Why Second Marriages Are More Successful in Utah

If at first, you don’t succeed, try, and try again. It’s a common proverb we have all heard. But when it comes to marriage in Utah, it certainly applies.

Statistics show that more divorced people in Utah have found marriage the second time much more enjoyable. It’s not just Utah. In the case of President Donald Trump, it took three trips down the aisle to find marital bliss. But what are the reasons? Ask any Salt Lake City divorce attorney about this topic and they will never run out of stories.

Age & Religion

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 23% of people in Utah age 15 and older have remarried. But why are most people experiencing happier marriages the second time around? The easy answer is most people learn from their past mistakes. But when you dig deeper, there are some other contributing factors that play a major role.

Utah is the only state where Mormons are the dominant religious group. Because marriage is highly emphasized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Mormons tend to enter marriage at a younger age. In the last twenty years, more people nationwide are waiting longer to get married. However, Utah couples continue to enter marriage in their early 20s–far sooner than their counterparts in other states. According to U.S. Census figures, almost 73 percent of divorced women in Utah have remarried compared to 70 percent nationwide. The statistics are not much different for men. Nearly 68% of Utah men remarried compared to 64% nationally.

Common Mistakes in First Marriages

When it comes to marriage, there are no training manuals. No two relationships are the same. Because marriage can be unpredictable, we are all bound to eventually make mistakes in our relationships. But how we handle these errors can often determine whether a marriage is built to last.  Here are some of the most common mistakes cited by Salt Lake City divorce attorneys.

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Failing to make your marriage a top priority
  • Taking your spouse for granted
  • Forgetting how to love your spouse
  • Negativity

There are many other factors. But in far too many cases, people often rush into marriage without properly examining their long term future. Every couple goes through a honeymoon period. But what happens when couples become too comfortable?  It can often lead to complacency and in some cases resentment.

Get Sound Legal Advice from a Salt Lake City Divorce Attorney

Divorce is never easy. It is especially complicated when it is time to determine how to divide property, assets, alimony, the custody of your children and visitation arrangements. The first step is to seek representation from a lawyer with a track record of looking out for the best interest of each client and placing them in the best position to succeed. Divorce attorney Emy A. Cordano brings nearly two decades of experience of helping men and women going through a divorce along with a variety of family law issues. She and her legal team utilize an aggressive and comprehensive approach to ensure your rights are protected. To learn more, contact her law office today and schedule a consultation to discuss your case.

Author Bio:

I am Emy A. Cordano, Attorney at Law. I am a Salt Lake City divorce lawyer who represents men and women in the greater Salt Lake City area.
I provide my clients dedicated, personalized family law representation in complicated divorce matters involving high asset and property division, child custody & visitation, as well as modifications to prior agreements.



An Overview of California Domestic Violence Laws

Domestic violence plays a significant role in California family law proceedings. Vikas Bajaj, a criminal defense attorney in San Diego, CA, provides an overview of domestic abuse laws for your convenience.

Violence or threats of violence against others are, generally, criminal acts that are punishable by law. The State of California has taken serious steps to protect victims of these crimes who happen to be closely related to the (alleged) attacker. Domestic violence laws in California substantially elevate the severity of the crime(s) and related punishment(s)s for those convicted.

Domestic violence allegations are taken very seriously in California. Charges are pursued by prosecutors who specialize in domestic violence litigation in dedicated prosecution units across the state. These special units were set up to provide additional protection for victims of domestic violence who may feel threatened by their attacker if they pursue legal recourse. As a result, when cases reach these dedicated units they often move forward, even if defendants recant, change their story, or express reservations in pressing charges.

What Constitutes Abuse in California?

In California, abuse can take many forms. Many may equate physical violence with abuse but, in reality, actions that constitute “abuse” for the purposes of the law are expansive. According to California law, abuse can include:

  •      Physically hurting or trying to hurt someone, either intentionally or recklessly;
  •      Sexual assault;
  •      Inflicting emotional, verbal, or psychological distress;
  •      Making someone fearful for their imminent or future safety;
  •      Harassing, stalking, or threatening someone; and/or
  •      Disturbing another’s peace or vandalizing their personal property.

Physically hurting or trying to hurt another person is a considerably broad definition. Courts in California have found restraining someone from free movement, pulling hair, shoving, and pushing to all fall under this umbrella. Physical abuse to a family pet has also been held to fall under the definition of “abuse” in California.

When Do Domestic Violence Laws Apply?

Domestic violence laws in California were specifically engineered to protect a certain class of individuals – those victims who are closely related to their attacker. Victims of domestic violence may include:

  •      A (former or current) spouse or domestic partner;
  •      A (former or current) significant other;
  •      A (former or current) co-habitant;
  •      Co-parent of a child; or
  •      Other closely related party (parent, child, sibling, in-law).

California Domestic Violence Laws

California has a number of laws specifically designed to protect victims of domestic violence. These laws, in many cases, have elements similar to “traditional” crimes but impose more severe punishments on those convicted.

Corporal Injury to a Spouse or Cohabitant

This is perhaps the most common, and most inclusive, domestic violence law in California. While its formal title is “Corporal Injury to a Spouse or Cohabitant,” the charges are most commonly referred to as domestic violence, domestic abuse, or spousal abuse. 

Under this law, it is illegal to inflict a ‘corporal injury’ against a spouse, cohabitant, or intimate partner which results in a traumatic condition. More plainly, it is illegal to hit or strike a (former or current) spouse, fiancé, co-habitant, or co-parent so violently as to cause visible injury of some sort. Swelling, lacerations, or bruising are all sufficient injuries.

Penalties for violation of this law vary based on the history of the accused:

  • First offense. No more than 4 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $6,000. If probation is awarded the defendant may donate their fine – up to $5,000 – to a battered woman’s shelter and/or reimburse their victim for counseling, medical bills, or other costs resulting from the abuse.
  • Prior Convictions. If the accused has been convicted of a serious domestic violence offense (as listed in the statute) within the past 7 years, the punishment is increased to no more than 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Domestic Battery

Domestic Battery is similar to Corporal Injury of a Spouse of Cohabitant, but does not require a visible physical injuryInflicting violence or force against an intimate partner is a misdemeanor offense which carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a fine of no more than $2,000.

Domestic Battery is a great example of how domestic violence laws elevate traditional crimes. Battery is traditionally punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of $2,000. When the victim of a battery has a close relationship with the aggressor, however, the punishment is elevated.

Child Abuse, Child Endangerment, and Child Neglect

California also imposes strict laws designed to protect the interests, safety, and wellbeing of children.

  • Child AbuseIt is illegal to inflict corporal punishment or injury on a child.
  • Child Endangerment. It is illegal to allow a child under your care or custody to suffer harm or to endanger his or her safety.
  • Child NeglectIt is illegal to fail to provide necessities – such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical care – to a child under your care or custody.

Crimes Related to Domestic Violence Laws

California also boasts a number of laws that often accompany charges for domestic violence, spousal battery, or child abuse. Violation of these laws can increase punishments imposed on domestic violence offenders. Common charges that accompany domestic violence allegations include:

  • Elder AbuseIt is illegal to physically, emotionally, or psychologically abuse, endanger, or financially defraud a person aged 65 or older.
  • Criminal ThreatsIt is illegal to threaten serious harm to another with the intent to cause fear of physical safety.
  • Aggregated TrespassIt is illegal to make threats against another person which put them in reasonable fear for their safety, and subsequently enter their place of home or work to carry out those threats.
  • Revenge Porn. It is illegal to distribute sexual images of another with the intent to harm or cause emotional distress.

If You’ve Been Convicted of Domestic Violence

Punishments for violation of domestic violence laws vary, and often hinge on the specific facts of your case, including the seriousness of the injuries inflicted, as well as your criminal record. However, California courts take domestic violence allegations very seriously, and typically impose a minimum of 30 days in jail, regardless of prior history. Many courts also champion education and counseling, and often require successful completion of intensive domestic batterers courses.[12]

Note: if you are convicted with domestic violence you may face deportation. Domestic violence offenses are considered crimes of moral turpitude and impose severe punishments on those convicted.

If You’re a Victim of Domestic Violence

As a victim of domestic violence or abuse, you have many legal rights that you can explore to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you are fearful of the violent advances or behavior of a closely related person you may request the protection of a restraining order. California provides protection for victims of domestic violence at all stages of abuse.

  • Emergency Protective Order. Police called to the scene of a domestic disturbance, or by the request of a victim and in their discretion, contact a judge at any time of the day to request an ERO. The protective order, if granted, takes effect immediately and lasts for up to 7 days.
  • Temporary Restraining Order. Victims of domestic violence or abuse may petition the court for a TRO by providing evidence supporting their request. If granted, the TRO provides protection for 20-25 days.
  • Permanent Restraining Order. Victims of domestic violence or abuse may petition the court for a permanent restraining order by providing evidence supporting their request. Many times, permanent restraining orders are issues after criminal charges are completed. Despite their name, permanent restraining orders can only last for 3 years.
  • Criminal Protective Order. Courts may issue criminal protective orders for the duration of a criminal case.

Domestic violence laws in California discourage domestic abuse, offer protections to victims, and impose harsh penalties on those convicted. The seriousness of traditional crimes are often heightened if victims are closely related or intimate partners, and those convicted can face serious repercussions for their actions. If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, or if you believe you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, contact an experienced California criminal attorney today.


What To Expect In California Child Custody Cases

Most all divorcing parents would agree that custody, visitation, and support orders should all reflect the best interests of the children, and most all parents are also willing to make personal sacrifices for the benefit of their children. However, as the old saying goes, the devil is in the details, because many parents disagree as to what is “best” for the children and also the extent to which they must “sacrifice” for the good of the children.

In short, that is the complex nature of child custody disputes, because no matter how passionately the parents disagree over specific issues, there is usually general agreement on major principles, and this agreement, or at least this acquiescence, often serves as the foundation for a final resolution.

The Temporary Hearing

About two or three weeks after the divorce case starts, most California family law judges hold hearings to make interim orders for child custody, child support, and other important matters. Some of these orders are common to all cases, as most judges routinely direct parties to limit their communication with one another and preserve the status quo (e.g. keep the children in their current school or daycare facility). Verifiable abuse allegations obviously change these boilerplate orders to a considerable extent.

No discovery has taken place at this early stage, so judges must make decisions, and attorneys must make arguments, based on very little information. Some useful evidence at temporary hearings includes:

  • School Records: If the children’s grades slip when they are with Father or if they have discipline issues when they are with Mother, the court will probably take these things into consideration
  • Witness Testimony: A single teacher, counsellor, or priest is much more valuable than a parade of friends and other “character witnesses.” In fact, that latter technique often backfires, because if one parent has skeletons in the closet, the other parent probably knows about them.
  • Medical Records: Some red flags include serious physical injuries, substantial psychological issues, or unstable “doctor shopping.”

There is a very strong joint custody presumption in California law, so absent serious and meritorious abuse allegations, sole custody is probably not an option. If there are concerns, judges often order parents to attend counselling or impose other restrictions.

730 Evaluation

Depending on the circumstances, the judge may order what is known as a “730 evaluation.” A 730 evaluation derives its name from California Evidence Code § 730. The court will appoint a “child custody evaluator,” as defined by California Family Code § 3110. The purpose of this evaluation is for the court obtain information relevant to a child custody determination. These evaluations are routinely ordered in the event that parents challenge custody on the basis of abuse, drug use, or any other serious allegation.

If the court does order an evaluation and you are self-represented (“pro-per”), you may want to consider hiring an attorney throughout the process. The court is likely to put much weight into the evaluator’s report. As such, you would be wise to have an attorney representing your interests throughout the process.


Prior to a child custody hearing, you are required to attend custody mediation in California. Mediation often has some tangible benefits:

  • Civility: During mediation, the parties are in separate rooms for nearly the entire session, so there is much less emotional stress in informal mediation meetings than in showdown trials.
  • Control: In a similar vein, the parties, instead of a judge or jury, control the terms of the settlement agreement, a dynamic that often increases voluntary compliance in the months and years to come.
  • Cost: Mediation saves time by cutting the case short, and in litigation, time is money.

Mediation is not always successful and is not even always a good idea, but it is usually a worthwhile endeavor, even if one side is less than fully committed to the process.