Peaceful, Swift Resolution Is Possible

By definition, a marriage occurs when a couple has entered into a valid solemnized ceremony, or when they have lived as if they were married under certain criteria defined under the law. Such a relationship is called a common law marriage.

In very general terms, a divorce occurs when one or both spouses elect to end the marriage. This is a life-changing event that requires expert legal assistance.

A divorce begins when a petition is filed in the District Court serving the area where the person filing has resided for a minimum of the most recent 90 consecutive days. A divorce ends when a complete agreement has been reached by the parties and approved by the court, or when a court makes final determinations on the issues that the parties could not resolve out of court.

If you have become involved in a divorce, you should immediately engage Clark R. Ward for experienced legal services. Mr. Ward will take every appropriate opportunity to help you settle without going to court, including advising you during a mediation process. However, if your case does go to court, Mr. Ward will present an aggressive case for the court to make determinations that protect your rights.


Child support is paid to help feed, clothe and provide shelter to minor children. Alimony is payable to a spouse. Some people think that alimony no longer exists in Utah, and that only women can seek alimony. These are both false ideas. Alimony is paid when a spouse of either sex can demonstrate the following:

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    A financial need to maintain a standard of living existing at the time of separation.

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    The ability of the paying party to provide financial support.

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    An inability to meet the above need on their own without financial support from the other spouse.

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    Other factors, such as fault and length of marriage.

Mr. Ward has decades of experience in ensuring that appropriate financial arrangements are part of your divorce settlement.

Custody of Minor Children

There are many factors the court must consider when deciding which parent should be awarded physical custody of children and how visitation scheduling time should be arranged. A few of these include:

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    Who has been the historical primary caretaker of the child.

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    Whether either parent is impaired by drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or some other factor.

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    Which parent is most likely going to be more available to attend to the child.

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    The nature of the relative emotional bond between parent and child.

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    What parent is more likely to be reasonable and accommodating in sharing time with the other parent.

Choosing Mr. Ward as your attorney is a decisive, positive step in protecting your right to be the custodial parent.

Division of Assets

In a divorce case, assets and liabilities need to be identified as “marital” or “nonmarital” property. Property acquired, inherited or gifted before the marriage is generally considered “separate, non-marital” property, which is not subject to division by a divorce court. There are exceptions to this rule, and you need to know what they are.

In Utah, the name on title to property does not automatically decide who gets that property. Courts first look to when it was acquired and the source from which it was acquired. Courts also look to see how the property was used in making an equitable division of property.

Call Mr. Ward to ensure that you are fully informed regarding these property issues, and able to make the best decisions.