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Utah Family Law Questions & Answers
3 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for Utah on
Q: Can I adopt my sisters unborn baby?

My sister recently found out she is pregnant and and feels as though she wouldn't be able to handle anymore children. She already has kids but doesn't want anymore. She has asked me and my husband to adopt. My sister is unmarried and says the father doesn't want the baby either.... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 28, 2022

The short answer is "yes." The long answer is "you need an attorney."

Even though the father "doesn't want the baby," his rights will have to be terminated. He can consent to terminating his rights, but there will need to be an action to do so filed when...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: Custodial weekend but non custodial holiday on Monday. Does non custodial get full weekend ?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 18, 2022

Yes, unless otherwise specified in the Decree or Child Custody Order. According to Utah Code Annotated 30-3-35(2)(e)(i) "[i]f a holiday falls on a weekend or on a Friday or Monday and the total holiday period extends beyond that time so that the child is free from school and the parent is free... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: In Utah code 30-3-37 what parent determines summer parent time schedule if parents don't agree. Law that shows this
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 16, 2022

If it is not outlined in the parenting plan in the Decree or Child Custody Order, the parents must either come to an agreement, go to mediation, or take the matter in front of a judge. I suggest the two of you attempt to resolve the matter. You could suggest that the other party choose which weeks... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law, Divorce and Family Law for Utah on
Q: How should my children be claimed each year on tax forms with my ex.

I have 2 children under 18 and one adult completely disabled child (21) for whom I provide the majority of support. My ex thinks we should be taking turns each year claiming either the disabled child or both minor children. It is my contention that we should be splitting the two minor children and... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 10, 2022

There is no "law" on this issue. It is a matter of what the parties agreed to at the time of divorce. Your decree should indicate how the children would be claimed on taxes. If there is no provision for child support for the adult child, then you would be entitled to claim the adult child... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: My ex and I have joint custody of our son. Can I send my son out of state for a weekend without my ex's permission?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 4, 2022

I would not advise it. I almost always include language in my parenting plans which require both parties to provide an itinerary and contact information whenever a child travels out of state overnight.

Additionally, it is difficult to overcommunicate where children are concerned. Try...
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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Utah on
Q: How do I get a court order and the letters of guardianship on my child?

My ex wife passed away and our 10 year old daughter is the beneficiary on her life insurance policy. In order to get a lump sum payment, State Farm Insurance is requiring me to provide a Certified Copy of the Court Order and Letters of Guardianship of the minor’s estate. I shared custody of my... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 3, 2022

I believe what you actually need is a conservatorship. You are already the child's guardian by virtue of your status as surviving parent.

Be forewarned: as conservator, you will be responsible to the Court for every cent in your daughter's account. You may only spend funds from...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: If my wife up and leaves with our child .What can I do .there is no custody agreement
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jan 25, 2022

In order to establish a child custody, parent time, and child support, you need to file for separation or divorce and request temporary orders. You should act sooner rather than later, the longer you hesitate, the weaker your case will be. You truly need the assistance of a competent family law... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: Can I, (a legal resident who were locked out of my fiancés house,) hire a locksmith to open my door?

My fiance and I were in a fight and he changed the locks to the house. I am legally allowed access but can not enter due to the new locks.

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jan 19, 2022

Probably. If you have been residing there he must follow eviction procedures to have you removed; he cannot just change the locks. If you have that address listed as your residence on your government-issued ID, the locksmith will likely open the door for you (less likely if you mention that your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: Two sister missionaries came to my door pretending to be child protective services, is this illegal?

I don't know why they did it... I just went along with it so they would leave, but it's left me feeling weird about everything ... What can I do?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jan 15, 2022

There are a few scenarios where it might be illegal. If they represented they were some type of law enforcement officer, that would be illegal. If they only said they were with DCFS, that would not qualify. If they told you they were with DCFS to gain access to your home to commit some other crime... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Sexual Harassment for Utah on
Q: A neighbor accused our 12 year old of getting nakid with her either holding her against the wall or laying on top of

her cps was called by the school and we are meeting with a detective tomorrow. Does he need legal counsel?

Chase Van Oostendorp
Chase Van Oostendorp answered on Jan 13, 2022

Absolutely. These are very serious allegations that may have serious consequences (expulsion from school, protective orders, etc.)

I highly suggest speaking with an attorney who specializes in juvenile law.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: Does an unmarried mother in Utah have sole physical custody? Paternity is established.
Chase Van Oostendorp
Chase Van Oostendorp answered on Jan 13, 2022

Very simply, no. Parents are equal under the law, regardless of gender.

However, many other factors must be considered, for example, the court would look at the custody factors found in UCA 30-3-10 to determine a parent-time arrangement as well as physical and legal custody.

I...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Utah on
Q: How do you get a custody order reversed that was falsified? What can you do when they intercepted mail and had no idea?

My fathers ex girlfriend while living with him went to the courts and filed for custody of my sister claiming she didn’t know where he was. And would get all the mail and summons to appear and hid it from my dad so they granted her full custody. Jump forward a year and she assaults my dad again... Read more »

Chase Van Oostendorp
Chase Van Oostendorp answered on Jan 13, 2022

This is a tricky situation. There are ways to undue orders, especially those that were obtained under false pretenses. Please see Utah R. Civ. P. 60.

This seems to be a complicated issue. I would advise you to talk with a lawyer who is familiar with domestic issues like this.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: Other parent got Custody and is asking for my copies of the sos and birth certificate do I have to give them.. in Utah.

Other parent got Custody and is asking for my copies of the sos and birth certificate do I have to give them in Utah not nv

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 17, 2021

You should provide copies but I see no reason you should have to surrender your originals. If your ex needs originals, they can request duplicates. The documents themselves belong to you but you should assist your ex where possible. Denying access to copies of the documents is not going to win you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: For Christmas break this year being odd number the noncustodial parent gets the children the 12/17/21 -12/25/21?

I am a little confused about the Christmas break being a odd number this year. Do I get my kids 12/17/2021 to the 12/25/2021 or 12/26/2021. Because has I read I get them Christmas Eve / day but to my understanding I will only get them half the day Christmas ?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 6, 2021

I am guessing you are referring to the custody schedule as referenced in UCA 30-3-35. If so, my understanding of the Code is that the day does not change, just the time of day custody is exchanged. In years with an odd number of days, the exchange occurs at 1 pm. In years with an even number of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Divorce, Family Law and Foreclosure for Utah on
Q: Getting back money from soon to be ex husband he took her checks and put it in a bank account without her name on it

She works a full time job and he took 30000 that she was paid from her job and a settlement and put it in an account with only his name on it, and she is only asking for half but he is telling her he is keeping it all. He won't give her a penny of it. He also cheated for 13 years.

Aric M. Cramer
Aric M. Cramer answered on Nov 22, 2021

Contact a family law attorney for help.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: how do I get the title company to create my family trust and put the filmore property into the trust?

Creating a trust in utah

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Oct 21, 2021

Title companies do not create trusts, attorneys do. You should contact an estate planning attorney to assist you in creating a trust and they will also be able to draft the warranty deed necessary to transfer the property into the trust once created.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Utah on
Q: If my dad refused to sign the renewal of my guardianship in Wyoming does that mean he revoked his legal rights to me?

Before I turned 18 my parents gained full legal guardianship of me as have Autism. They recently divorced around the same time a renewal of the guardianship was due. My father refused to sign it and I just want to know if that revoked all of his legal rights of being my father? My father was very... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Sep 30, 2021

First of all, I hope you are now surrounded by people who love and care for you the way your father SHOULD have loved and cared for you.

As to your question, it depends on whether you remain under your mother's guardianship or not. If you ARE, you should encourage your mother to file...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: My ex is staying that I own her child care and medical expenses from 2017 to 2019. They never said anything until now

She has never given me a bill or documentation to say other wise. She just sent me a message and the amount and dates and said I need to give her the money. Can I refuse to pay

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Sep 28, 2021

It depends on what is in the court Order. Most of the time parties have 30 days after an expense is incurred to provide notice to the party who is supposed to reimburse them. The reimbursing party then has 30 days to pay. If you have received notice of the bills, it is unlikely she can force you to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Immigration Law and Adoption for Utah on
Q: Is there a US citizen requirement for adopting a stepchild?

I am a non-US citizen. My partner is an American biological father. His daughter is 6. Can I adopt his daughter after marrying him?

Jason F. Barnes
Jason F. Barnes answered on Sep 21, 2021

Great question. We have some answers. Give us a call 801-546-3874 and ask to speak with Attorney Jason Barnes.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: My ex wife accessed my Facebook account tonight without permission. Will cops do anything?

Will this affect our custody agreement at all? Is she likely to be changed with anything?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Aug 17, 2021

Law enforcement is highly unlikely to be interested in taking your case to the prosecutor and, even if they did, the prosecutor is even less likely to be willing to press charges.

There is even less likelihood that the Court responsible for your family law matter would consider this grounds...
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