs, attorney and witness fees — Temporary alimony. 

(1) In any action filed under Title 30, Chapter 3, Divorce, Chapter 4, Separate Maintenance, or Title 78B, Chapter 7, Part 6, Cohabitant Abuse Protective Orders, and in any action to establish an order of custody, parent-time, child support, alimony, or division of property in a domestic case, the court may order a party to pay the costs, attorney fees, and witness fees, including expert witness fees, of the other party to enable the other party to prosecute or defend the action. The order may include provision for costs of the action. 

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277  

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Where can I find a pro bono lawyer when being charged with contempt of child support in MN?

You may have a very difficult time finding free legal representation, BUT you may have a much easier time getting advice as to how you can and should proceed and how to defend yourself effectively. 

Many lawyers don’t have the time or desire to represent people in your position for free (it’s a mess, lawyers don’t have a lot of free time to give their services away, and lawyers don’t like doing work for free—it’s hard enough collecting their fees from the clients who ostensibly agreed to pay them), but many lawyers will volunteer at legal clinics to provide legal information and some basic advice or guidance. Law school often run such clinics as well. 

There are organizations that provide free or discounted representation under the right conditions (the main factor being that you can prove you clearly cannot afford to pay for an attorney’s services). 

Contact your local bar association and the law schools nearest you to find out where these clinics and charitable legal services organizations are (find out if they hold clinics or consultations remotely (like via Zoom). Ask about other services that may be available free of charge or at a discounted rate. 

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277  

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