Utah Attorney Diana J. Huntsman Educates Spouses on Divorce Mediation

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Family law attorney Diana J. Huntsman

Mediation is the best way to resolve a divorce. It is faster and less expensive than litigation, and couples typically end up feeling better about the results, as they maintain more control over their own lives.

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Utah law requires couples who are divorcing to attend a mandatory mediation session, in the hope the spouses can reach a reasonable, mutually agreed upon divorce. “Mediation is the best way to resolve a divorce. It is faster and less expensive than litigation, and couples typically end up feeling better about the results, as they maintain more control over their own lives,” said Diana J. Huntsman, a founding attorney of Huntsman | Lofgran, PLLC, and a divorce mediator with Divorce Mediation Institute of Utah, LLC.

Huntsman lists the following four tips for couples heading into a divorce mediation.

No. 1: Prepare all financial information. The law requires couples to fully disclose their finances to each other in contested divorce cases, including a Financial Declaration, income and account information, and expense and debt information.

“Before going to mediation, gather all your important financial information and make sure to obtain the same information from the other side,” stressed Huntsman. “Oftentimes, people minimize their expenses by estimating them, as opposed to reviewing their records. That can hurt you when you have to justify why you need alimony, or why you cannot pay alimony, or how much equity you should receive from a home. If the numbers are not right, the results will not be fair.”

No. 2: Think through the issues. “Prior to mediation, it is important to figure out what you need and want from the process, and why you should get the things you are asking for,” said Huntsman. “A lawyer can help you with this, and then argue issues like child support, alimony, attorney fees, taxes, etc., for you. However, the attorney can only help you achieve your goals if you share that information with them.”

No. 3: Know how the law applies to the facts. An experienced divorce attorney will know how the law is likely to be applied to one’s facts and what they can reasonably expect if the case isn’t solved in mediation and goes to a judge.

No. 4: In mediation, spouses control the agreement. It is imperative for couples to remember that in mediation, they control the decisions about how to share their children, finances, assets and debts. “There are very few issues where the law will not allow a couple to agree to something slightly different from the norm,” concluded Huntsman. “A mediated agreement can be far more creative and specific to you, your children, and your needs and desires than a litigated order. You and your spouse know your family and your children best, and are the most qualified people to make decisions about your situation.”

About Diana J. Huntsman, Huntsman | Lofgran
Diana J. Huntsman is a senior partner of Huntsman | Lofgran and a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent-rated attorney. Practice areas of Huntsman | Lofgran include personal injury, family law, bankruptcy, IRS and Utah tax law, business law, and estate planning and probate. For more information, please call (801) 474-0031, or visit http://www.hla-law.net. The law office is located at 623 E. Fort Union Boulevard, Suite 201, Salt Lake City, UT 84047.

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