Category Archives: Divorce

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.

Mediation Vs. Going To Trial

Mediation Vs. Going To Trial

Let’s face it, going to court isn’t fun for anyone except perhaps for the winning attorney or party. In many cases, a lot of stress as well as time and money could be saved by simply finding a way to settle out of court.

Typically a court case will take a considerable amount of time in appearing in court, listening to motions, settlement conferences, partial judgments and trial dates. This isn’t a small or inexpensive task. Each side must have witnesses and prepare for the trial. All depositions must be gathered and in some cases an expert must be located and called in as well. The costs can quickly become astronomical.

Once this is done there could be another few months while your Divorce Lawyer Ogden is preparing for the trial and waiting for a date that is available in the court. By this time, you’re spending a lot of money. Thankfully, there is a better way. Regardless of the situation, whether it be divorce, or some other legal matter, it can be done much more quickly and efficiently.

One way that people settle out of court is called mediation. In mediation a disinterested third party is brought in to help the parties come to an agreement regarding the court case at hand. Here is how it works.


It’s easy to get caught up in “he said she said” and in “that’s mine not yours” when the truth is, it could all be settled by simply sitting down and working out the fine details of the specific situation at hand.

A mediator is trained in listening to both sides of the situation and recommending a way that both parties can come away with something in the specific situation at hand. Because the mediator doesn’t have a vested interest in the situation they are much more likely to look at the situation and see both sides of the problem much more clearly.

The mediator will help the parties to explore all facets of the situation and find a resolution that both parties can agree upon. The mediator can facilitate a frank discussion between both parties as well as their attorney’s in an effort to come to a satisfactory agreement in the situation.

This can save both parties a lot of time and money. It can save on court costs, attorney fees and even on time lost from work.

The final decision is left up to both parties and the only responsibility of the mediator is to guide the parties in the direction of a resolution.

All mediation is confidential and the information disclosed during the mediation isn’t able to be used against either party in court. The whole purpose of confidentiality is that the parties must feel safe and secure to openly discuss the case without any ramifications if another dispute comes to light.

There are varying forms of mediation and most will have specific phases of the process. There will be joint sessions and there may also be sessions with others present like experts or psychologists who are needed to help present specific views of a situation.

Frequently only a few sessions are required to come to a speedy resolution of the situation. Then the information can be presented to the judge and the agreements signed off. That’s it, it’s over.

Going To Trial

Going to trial however will be much more expensive. Both parties must hire an attorney and the costs can quickly mount.

Each party will have their Divorce Attorney Ogden speak on their behalf and agreements may take much longer to reach as sometimes attorney’s can be difficult to get a hold of.

To further complicate matters, there may be additional fees involved as well as time missed from work that can quickly add up to more money lost.

Parties may not get anything they want or they may find that they only get part of what they want. There can be a long legal battle and the time between court dates can vary depending upon the court availability as well as witness availability.

This entire process can be long and drawn out and it’s not just financially draining, it’s also emotionally draining. Over the course of time it can really weigh on a person and begin to affect their health.

The biggest difference is that parties going to trial aren’t trying to work things out between them in any fashion. Both are out to get what they feel they deserve and often this winds up to tip the scales in one’s favor over another.

Trials are costly, time consuming and can really drain assets and emotions. Opting for a mediation over a trial can save time, money, emotional energy and help the person to move on with their life in a much more timely fashion.

When considering mediation vs going to trial most parties will opt for the mediation in order to achieve more of what they are seeking.

Why Professional Help is Important When it comes to Family Law

Professional Help in a heated court dilemma is important for many reasons. When you decided to get married the last thought you had was that you would ever be planning out the rest of your marriage with your once loved spouse in two different households. When you have children and assets it starts to become clear very early on that a person to represent your interests is necessary. In this blog we will discuss a few items to consider about why hiring an Ogden Divorce Attorney is helpful and important to your case.

Communication is Key
If you’re already familiar with family law, then you understand how many cases can be extremely confusing and full of troubles and uncertainties regarding the outcome. It is essential for your future that you choose a lawyer who completely understands and has plenty of experience specifically in family law. Communication can be a key part for receiving the best service possible from your attorney. We’re proud to exclaim that our client relations are excellent and everyone appreciates how clearly we are able to communicate the choices and matters relating to their case. This is particularly important when dealing with family law cases.

Extensive Experience
Along with excellent communication, experience is also highly necessary to ensure that you receive the best possible assistance with your case. Our attorneys enjoy working in the field of family care; therefore we have mastered various skills and experiences along the way. Divorce and personal family law can require a lot of sensitive care on our part, and we will ensure that we meet all of your requirements before any large decisions are made. Another one of our strong points are families that include children. Extreme care is required when children become part of the equation, and we make sure that all of your rights remain protected even in the most difficult situations.

Precision, Detail, and a Personalized Service
When choosing professional help for your family’s law related matters, finding a team that pays close attention to detail and makes well thought-out precise decisions is a must. Our attorneys will stay committed to providing the most personalized services which will give you the ability to remain well-informed throughout the entire process of your case. As we said before, communication in family law is of utmost importance to us. We will quickly provide you with detailed notifications about any changes or necessary requirements that are related to your specific case. You can rest easy at night knowing that your lawyer will be working diligently to prepare the finest defense for your specific situation.

When there is a lot of paperwork required with your case, it becomes easy for a less experienced lawyer or firm to leave out important information that could lead to various difficulties in the future. Stevens Law, PC takes great care to make sure that every case is handled personally by qualified lawyers. You won’t have to worry about any detail, small or large, being missing from your divorce or child support agreements. An incomplete divorce settlement can further complicate your issue causing additional fees and stress that you shouldn’t have to deal with.

We Understand
The next reason why it is vital for you to hire from a team of family law professionals is because anything less places you at a great disadvantage. Losing a case due to a lack of capability from your attorney can have repercussions for many years after the trial. Laws related to family matters, such as divorce laws and child custody requirements can vary greatly from state to state. With the help of a skilled lawyer to assist you through every step of the way, you will be able to avoid careless mistakes caused by simple misunderstandings of specific state laws.

Stevens Law, PC’s, An Ogden Divorce Lawyer team provides you with a service that is backed by a quality of experience which is unmatched by many larger firms who deal with general law. We are devoted to helping anyone in dire need of an attorney in the Salt Lake City, Utah area and will proudly continue to serve the surrounding communities of: Bountiful, Brigham City, Clearfield, Clinton, Eden, Farmington, Farr West, Fruit Heights, Harrisville, Hooper, Huntsville, Hyrum, Kaysville, Layton, Liberty, Logan, Marriott Slaterville, Morgan, North Ogden, North Salt Lake, Ogden, Plain City, Perry, Roy, Salt Lake City, Syracuse, Wellsville, West Haven, West Point, Willard, Woods Cross. Our devotion, along with a steady commitment to give you the proper protection and guidance that you deserve, is what continues to have clients returning for additional support even after their case is successfully closed. So when you’re ready to hire a professional family law firm, make sure to visit our office or give us a call at 801-436-5757.