Category: Self-Help

Temporary Orders

What if you are in the middle of a divorce action but need child support now?
Parties sometimes need to have temporary orders in place while settling their disputes.
Temporary orders govern child custody and support, parent time, property distribution and other matters during the divorce or parentage proceedings. The parties must follow the temporary orders until they are changed or until final judgment in the case.
Checklists and forms for the court process of obtaining temporary orders are now available on the court website.

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Delegation of Parental or Guardian Powers

Utah law allows a parent to temporarily delegate legal authority of a minor child by completing a power of attorney form. A court-appointed guardian can delegate authority over a protected person in the same way. The delegation can last up to six months at a time. To delegate authority, the parent or guardian must complete a power of attorney form.
Information about the delegation of powers, a checklist, a power of attorney form, and a form for the revocation of the power of attorney are now available on the court website.

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Introduction to Resources for Self-Represented Parties Classes

The Utah State Law Library will be offering two classes for the public in February.
The class introduces the resources available for people representing themselves in court, including how to find an attorney, legal clinics, forms, the Online Court Assistance Program and other resources. The presentation will be followed by a tour of the Utah State Law Library introducing the print and electronic resources available.
The classes will be held Monday February 9th and Friday February 27th, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Registration is required because class size is limited. Please call 801-238-7990 or email to reserve your spot.
The Utah State Law Library is located in the Matheson Courthouse at 450 S. State Street, Room W-13.

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Fair Debt Collection

It’s a sad sign of the times, but more Americans are in debt trouble these days.
If you’re being contacted by debt collectors you may feel like you’re under seige. A debt collector is any person, other than the original creditor, who regularly collects debts owed to others. This includes lawyers who collect debts on a regular basis. You have the right to be treated fairly by debt collectors.
The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) spells out what debt collectors can’t do when pursuing payment. Utah also has its own Consumer Credit Code.
The Federal Trade Commission’s Credit & Loans: In Debt? page provides a number of helpful fact sheets for those struggling with debt-related issues. The Utah Attorney General’s Office Protecting Utah from Fraud page provides links to other resources.
If you feel a debt collector has violated the law, you can report them to the Utah Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission. You also have the right to sue them in a state or federal court within one year from the date the law was violated.

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Limited Legal Help – A Different Way to Hire a Lawyer

Many people can’t afford to hire an attorney.
Limited legal help, also known as limited scope legal representation or unbundled services is an affordable alternative to hiring an attorney to take care of your entire case, also known as full representation. Handling your case entirely on your own takes time and patience and can be confusing and frustrating. People who represent themselves in court are expected to know and follow the same rules that attorneys do.
Under a limited legal help arrangement an attorney and client agree that the attorney will provide specific services for a predetermined fee. For example, the attorney and client could agree that the attorney:
– will only advise the client about the strength of the case, or
– help draft a document, or
– review a document the client has drafted, or
– coach the client for a negotiation, or
– help with the discovery process, or
– coach the client for a hearing, or
– appear in court on behalf of the client for one hearing only, or
– any combination of these kinds of services
Not all cases are suited for limited legal help, and the idea of limited legal help is just beginning to be adopted by attorneys in Utah. Find the names of a couple of attorneys using the Utah Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Directory and talk about the possibility of hiring them to provide you with limited legal help.
Here are lists of attorneys in some areas of the state who offer limited legal help:
2nd District (Davis County – compiled by Davis County Bar Association)
4th District (Utah County – compiled by Central Utah Bar Association)
5th District (Cedar City and St. George – compiled by Southern Utah bar association)

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2009 Annual Report

The Utah State Courts’ Annual Report to the Community is now available online.
The Report highlights the Self-Help Center and the Utah State Law Library, as well as the reorganization of court clerks.

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Bankruptcy Law Network

The Bankruptcy Law Network is a great online resource if you have questions about bankruptcy and want information from a reputable source. The web site content is created and vetted by bankruptcy attorneys and consumer advocates from across the United States and the authors write about topics like filing for Chapter 7, 11, and 13 bankruptcy, when to consult a bankruptcy attorney, and specific types of debt bankruptcy does or does not erase.
If you are interested in reviewing more material about bankruptcy, the Law Library has a selection of Nolo books, written in plain language, that you are welcome to read in the library. The Nolo titles include Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, and The New Bankruptcy: Will it Work for You?.

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