Thursday, 22 November 2018

Marital Property in Utah

Marital Property in Utah

When you go through a divorce, you need to divide up the assets. Some of those assets are called marital property, while others are separate property. Figuring out what is marital property is not always easy but is an important part of your divorce.

A skilled family law attorney can help explain the intricacies of the law that governs the distribution of your property. Basically, marital property includes all the income and property that you acquired during the duration of you marriage. All of this marital property must be equitably distributed between spouses as part of the divorce. Fault is not considered in making the division.

So what types of things are included in marital property? Obvious marital property includes any real estate that you acquired during your marriage. Your home or any vacation or rental homes are examples of real property.

But marital property goes beyond real estate. It can include the furnishings in your homes, professional degrees, professional licenses, businesses, and other physical possessions such as cars, boats, or other vehicles. Income from your job can be marital property, as can stock accounts and bonuses. Pensions and trust income can also be marital property. Debts acquired while you are married are another type of marital property that needs to be divided equitably when you divorce.

Understanding a Motion for Temporary Orders

The time after you decide to divorce but before you are divorced can stretch for many months, and sometimes for years. During a divorce trial or as you negotiate with your spouse and the divorce moves forward, important decisions are made about property division, spousal and child support, and parenting issues, if there is a child involved.

But what about the time between the decision to divorce and the granting of that divorce? The bills need to be paid, and the house must be maintained — and who stays in the marital residence?

Temporary Orders is a term referring to relief gained in the interim, while your divorce is pending finalization or litigation. Working with a family law attorney experienced in divorce litigation is essential when considering Temporary Orders measures for the following reasons:

  • Relief granted by a Temporary Orders motion lasts until the final judgment in your divorce is entered. This may be eight months or several years, depending on your case. Understanding the support each party receives or pays in the meantime is essential.
  • A Motion for Temporary Orders deal with issues that include who resides in the marital home, child and spousal support, the  marital house (if you have one), protection of marital assets to make sure one party doesn’t drain the retirement account (for example), payment and maintenance of health and life insurance, payment of legal fees, and protective orders, when needed, and other issues for the duration of the case.
  • The structure and argument of Temporary Orders motions sets a precedent that can bear on financial and other awards later ordered by the court.

The initial period after the decision to divorce is made can be emotionally and financially destabilizing. Knowledgeable legal counsel understands your situation, how best to protect your financial future and how to pursue what you desire.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Sole Proprietorship Law

Sole Proprietorship Law

Sole proprietorships are the simplest of all legal structures but they also lack many of the legal and financial protections of other business forms. If considering starting a business as a sole proprietor, remember there are various advantages and disadvantages. Sole proprietors experience the key advantage of being their own boss, but concurrently shoulder the burden of being responsible for the business’s success and failure. This section provides both basic and in-depth information about sole proprietorships, including tax implications, state registration requirements, what to expect when running a business with your spouse and more. It also features step-by-step help to get you get started.

Naming Your Business as a Sole Proprietorship

If you are electing to run a business by yourself, you’ll need to learn how to choose a business name. Many sole proprietors choose a company name other than their legal name. If you do, you’ll need to file a “doing business as,” (DBA) with the county where the principal place of business is located. For example, if your name is John Smith and you choose to name your business “Bob Jones Trucking Company,” be sure to file the proper forms.

Sole Proprietors and Taxes

Whether this is your first year as a self-employed entrepreneur or your tenth, income taxes are here to stay. While the complexity of filing the correct taxes forms can seem overwhelming, it’s important to get it right the first time. Being in business for yourself means you are required to list your business’s profit or loss information on Schedule C (Profit or Loss from a Business), which you will submit to the IRS along with Form 1040. There are several deductions you will be allowed to take, but be sure to seek guidance from a tax attorney or other qualified professional if you have questions.

Your Spouse and Having a Sole Proprietorship 

Throughout the country, an increasing number of spouses are choosing to operate family businesses. As such, they both consider themselves to be “joint owners” of the business. The IRS, however, may consider this to be a “partnership,” even if that is not the couple’s intention. As a partnership, the couple will be required to file a partnership return and issue a tax document known as a Schedule K-1 to themselves (as opposed to reporting on a Schedule C). For many family businesses, it will be wise to seek the guidance of a tax professional to further understand their potential liability and obligations.

You Will Have Personal Liability When You Own a Sole Proprietorship

One of the major disadvantages of running a sole proprietorship is the personal tax liability you will incur. In other words, there is no legal separation between business and personal liability. For instance, if you took out a loan to help buy office supplies or a new computer, your creditors can sue you personally if you default on your obligations. Keep in mind, many businesses begin as sole proprietorships and graduate to more complex business forms as the business develops.

Should I Hire a Business Lawyer?

Hiring the best business attorney for your sole proprietorship needs is an important process. Small businesses, such as sole proprietorships, often need help with negotiating contracts with customers or suppliers, assisting with real estate needs (such as a lease or a building purchase), taxes, zoning and licenses, protecting intellectual property, or settling litigation. The right business attorney can save your organization money and time in dealing with complex legal matters.  So yes, you should hire a business lawyer.

Free Consultation with a Business Attorney

If you are here, you probably have a business law issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free business law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Special Needs Child and Divorce

Special Needs Child and Divorce

During divorce, a couple with a child with special needs requires experienced legal help.

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 68 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This is often attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Still other children suffer from birth defects or other disabling conditions or birth injury.

The strain of caring for a special needs child can, by itself, contribute to divorce. When a marriage breaks down, the responsibility of crafting a suitable, supportive life for their child is a priority of most parents.

During divorce, issues that arise concerning the care of a special needs child include:

  • The need to create an appropriate parenting time plan is essential. Unlike more usual parenting time schedules, children with special needs often do not thrive with a schedule that requires frequent transition.
  • In Utah, courts have the authority to make child support rulings outside of state guidelines when the care of a special needs child is at issue. Parents might consider lifetime payments to a trust, or additional child support until the child is 21 or older.
  • During divorce and after, parents must continue to make decisions concerning appropriate medical and other therapies. In a contentious divorce, this task is made harder and could require legal intervention.
  • At divorce, couples should consider lifetime care of their child. Should a special needs trust be established?  What steps can be taken to ensure the child qualifies for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) when he or she reaches that point?
  • If one parent has been the dominant care giver, that history should be taken into account when considering custody.

Divorce and New Year’s Resolutions

If you went through a divorce this year, you’re probably not going to be too sad to say goodbye to the year 2017. Turning the calendar over can feel like the perfect time to make a fresh start. To that end, if you’ve had relationship woes this year, you might consider making a few New Year’s resolutions to get off to a healthy, happy start in 2018.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Be Your Best Self: It might feel a bit cliché, but there’s something to be said for making self-love a priority after you get out of a bad relationship. Embrace who you are and find ways to treat yourself every now and then.
  • Keep a Diary or a Journal: Recording your thoughts and feeling can be a great way to work through the complicated emotions you’ve had in your head. Therapists and counselors often recommend journaling to help people find relief from many of the negative emotions that are plaguing their lives.




  • Make Good Financial Decisions for Yourself: Coming out of a divorce, you may have much less money to work with in your monthly budget. Figure out the areas in which you can cut back so you can continue to save and invest in your future. To start, think of a financial goal you’d like to begin working toward that is a special treat (such as a trip to Europe). Then, develop a plan to reach that goal.
  • Acknowledge Your Accomplishments: Before plunging ahead into your new life, consider issues like when you think you’ll be ready to start dating again, what types of big life changes you should or should not make and the steps you can take to maintain a healthier lifestyle.
  • Do Something Adventurous: Get involved in new clubs or organizations, take up a new sport, join a new gym or travel somewhere new. Embrace the fact that you have the flexibility to try new things — and even make new friends while doing it.

Divorce Lawyer Free Consultation

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Employment Rights and Military Service

Employment Rights and Military Service

A returning Guard member or Reservist who wants his or her old job back must reapply for the job. If the absence has been for less than 31 days, the employee must report for work at the beginning of the next regular work period on the first full day following release from duty, with time for travel home, and an eight-hour rest period. If the absence has been for more than 31, but less than 181 days, the returning employee must submit an application for re-employment within 14 days of being released from service. If the absence due to military service has been longer than 180 days, re-application must be made within 90 days of the service member’s release from duty.

The maximum absence that will allow a service member to retain re-employment rights is five years.

Your Right to ReEmployment

America’s military is relying more and more on reservists and other part-time service members — those with civilian jobs as well — to accomplish its many missions. While these troops are proud to serve wherever they are called, there is no doubt that a lengthy tour of active duty, away from one’s regular employment, can be a burden on the service member, his or her family, and the employer. There are a number of legal protections for Reservists and Guard members called to active duty, to help ease that burden. Employers also need to understand their responsibilities when soldiers return to work in the civilian world, both for the sake of the service members and to avoid costly legal disputes.

Re-Employment Rights: Returning Soldiers to Work

A major concern of those called to active military duty is getting their old jobs back once they return to civilian life, so employers should plan accordingly. An employee who is called to military duty is considered to be on an unpaid leave of absence. Federal law (the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act, or USERRA) provides that service members have the right to be re-employed in the job he or she would have if not for the active duty call-up (more on this important federal law below). When returning soldiers to work, employers must provide them with the same salary and other benefits that come with seniority, although there are some limitations on this right to re-employment.

Medical Insurance

An employee who is absent for 30 days or less can continue his or her medical coverage, at the same cost, during the time of service. Service of more than 30 days will give the service member and his or her dependents coverage under the military health care plan.

An absence for military service is not to be considered by employers as a break in employment. A service member who returns to his or her former employer is entitled to re-enroll in the employer’s medical or health insurance plan. No waiting period or period of exclusion may be imposed. A health plan sponsored by an employer is not, however, required to provide coverage for injuries or illnesses caused or aggravated by military service (those injuries are generally covered by military health coverage).

The Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act of 1994

USERRA, a federal law, is intended to minimize the disadvantages to an individual that occur when a service member needs to be absent from his or her civilian employment to serve in this country’s uniformed services. USERRA makes major improvements in protecting service members’ rights and benefits by clarifying the law and improving enforcement mechanisms. Specifically, USERRA expands the cumulative length of time that an individual may be absent from work for uniformed services duty and retain re-employment rights.

Who is Covered?

USERRA potentially covers every individual in the country who serves in or has served in the uniformed services, and applies to all employers in the public and private sectors, including federal employers. The law seeks to ensure that those who serve their country can retain their civilian employment and benefit, and can seek employment free from discrimination because of their service. USERRA provides enhanced protection for disabled veterans, requiring that employers make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability. To learn more about your obligations as an employer under USERRA, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s interactive “USERRA Advisor.”

Free Initial Consultation with a Utah Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

International Travel for Children After Divorce

International Travel for Children After Divorce

What used to be a rare occurrence is now quite common: children frequently travel to international and exotic locales. But what if you are divorced and your ex-spouse who wants to take your child beyond U.S. borders?

While such trips may not present a risk to many divorced couples, other individuals may worry that once a child is on foreign soil with a former spouse, all bets will be off in terms of support agreements or other court-ordered arrangements. Worse, some fear that the other parent will abduct the child.

To prevent that sort of nightmare from occurring, parents should take precautions before their child leaves home, or when they themselves are travelling alone with their children:

  • Know the law. First off, parents should consult an experienced attorney to ensure that they are clear on any applicable laws in the country where the child is travelling and how that might affect arrangements already in force.
  • Require a bond. Some divorced parents also require the other party to secure a surety bond and post it to the court before leaving the country. This bond, typically in the amount to pay for pursuing international legal action, is intended to guarantee that the travelling parent will adhere to custody agreements while abroad.
  • Set up an alert. Parents can also contact the U.S. Department of State’s Passport Issuance Alert Program to ensure that the other parent meets the requirements for parental consent before obtaining a passport.

Along with these steps, parents should ensure that they have a clear plan for communicating with their child — perhaps through Skype or other device — to allay their fears and ensure that the trip is going as planned.

Qualities You Should See In Your Divorce Lawyer

Once you have decided to end your marriage, you should begin the search for a divorce attorney who can help you through all the legal steps associated with the process. But how can you choose a divorce lawyer who is right for you?

Below are some qualities you should prioritize in any attorney you choose to consult:

  • Experience: You’ll want to work with an attorney who has a wealth of experience in divorce cases, along with a track record for success in getting positive results for clients in the past.
  • Compassion: The divorce process is never easy for the people going through it. It is important that your attorney is empathetic and compassionate so he or she can help you navigate what is likely to be one of the more difficult periods of your life.
  • Track record in mediation: You want to avoid having to go to court, if at all possible, that so you can maintain control over the results of your case. To that end, seek an attorney who has a strong track record in mediation and is trained in collaborative divorce practices.
  • Communication: Any lawyers you work with should make themselves available to speak with you on a regular basis. When issues arise in your case, it should not be difficult to get in touch with your attorney. Your legal counsel should make you feel that your case truly matters.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will fight for you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Monday, 19 November 2018

LLC Tax Filings

LLC Tax Filings

A limited liability company (LLC) is a pass-through tax entity. This means that profits pass through the company to individual members. The individual members, rather than the company, must report the members’ share of the profits on their individual tax returns.

Filing Federal Income Taxes as a Single Member LLC

When an LLC has a one member, the IRS automatically classifies it as a sole proprietorship for tax filing purposes. The member of the LLC must file a 1040 income tax return and report profits and losses on a Schedule C (“Profit or Loss From a Business”).

Filing Federal Income Taxes as a Multi-Member LLC

The IRS automatically treats an LLC with more than one member as a partnership, unless the LLC opts for tax treatment as a corporation. Like a business partnership, the LLC must file Form 1065 (U.S. Partnership Return of Income), which includes a Schedule K-1. The LLC must report the profits and losses that pass through to each member on individual Schedule K-1 forms. Each member must report this information on a 1040 tax return and attach a Schedule E.

The IRS requires LLC members to pay taxes on their distributive share of the profits. In general, a distributive share is equal to the percentage of each member’s interest, but the LLC can distribute profits disproportionately. This is referred to as “special allocation.” Regardless of whether the LLC actually distributes any of a member’s distributive share, each member must still pay taxes on their entire distributive share.

Paying Estimated Taxes on Your BUsiness

Taxpayers employed by an employer pay taxes through withholdings from a paycheck. Because profit distributions made to members in an LLC do not include tax withholdings, LLC members must pay estimated taxes on a quarterly basis to the IRS and to state governments (if applicable), similarly to self-employed taxpayers.

Paying Self-Employment Taxes vs. LLC taxes

The IRS requires LLC members to pay federal self-employment taxes on the profits received. Members must pay self-employment taxes if the member is “active in the business.” As a guideline, this means that the member participates in the trade or business for more than 500 hours in the tax year or the member works in an LLC that is a professional service business in the field of health, law, engineering, architecture, accounting, actuarial, or consulting. The IRS may not require non-active LLC members to pay self-employment taxes.

Members must report self-employment taxes on a Schedule SE. LLC members are responsible for paying the entire 15.3 percent (12.4 percent for Social Security and 2.9 percent for Medicare). Members can deduct half of the self-employment tax from their adjusted gross income.

Electing Corporate Tax Treatment for an LLC

A limited liability company can choose corporate tax treatment. Because LLC members must pay taxes on all profits, this option may be beneficial if the LLC chooses to keep a significant amount of profits will in the business to contribute to the LLC’s growth. It may also save individual members on taxes: corporate tax rates range from 15% percent to 34 percent on net taxable income under $100,000 and 39 percent on net taxable income between $100,001 and $335,000. Individual tax rates range from 10 percent to 35 percent, but on average, individual taxpayers pay from 27.5 percent to 35 percent. An LLC may elect corporate tax treatment by filing Form 8832 with the IRS and the LLC must file Form 1120 each year the election applies.

Filing LLC State Income Taxes

LLC members must also file state income tax returns. Like the federal government, most states allow LLC members to pay taxes on profits through personal tax returns. A few states also require members to pay an additional tax on the income made by the LLC. For instance, a member may have to pay a tax on LLC income that exceeds a certain amount. Other states may require the LLC to pay an annual fee, sometimes called a “franchise tax” or a “renewal fee.”

Free Consultation with a Business Attorney

If you are here, you probably have a business law issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free business law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Dividing a Family Business in Divorce

Dividing a Family Business in Divorce

When a family business is part of the marital estate, the already complex asset-division process becomes even more complicated. This is especially true when the spouses launched the business together. Continuing to jointly operate a business isn’t feasible for most ex-spouses, so it’s generally necessary to divide the business or its value in a fair manner.

There are several options for dividing business assets during divorce:

  • The most straightforward option is to simply liquidate the business and divide the proceeds between the spouses. This approach may not be prudent, however, if the business is thriving. It also may have adverse tax consequences. 
  • An alternative that keeps the business intact is to allocate the entire business to one spouse and compensate the other spouse with a greater share of other marital assets. In effect, one spouse buys the other out. This, however, raises complex business valuation issues. It also can be impractical if the business represents the bulk of the marital assets.
  • Another option is to transfer management of the business to a third party but reserve income interests for each spouse. This is not an option, however, when the spouses want to remain actively involved in the management of the company.

  • Business and Divorce Disputes

    When a couple decides to break up, there are a number of things needing settling between them. Unfortunately, all too often the parties are bogged down in major battles over minor issues. Sometimes anger and bitterness can get the best of one or both of them.

    A skilled divorce lawyer can help negotiate through the areas of dissension. Your lawyer has been through the difficult phase that often arises and knows how to argue for fairness in your breakup.

    The areas where disputes arise include the following:

    • Spousal support. The amount of maintenance or alimony, and who pays it to which party.
    • Child support. How much support is owed for any children and who pays what amount.
    • Visitation. Holidays and vacations as well as regular visits need resolving.
    • Child custody. Custody can be joint, shared, or sole.
    • Division of property and debts. Marital and non-marital assets must be determined and apportioned, and so must outstanding debts.

    When children are involved, the best interests of the child are paramount in a divorce. The parties must learn to keep their squabbles to themselves and not use their children as a bargaining chip. Support and visitation are completely separate issues that do not depend on each other. After your divorce, when circumstances change, you can seek a modification to the terms of the order. This applies for issues such as increased visitation, change in custody, and change in support.

    Social Media and Divorce

    With 500 million Facebook visitors each month, social media networking is now a way of life. But another noteworthy statistic is the growing number of divorce cases that stem from incriminating posts on networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.

    According to a survey by the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), 81 percent of divorce attorneys saw an increase in the number of divorce cases using social networking evidence in the past five years. Two-thirds of these lawyers cited Facebook as the primary online evidence source.

    Social networking sites and texting are fertile territory for striking up romances without raising red flags the way phone calls can. Other factors that make social networking a rich source of evidence include the following:

    • People can spontaneously tweet or post thoughts
    • It is easier to share personal feelings electronically than face-to-face
    • Forensic computer specialists can retrieve deleted electronic information
    • Third-parties can post incriminating photos and stories about your activities

    Photos of a spouse drinking beer at a party or posts boasting of lavish purchases and vacations can negatively impact divorce, especially child custody, child support, or property division battles.

    In divorce cases, there is considerable debate over the line between the right of discovery and the invasion of privacy, both of which are protected by federal and state laws. If you have questions about the use of social media networking evidence, you should consult a knowledgeable divorce lawyer who can protect your best interests.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer who can Divide the Family Business

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506