Separation vs. Divorce

When a married couple decides that they can no longer stay together, a divorce is usually the way the parties lean.   For some, jumping into a divorce may not be the right answer.   Separation may be the way to go.

Legal separation is an option for those that desire to live apart but do not want to sever the bonds of marriage.    The parties may continue to refer to the other as a spouse, while separated.   The parties can petition the Court to enter an order establishing support, custody, parent-time, debt repayment, property division and other issues that naturally arise from a separation.

In a legal separation, the assets and property of the couple remain joint property, unless otherwise agreed.  As this is the case, both parties retain legal rights over the marital assets, lessening the chances that one of the parties will be unlawfully defrauded by the other.

Health Insurance Benefits

Divorce terminates not only the bonds of marriage, but also terminates the financial bonds between the parties.   One of the natural outcomes of a divorce is the termination of health insurance for the non-employee spouse.   Just because you can no longer live together does not necessarily mean that you want to deprive your spouse of the ability to obtain medical help.   A legal separation might be the answer as it allows the non-employee spouse to retain insurance benefits.

Social Security

In order to obtain social security benefits your marriage needs to last at least ten years.   If you are near, but have not passed the ten year mark of marriage, a legal separation may be the answer.   The legal separation will allow you to live your separate lives while waiting for the marriage to hit the ten year mark.

Taxes

Married couples typically have the benefit of a lower tax rate and exemptions then do those filing as single.  Remaining married, through a legal separation, may be the answer for those that want to retain the tax benefits but no longer want to live together.

Reconciliation

A legal separation allows the couple the opportunity to examine their options, while living apart.   While divorce may be the answer for some, legal separation gives parties ample time to make sure that they are taking the path that is correct for them.  The parties, if given the time, may find that they do not wish to live apart and may reconcile.

If you have questions about whether separation or divorce is right for you, contact our divorce and family law attorneys for a free consultation. Call Mountain View Law Group today at (801) 393-5555.

Hiring an Adoption Attorney

When hiring an adoption attorney you must choose carefully, to ensure that you are obtaining the best representation possible.   Below are a few of the most important items to consider when making your determination:

*Ask the attorney how many adoption cases he/she has handled.  Ask specific questions about cases they have finalized? What problems have they run into? What is their experience working with an adoption agency?

*Ask what you can expect if you hire the attorney. How soon will they respond to phone calls or emails?  Will you be able to meet with him/her?   Will a paralegal be doing the majority of the work?

*Ask how much of the attorney’s work is adoption related work.  An attorney who spends more time working in the area will be more experienced in the area.

*Ask if the attorney has experience in contested adoptions.   An attorney with extensive experience in contested adoptions can often give you a higher level of service, even if your case isn’t contested.  An attorney with more experience is better able to see, and avoid, potential pitfalls.

*Ask what the attorney charges for your type of adoption?  Are there filing fees? Do you need a pre-placement or post-placement adoption evaluation?   What are the costs for said evaluations?  Are there additional potential costs that could arise at a later date?

If you are considering adopting a child, contact the attorneys at Mountain View Law Group at 801-393-5555. We will provide you with a free consultation, where we will answer all of your questions and concerns.