frequently asked questions

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Can I bankrupt my child support alimony payments?

No, there are a few specific types of debts that you cannot bankrupt, child support and alimony are some of those debts. Even after filing a Bankruptcy you will have to continue making full payment for child support and alimony.

Will I lose my property if I file a Bankruptcy?

If you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, there is a possibility that you may lose some property. However, in most cases our clients do not lose any property in a Chapter 7. Long before you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy we thoroughly screen your case to make sure you will not lose any property and we advise you accordingly.

Will I have to continue paying my credit card and medical debts even after I file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

No, if this were the case why would you bother to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? As silly as this question seems, it is not uncommon for a client who has filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to continue to make payments on credit cards and medical bills after the bankruptcy has ended. Don’t do this, even if a credit card company or medical provider tells you that you have to pay them, don’t listen! Consult your attorney!

Can I bankrupt medical debt?
Of course! Just like a credit card, when you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy you can bankrupt all medical debt that you may have.
Can I bankrupt credit card debt?
Absolutely! One of the most common reasons to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is to get rid of credit card debt. However, too often credit card companies will tell people that their credit card debt cannot be bankrupted. This is not true; do not believe anything a credit card company may tell you.
What is the difference between a Divorce and an Annulment?

The big difference between a Divorce and an Annulment is that an Annulment makes it so that the State does not recognize you were ever legally married. An Annulment literally erases the fact that you were once married. For example, after obtaining an Annulment you would not have to disclose for any purpose that you were “divorced,” you would simply be considered “single.” To obtain an Annulment you do have to qualify under specific and limited requirements set by the State.

Is filing bankruptcy unethical, immoral or dishonest?

No! This is probably the most common question asked when speaking with people about whether or not they should file a Bankruptcy. My response is always the same, if it were wrong to file a Bankruptcy then our Federal Government wouldn’t allow it. My personal opinion is that bankruptcy is a vital part of capitalism and a free society. If we were not allowed to take risk, fail, start over and then take another risk America wouldn’t be America.

What specific debts are not allowed to be bankrupted?

The most common debts in a Bankruptcy that cannot be bankrupted are child support, alimony and student loans, but there are other debts that may not be bankrupted as well. If you are considering bankrupting a particular debt, our qualified attorney will thoroughly examine your debts and inform you as to which debts can and cannot be bankrupted.

How does the judge determine how much child support will be paid?

Child support is the most objective issue to determine when dealing with a Divorce. Child support is calculated with a State created calculator. All attorneys must use the same calculator and thus the same calculation. Simply stated, both parties have to produce verification of their income, whether through pay stubs, bank statements or tax returns. Both parties verified income is imputed into the calculator. The calculator then “spits out” the minimum amount that must be paid for child support purposes.

How does the judge determine custody?

Whenever a custody issue is presented to a judge in court, the judge’s duty is to uphold the “best interest of the child.” In order for a judge to determine which parent should have custody, or if custody should be split, in an attempt to do what is best for the child, the judge will consider various factors to help make this decision. These factors are specifically listed within the appropriate State statute.

How long will it take to finalize my Divorce?

It Depends! This is the most frequent question we are asked when representing clients in a Divorce. There are so many factors that dictate how long your Divorce will last that make it impossible for us to predict exactly how long it will take.

How does the judge split our personal belongings?

Most of the time the parties to a Divorce have divided their personal belongings long before they actually file for a Divorce. However, if the parties have not agreed on who gets what piece of property then the judge will try to make an equitable division of any item of property in dispute. The State of Utah is an “Equitable Distribution” state, which means both husband and wife are equally entitled to any piece of property or asset that is acquired during the course of the marriage. Thus, both parties are entitled to an equitable division of all assets and property.

What are the minimal visitation rights?

If the parties to a Divorce cannot agree on how often and during what times the non-custodial parent can receive visitation then the decision will default to a pre-determined visitation schedule that is found within a State statute. Generally speaking, a non-custodial parent, at a minimum, will receive visitation for three hours during one weekday and every other weekend from Friday through Sunday. The parties will rotate all the major holidays.

How does the judge determine how much alimony will be paid?

Alimony is the most subjective issue to determine when dealing with a Divorce mostly because the State does not use a calculator to decide how much Alimony should be paid, if any at all. Like child custody, the judge is instructed to evaluate a specific list of factors specifically listed in a State statute to determine whether one party should be awarded alimony and in what amount. The judge’s duty when dealing with Alimony is to “equalize” the parties’ financial position.

How do we decide who pays what debts?

When determining who pays what debts in a divorce, the court will try to divide the debts in an equitable manner.  This is not to say that the division will be perfectly equal but should be equitable, meaning, fair and reasonable.  There are a lot of different factors that determine how a judge equitably divides debts including other financial responsibilities of both parties, the parties’ income levels, etc.

What is Step Parent Adoption?

A step parent adoption is when the current spouse of the child’s biological parent wants to legally adopt the child so that the child becomes his/her own legal and lawful child.  This type of adoption tends to be quicker and somewhat easier than a private adoption because one of the child’s biological parents remain involved in the child’s life.  The adopting step parent is simply taking over the role as the child’s other parent.

What is a Private Adoption?

A private adoption is when two people adopt a child not biologically born to them.  This type of adoption takes a bit more time and effort due to the fact that neither adoptive parent has had a previously relationship with the child. 

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