Tag: resources

Should I use free family law resources?

Merely use them? I don’t see the harm in being familiar with them. Reading, watching, listening. Learning. That’s a good thing. A very good thing. Being dependent upon only free resources? No. That’s a bad thing. 

Should you use free resources exclusively, without paying an attorney to represent you or at least consult with you (assuming you can afford an attorney’s help)? No. The family law legal system is a mess, and if success is your aim, then trying to navigate it and understand it and work within it on your own would be, with rare exception, foolish. I wish it weren’t true, but it is. 

Ask sane people who thought they could represent themselves successfully in divorce and family law disputes how they fared. Precious few will tell you they have no regrets. Precious few will tell you they wouldn’t get an attorney’s help, if they had to do it all over again. 

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

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How can I talk to a lawyer when I don’t have money to pay for one?

How can I talk to a lawyer when I don’t have money to pay for one?

Most jurisdictions have resources for consulting an attorney, even receiving certain kinds of legal services, without charge. In Utah, for example, the Utah State Bar has a list of free resources you can access here.

But please remember: 1) talking to an attorney for legal information or even legal advice does not mean that a lawyer will give you a simple, inevitable path to success with your particular legal problem (the lawyer might, but it’s not guaranteed, it can’t be); 2) some services are limited to people who are poor who cannot afford legal services; and 3) you get what you pay for, i.e., lawyers only have some much time they can spare handing out legal information and legal advice.

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

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Do you want to know your judge and/or commissioner? View their bench books.

You’ve filed for divorce or had a divorce case filed against you. For most people, this is their first contact with the legal system. This is new and unknown, and so it’s frightening. The best (and first) antidote to the fear is becoming informed and knowledgeable about what you’re in for.

A good place to start is knowing about your divorce case’s judge and/or commissioner. Many judges and commissioners have a profile in the “Judge’s Bench Book,” which is provided by the Litigation Section of the Utah State Bar:

The Judges’ Benchbook provides information on both trial judges and domestic relations commissioners who have agreed to provide information about how they approach a case and how they like to see a case proceed. You and your attorney can learn how to present your case in the way your judge and commissioner prefer. You can also learn what behaviors and practices to avoid.

So read the profiles on your judge and commissioner in the Bench Book. Tell your attorney about it too (not every attorney knows about the Bench Book). Get to know your judge and commissioner better so that you can work with them better and thus improve your chances for success.

The Litigation Section’s web page features other useful resources in addition to the Bench Book, so after you read the Bench Book profiles for your judge and commissioner, spend a little more time checking out those other resources too. A few you might find most useful include:

  • a list of 50 important tips for those who have never been to court before and that you would be wise to know before you appear in court

  • an article about what judges and commissioners really want to know (and really pay attention to) in the written arguments

  • you can find links to the Utah rules of Civil Procedure, rules of Evidence, and other information here

  • a little “inside knowledge” about how the courts work that you’d be wise to review

  • this page can help you find a lawyer, find legal clinics, available pro bono assistance, and other public services provided by the Utah State Bar

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

How can I prepare myself mentally for divorce?

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