What To Do With Time Limits For Divorce Stipulations

Question About Divorce Stipulations

I drew up the papers for our divorce stipulation and emailed my spouse a copy, two weeks ago. He said he still hasn’t looked them over. Is there a feasible time allotment to getting an answer back? How long should I wait? What is the next step after this?


There are time limits for parties to respond to a divorce petition. However, there is no obligation for your wife to respond to an informal email from you. In order to enforce deadlines, you need to open a new case with the court and serve her with your Petition for Divorce in the way described in Rule 4 of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. Once you do that she will have 21 days to respond. If she does not respond, you can ask the court to sign a divorce decree without her response.

This is called a default divorce decree. It is better for you to file the petition sooner rather than later because the court cannot, without special permission, sign your divorce decree until at least 90 days after you open the court case. After you file the petition, you have 120 days to serve your wife formally. If you reach an agreement, you may want to click on my blog below called “Enforceable Agreements” for tips on creating a proper order.

Cameron JohnsonWhat To Do With Time Limits For Divorce Stipulations
read more

Life Insurance Question From A Caring Husband

Question About Life Insurance

Why should I, the debtor, continue to pay monthly life insurance premiums if when I die my wife the beneficiary who is debt and judgment-free, has the money taken by Uncle Sam?



You raise several good questions. Some of these are investment questions that you should consult a tax attorney about. If you set up life insurance properly, the proceeds will go to your wife outside of your estate. However, this requires following specific rules. If you are the owner of your own policy, there may be an inclusion problem. Even if the proceeds are included in your estate, your wife would not have to pay taxes unless the amount exceeds your available lifetime exclusion.

If the tax is not a problem, then you need to decide if life insurance is a beneficial investment. Finally, this is marked as a divorce question. If you are in fact divorced, you may be required by your divorce decree to provide life insurance to guarantee support payments at your death. Typically life insurance is not ordered unless the parties agree to that provision. You may want to see if she would agree to drop any insurance requirement in divorce mediation.

Cameron JohnsonLife Insurance Question From A Caring Husband
read more

How A Power Of Attorney Can Affect Your Case


What type of adult power of attorney would not jeopardize a parent’s custody in a divorce? If an adult has diminished decision-making skills but has been carrying for its children just fine. What power of attorney would be best to have filed for said adult? If they should have another adult present before making major decisions but can care for their kids just fine, but need a third party for the sake of finishing their divorce and major decisions ongoing, such as loans or contracts or possibly major medical decisions. They have current full custody of 3 kids toddler to tween, and the opposing divorce party is not fit, so we don’t want to risk anything that week land the kids in DCFS care. Or make them dependent on the power of attorney as now they live over an hour from family.


Any competent parent can voluntarily agree to give another adult a power of attorney. In this case, it would be over his or her finances. That same power can also be revoked at any time. Alternatively, a parent could use a less formal way for protection.  This would require joint signatures on checks or to have a trusted advisor that he or she seeks for advice before making any financial decision. Consulting with another person for advice does not impugn the parent’s ability to be a parent. The parent does not have to consult with another person or to give a power of attorney.  Instead, an interested party could seek a legal guardianship over that adult.

However, whether to seek a legal guardianship will probably require choosing between hurting custody or risking some poor financial decisions. It would be best not to seek a legal guardian if the custodial parent is competent to care for the children. It would be hard for the court to distinguish between competence to make parenting decisions and competence to make financial decisions. Making a legal issue of competence will definitely open the door for the other parent to ask the court to look at custody, and it will cause additional expense. For more information consult an attorney or our blog “Important Facts” below.

Cameron JohnsonHow A Power Of Attorney Can Affect Your Case
read more

How To File For A Financial Disclosure


My husband gave me a financial disclosure October 2014, but I know he is now making twice the amount he listed. The Commissioner ordered him to give more financial information before mediation. Mediation was two weeks ago, and I still do not have any updated information. Is there a form I need to file? How do I get an updated financial disclosure? I want him to pay more in child support, as he is paying only $30 a month for our two children based on the previous amounts listed. When I asked him in mediation for that information, he refused to give me exact numbers. I need solid documents to show everything before I finalize our mediation agreements. Our next session is on the 28th of this month. Thank you in advance for your time!


If your husband is not disclosing the correct amount of income on his financial declaration, you will need to find that information in a different way. Possible ways to get this information is to subpoena his employer. If he is self employed, you should send a request for production of all of his business documents. I would ask to delay the mediation set on January 28, 2015 because you will not have time to get the information by then.

I suggest that you not sign papers or agree to a resolution until you receive assurance that there has been full disclosure. Subpoenas have to be served at least two weeks before the disclosure date. Requests for production of documents are not due back to you until 28 days plus mailing from the date you mail those. I suggest you get an attorney to help you prepare these requests. However, discovery will be a much cheaper and effective way to find the information you seek. Court rules require the other party to provide full responses to these requests. If he does not provide the information, you may consider an evidentiary sanction at that time.

Cameron JohnsonHow To File For A Financial Disclosure
read more

How To Deal With An Inconvenient Custody Order

Question About A Custody Order

In Utah parent time and both parents agree to meet halfway to pick up and drop off kid, but… If both parents agree to meet halfway on certain days and certain times listed in divorce decree and the non-custodial parent doesn’t show up or give at least a several hour notice he can’t be there, does the custodial parent have to continue to show up at the designated days and times? I don’t want to be in violation of the order, but I don’t need to spend the time and money going out of the way, not to mention the disappointment my children would experience each time.


You need to follow the divorce decree until it is changed by the parties’ agreement or by the court. However, things may be different if the other parent does not show up two or three times in a row. Then, you may have a basis to claim that he or she has acquiesced in a change to the decree. You may want to put them on notice that you are willing to meet as indicated by the Decree. But you won’t be bringing the children unless they give timely notice that they will come and exercise parent time. Sometimes you may need to go to court to modify the Divorce Decree.  This happens when the other parent demands you follow the decree and won’t agree to your proposal of giving notice.

If you need to go to court, the court commissioner can give you a hearing usually within 30 days on a temporary order for a Petition to Modify the Divorce Decree. In case you need to go to court at some point, there are a few things to document. I would document your attempts to contact the other parent, your communication that you are present at the pick up location and even take a dated picture of you there by the landmark. There are also potential complications with a request for temporary orders under Civil Procedure Rule 106 (b) (1), so you may want to consult an attorney if the other parent does not acquiesce to your proposed requirement that he or she give notice before you have to show up.

Cameron JohnsonHow To Deal With An Inconvenient Custody Order
read more

What To Do When Your Child Is In DCFS Custody

Question About DCFS Custody

Can the state give DCFS custody of my daughter to her grandmother during a truancy review? They never even gave me a chance. The court never said that custody was an issue. They had never said that it was going to be taken from me.  Nor did they give me a chance. They actually gave her back to her grandma. She washed her hands of how she was skipping school, suicidal and had two new piercings.  I had taken her into home study and counseling.


If the state has custody of your daughter, DCFS has the right to determine who to place your daughter with. However, the court oversees this decision. If the state removed your daughter from your custody, the court will set a shelter hearing within three days. We call this a temporary custodial arrangement, which the court can change at any time.  You can file a motion with the court at other times with your custody request, but your request must be timely. You should retain counsel to help you meet the very strict deadlines in Juvenile Court.

Cameron JohnsonWhat To Do When Your Child Is In DCFS Custody
read more

How To File For Full Custody

Question About Filing For Full Custody

I have moved back to Utah and the ex and I share 50/50. I haven’t asked for full custody but he has and I want to ask for full custody since we will both go to trial. What kind of motion do I file?


If you are asking to modify an existing custody order, you need to file a Petition to Modify. This requires you to allege that there is a substantial change in circumstances. These circumstances have to affect the current custodial relationship of the child. If he has already filed such a petition, you can answer his petition and file a counter-petition to modify in the same document as your answer.

If your ex-husband does not live in Utah and you have moved more than 150 miles away from him, you can file a motion to adjust parent time under Utah Code Annotated Section 30-3-37. In that motion, the court has the discretion to change custody as well. You should review our blog on child custody orders at http://localhost:7000/12-essential-provisions-c… to make sure your petition covers all of the points that you want to modify.

Cameron JohnsonHow To File For Full Custody
read more

A Few Things To Know About Divorce And Life Insurance

Question About Divorce and Life Insurance

I have a question about Divorce and Life Insurance. Divorce states ex maintain life insurance policy naming me as owner/ beneficiary he purchased accidental life insurance? Divorce states life insurance of 100k to cover the loss of alimony. I am not the owner of the policy and accidental life insurance is not life insurance. Is he in contempt? It’s been a year and he won’t talk to me. FYI He left me after 25 years.



The court will enforce the plain meaning of the Decree. He may be in contempt if the alimony order is still in effect. Before you raise this issue with the court, send a written request that he provide proof of a general life insurance policy that is not limited to accidental death. I would give him ten days to reply. If he does not reply you can attach your written request to your motion for contempt. I interpret your question to mean that you are to be the beneficiary. He would not be in contempt if he did not make you the owner.

Cameron JohnsonA Few Things To Know About Divorce And Life Insurance
read more

Does Utah allow bifurcation of a marriage?  

Question About Bifurcation Divorce Utah

I have a question about bifurcation divorce Utah.  Can I file for that separate from the divorce? Or does it have to be a mutual agreement? It’s all early, but i think my divorce may take years to settle.

Couple arguing, girl (12-13 years) covering eyes with hands, waist up


Yes. Utah law allows the parties to file a motion to bifurcate the divorce. The trial judge has wide discretion to grant a bifurcated divorce. If the parties agree to a bifurcation, it makes the decision easier for a judge. There may be good reasons to grant a bifurcation, such as the parties want to remarry. However, some courts do not like bifurcation because it takes some incentive away to finalize the divorce or it deprives one of the parties of economical health insurance. You should consult an attorney about how to best present your facts to get a bifurcation. Also, you may want to consider mediating this issue with the other party.

Cameron JohnsonDoes Utah allow bifurcation of a marriage?  
read more

How To Modify Your Custody Agreement

Question About Modification Custody Order

I have a question about Modification Custody Order.  I have a child who isn’t included in the divorce decree. How do I add the child support payment to the decree?



The court may see the omission of a child from the decree as a clerical error under Rule 60(a) of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. If so, there is not a deadline to file your motion to correct the decree. If the court sees this mistake coming under Rule 60(b) of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, there is a 90 day time limit within which you need to file a motion to correct the decree. Given the need of children to receive support, the court will likely find a way around this time deadline. However, you should file a motion on this issue now.

Cameron JohnsonHow To Modify Your Custody Agreement
read more