Category Archives: Criminal Law

Five Tips- Preparing for Mediation

Once you begin the divorce proceedings a few options and requirements will happen. Mediation is a requirement to most divorce cases in Utah as a way to have a smooth transition into living and functioning in two homes.

There are 2 main goals in Mediation. The first main goal in mediation is to find a workable solution to fit the needs of your family and lifestyle. Another goal is to find these solutions in an inexpensive and less invasive solution. Mediation is a primary preference over court imposed solutions.

Here are five tips to help you in the process of preparing for mediation.

  1. Be Ready to Agree- Solution Based Thinking

One of the most important aspect of handling the divorce effectively and timely is to be agreeable. This agreement to mediate will hold strong favor with the court and with the opposing party. By showing a willingness to mediate you show a good faith effort to put all the issues on the table and get things hammered out.

This does not mean that you and your spouse have to be friends in order to get through the mediation with a successful outcome. It simply means that you are both ready to sit down and have serious and meaningful conversations in an effort to move forward.

  1. Proposed Solutions Homework

Make a list of all the issues you feel need to be addressed. Make your list include possible solutions. Try to find two solutions to each issue. Be as detailed as possible. Remember these are proposed solutions.

After you make your list prioritize the most important things and decide whether you are willing to compromise on those issues. If not write down why and cite specific examples to support your claim.

Create a completed list of ALL your physical items that will be addressed. This can be done in a checklist form. When you attend mediation present this to the mediator or your attorney as the master list of all of the property, debts, assets and accounts that need to be assigned and designated.

This can include all houses, rental property, businesses, personal property, furniture, jewelry, artwork, furnishings, vehicles, boats, motorcycles, ATV’s, bank accounts, security safe deposit boxes, investments, life insurance, credit cards, retirement accounts. An accounting or inventory of everything you have acquired and possessed before the marriage.

You will need all income as well as any disbursements for disability, pensions, child support, business profit and loss statements or inheritance. Expenses need to be listed as well with all payment amounts and dates. This can include all monthly payments you make for insurance, living expenses, groceries, gas, vehicle payments and any other things you are paying off.

In Utah you are required to provide a financial declaration that will include all of this information. Therefore, by preparing this you will be ready to submit the declaration to your attorney and court.

Make sure that all information is accurate including payoff amounts.

3.Make Realistic Goals

Now that you have your lists you have to set some realistic goals to help guide you toward success.  Many people find that this step can be the most difficult. The process of setting some goals may take some time. Make sure to set aside a few hours to make some decision with a clear mind that is uninterrupted.

At this point you will need to figure out the range of acceptable negotiations. Make a list for each item addressing where you are willing to negotiate to. This can be very difficult. For example:

Issue: Visit exchanges

Preferred: Friday at 7 pm

Acceptable Terms:

1) Exchange after school at 3pm with pickup at the school

2) Exchange no later than 8:30 curbside

The purpose of creating these goals is so that you feel like you have already began to ponder possible solutions that are reasonable and well thought out. The more prepared you are to negotiate the better you will feel with the outcome. You will also know what you are willing to settle on and what you are not willing to live without.

Finally make a realistic budgeting goal. Take a very close look at where you will be in a month and make some goals to adjust you spending. It is very important to understand where you are financially.

  1. Consider the Impact on Children

If child care, child support and visitation are being discussed remember that these this are a different category and should not be used as a bargaining chip. Sometimes parents are clouded in their need to win and they use the children as pawns in mediation and divorce.

The goal of the court is to make sure that both parents have an active role in their child’s life. Provide reasonable requests that fit the needs of your family, the work schedules of both parents and the schedule and age of the children.

Make sure to review the state statutes on visitation and be familiar with the requirements.

Communication with your children and answering their question may help you understand what you need to work out in mediation.

Children respond better when parents present a united front and when decision are presented in a confident and clear manner. After the agreements are made the parents need to respond to the children with clear facts and without blaming the other parent. Children do not need to be burdened with things they cannot control. Adult conversations and decision making sessions need to be kept between the adults and not divulged unnecessarily. Children need to hear that they will continue to receive love and support from both parents equally.

An important reminder is that even though you are divorcing your spouse you are still required to co-parent. Children all react and will grieve differently. The best you can do is to provide consistency and stability with a positive and loving environments. Communicate together with the children when possible about routines and living arrangement changes. This promotes healthy relationships.

Keep the comments about the spouse to a minimum. Remember that children are part of your spouse and they will feel like you are also unhappy with portions of themselves. It is imperative that all conversations about your spouse are positive and with forward thinking. Children will take your lead and the confusion and blaming will dissipate when the environment is positive and welcoming.

Appoint one parent to be the decision making parent. At times of high stress one parent needs to be ultimately the decision maker. While they are still young they will grow into young adults with complex issues. By agreeing from the beginning to be effective communicative co-parents you will save yourself and your children from a lot of heartache and disappointment.

Utah requires a divorce education class. Check with your Ogden Divorce Lawyer for information on attendance.

  1. Find A Mediator That Makes Sense

Mediators like attorneys need to be a good fit for the family. If you have a high- conflict divorce you may need a specialized mediator

There are many options for mediators and your Divorce Lawyer in Ogden. Do your homework on each one. See what their success rate is. See what their website says and even the reviews online. Ask around to your friends and family and see if they have any recommendations.

When you present the list to your attorney see if they have a mediator that they like to use. Search out cost options and make a pro and con list.

Sometimes getting a better mediator at a higher cost with good reviews is worth it because you could mediate for a shorter amount of time then using a less experienced mediator that will use up more time with a less favorable outcome.

Feel free to interview your Ogden Divorce Attorney for a professional review of each mediator before agreeing to one. The more you research the better off you will be and the more confident you will be going into the mediation.

Here are a few things to ask:

  • When did you complete your mediation course and how long was your training?
  • What certification do you hold and in what areas are you certified?
  • Where did you get your certifications and do you have certifications available?
  • Have you participated in co-mediation courses?
  • What kind of mediations have you performed and what is your success rate?

These five tips will help you in preparing for your mediation appointment. By preparing your evidence, information and intentions you will be more clear on your demands and able to negotiate a settlement that will endure the divorce process and put in place a workable solution for you and your children. Remember that all you can do is prepare to prevent so that you can avoid repair and regret.


How Do I Communicate With My Attorney

The first step in hiring a lawyer is explaining why you need a lawyer or an Ogden Criminal Defense Attorney or an Ogden Divorce Defense Attorney. The importance of communicating effectively and clearly is a priority.

Let us start with why communication is the most important part.

The Attorney client relationship will work better when both of you are able to talk about the facts of the case, your opinions and your motives honestly. This will form a better working relationship between the two of you. You have to trust that your lawyer understands you and is willing to tell your side of the story.Divorce Lawyer Ogden Utah and Divorce Lawyer Salt Lake City

When you are sharing information it should smoothly flow both way with you and the lawyer. It is a two way street so your lawyer should fulfill your need for all of the information just as you should give your Ogden Criminal Defense Lawyer all the information they are asking for. If the Ogden Criminal Defense Lawyer needs to have information the best thing to do is to provide them with ALL of the evidence they are asking for. If your attorney doesn’t have all of the correct information and you provide incomplete facts it will affect their ability to give you good advice about your case. Incorrect facts and incomplete statement may be more damaging then to no evidence at all.  

When you meet  with your lawyer make sure you understand the advice fully that they are giving you. If you are having trouble understanding or you can’t commit to the advice talk to your Ogden Divorce Attorney about. After all that is why you hired an American Fork Divorce Attorney. It is important to understand the terminology and the consequences of a decision like a settlement proposal or a plea agreement. Always ask why. A good American Fork Criminal Defense Lawyer will provide for time to really talk about your concerns until you understand fully. Remember this is your life, family and career. Ask your Ogden Criminal Defense Lawyer as many questions as you need to.

Personal History

Your criminal defense attorney Ogden or Divorce attorney american fork  might also ask you to provide a small summary which can include any marriages you have had previously and might want an accounting of your finances. When the children are discussed as part of the case more likely than not you will need to have those financial statements prepared and ready for your Ogden Divorce Attorney.  It is wise to also keep a journal of events when dealing in a civil matter including a divorce case. You will want to talk about your feelings and how you feel about your daily life. Hold nothing back.

Stay Updated and Update Your Counsel

During a stressful criminal case or even a divorce matter Your American Fork Criminal Defense lawyer or your Ogden Criminal Defense Attorney may be contacting you. Most cases will go through periods of little to no communication at different points through the case. , Make sure you let your American Fork Divorce lawyer know if anything substantial changes will want to let you know. Keep in touch with your Ogden Divorce Lawyer and let them know if your address changes or you are leaving for an extended time.  Stevens and Gailey Ogden Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer

It is important to remember that your attorney will have more than once clent and that they do spend considerable time in court. Its unreasonable to expect that they will alway be there when you call and available to discuss your case. Sometimes an email is a better form of communication and it can be addressed when the attorney has time to dedicate to your case. The staff should respond and let you know that they recieved the call or email and will get back to you shortly. Always remember that a courteous client makes for a happy lawyer.

The opposite is true as well. Make sure you are returning the documents and communications in a timely manner.

Talking Finances

The attorney will ask you for all of you financial information especially in a divorce, bankruptcy or even a criminal case. Most times they will request that you to fill out information. When providing financial information remember to include all of the money coming and and going out of your home. This includes all income sources, anything you own (assets), bank statements, bills, etc.  Sometimes an attorney will want to review other documents that may take time to gather. Examples: tax returns, pay history stubs and employment history, bank ledgers for your savings and investments, employee benefit statements (cafeteria plans, Christmas savings plans), and other documents regarding the debts you currently owe. It is important to be timely and get this information for review to your lawyer so that they can properly prepare for the case.

Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Hiring A Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Lawyer

Most people would never think that they would have to hire a criminal defense lawyer in Salt Lake City. However, what if you are falsely accused ? These kinds of things can easily happen in certain circumstances. It is a frustrating experience to say the least. No one ever anticipates having to spend hours searching online and meeting with numerous lawyers only to find out that they are inching closer to court dates with someone they are not confident in or trust.

Lets look at a real life example of what could happen.  These are all instances of when you would need to hire a defense attorney to help you even though you may or may not have committed a crime.

The Disgruntled Revenge Employee. We all know that one employee that seems to come back with vengeful accusations when they don’t get their way. What happens when they claim you committed a crime? Let’s take a look.

Let’s say that you are in a middle management position for a successful company. Occasionally it is part of your job to discipline an employee of the same or opposite sex for something that is a break in policy or against the rules. The employee is in need of correction and while you have this person in your office you go over what the person needs to correct during a normal disciplinary meeting.

Later you find out that this employee accuses you of sexual misconduct while that person was in your office. You simply made the mistake of not having another person with you at the time which would have prevented such a charge from occurring. There is now a case of your word against the employee’s word.

Or imagine for a moment that you work for a retail company in an accounting position or some other financial capacity and money turns up missing, so you are accused of stealing or embezzling money.

These are situations where you are definitely going to need a good criminal defense attorney to keep you out of jail and to help you defend yourself for crimes in which you did not commit.

The reality of such a situation can be a devastating blow to your day, and of course the rest of your life if it is not handled properly. You need to hire a good Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorney, who really knows the laws. Someone who has a good working relationship with the District Attorney and Prosecutors and is well liked by the courts.

Many Ogden Criminal Defense Lawyers have worked in that field for quite a while and they may have even been former prosecutors. They will probably know and be on good terms with a good majority of the judges as well as the court personnel. A local criminal defense lawyer will also know the system locally and will be of great help in assisting you.

To really understand your individual case and circumstances more deeply, it is even more advantageous for you if you can find a criminal defense attorney who has worked previously or specialized in your type of crime. Attorneys are not a catch all. If you want to be adequately represented and have confidence in your defense it is better to have someone who knows how to defend your case.

Your Ogden Criminal Defense Lawyer will know and be aware of the type and  the amount of evidence that will be needed to prove your guilt, as well as knowing what information you will need to prove that you are innocent.

In the example used previously where sexual misconduct is alleged, there are just two parties present in a closed door meeting. It boils down to one person’s word against another person’s word, and it is difficult to prove anything either way. However this is such a sensitive issue, the accused is almost assumed to be guilty. Character, previous behavior, criminal history, family relations, work history and a list of other things can be brought into court and used in your favor or against you.

Your attorney will know just how to handle such situations and will be able to bring information to the court after reviewing it with you. This is your defense. Your attorney is your mouthpiece to the court. It is important that they understand what you believe coupled with the evidence and what the opposing party is claiming.

Criminal charges are serious charges and if a person is guilty of criminal action, there are definite laws that provide for serious punishment even to the point of spending several years in prison. This is obviously a matter that can affect the rest of your life. It needs to be taken seriously by you and your attorney.

If you are guilty of a crime, your attorney can negotiate a lesser charge, plea bargain for a lesser sentence or present evidence that even if you are guilty, may place you in a position where the charges are dropped if the prosecution cannot present enough evidence to make the charge eligible. The position is different for each case.

When you are retaining the services of an Ogden Criminal Defense Attorney or a Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Lawyer, there are certain questions that you will want to ask and information that you will want to know.

Ask if the attorney has had any cases that are similar to what you are being charged with. You should also find out how much of the day to day work on your case your lawyer will personally handle. In other words, how much will he actually be personally involved with.


You should also ask how often he works for a plea bargain or asks for lesser charges. Find out what the fees are, how they are calculated, and is a payment plan offered? Also ask if the attorney will provide any references from clients who he has helped in the past.


Some attorneys will require an up-front retainer in order to start working on your case. Sometimes it may be beneficial for you to speak to several attorneys before you make your final choice, but it is advisable to go for quality, as this could directly affect how you live  the rest of your life.
Hiring an attorney is an experience that no one is looking forward to. Just make sure that you take the time to ask a lot of questions and know that you are getting what you need and who you need to defend you.