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Utah Family Law Questions & Answers
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.

Mr Aric M Cramer Sr.
Mr Aric M Cramer Sr. 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...
Read more »

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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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: My son is 15 years old and i have a few questions i need some help with

My son is 15, my ex and i split up when he was 7 and he was spending time between the 2 of us, then one day he tells me if i want to see him again, to take him to court. I never did because my family advised against it, so i haven't seen him in years. Now, he got arrested in Utah and my ex... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jul 27, 2021

So many questions. Were you married? Is the ex on the birth certificate? Was there EVER a custody order entered by any court? How long ago was "one day"? Have you remained in communication with your 15 year old? Does he WANT to live with grandma or with you in Utah? Does grandma have a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: Hello my oldest daughter is 12 years of age i also have a 10 year old daughter and a 5 year old son. Question is, it

Legal for my 12 year old to be home alone with the other 2 from 3 pm to 3to5 am

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jul 16, 2021

Utah Code Annotated 34-23-205 lists "baby-sitting" as a permitted occupation for minors 12 years of age or older, so the short answer to "is it legal" would be yes. The reasonableness of leaving minor children in the care of another minor is subjective and would be reviewed by... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Native American Law, Family Law and Adoption for Utah on
Q: My son wants his stepfather to adopt him, but my son and I are Native American. Can we still file for ourselves in Utah?

My son and I are both members of a federally recognized tribe. We do not live on the reservation. I assume ICWA will apply, but as neither biological father or step father are Native American, I am sure my tribe would consent. Bio father has not contacted my son or paid child support in over 5... Read more »

Jason F. Barnes
Jason F. Barnes answered on Jul 8, 2021

Hello. ICWA is applicable and very complicated when it comes to adoption cases, and the forms on the court's website are for basic adoptions. Honestly, I am surprised that the court's website has adoption forms at all, as there are many varieties of adoption cases and overall they are... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Paternity Mess

I have a rather unusual problem. I live in Utah and am the disconnected part of a polyamorous triad wherein the other two partners happened to get married before they explored polyamory. They happily have a child together and we all have been happy for about five years. Now I am having a child with... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jun 14, 2021

You are correct that you should list yourself as the father on the birth certificate. You need to voluntarily relinquish your parental rights and allow the husband to adopt the child. You need to understand that this will forever extinguish any legal rights you would have with the child (although... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Domestic Violence and Juvenile Law for Utah on
Q: If I've run away from home and am living somewhere else unofficially can I contact my family? Can my dad take me home?

I ran away from home recently and DCFS hasn't really been over to tell me where I was going and what I was doing. They came over once to see if I had a place to go and a bed to sleep in, etc. The agent told the family I'm staying with that my father can legally take me home with him... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jun 11, 2021

There is no reason you cannot contact your family and for the sake of your future relationship with them, you should. Until someone else is appointed your guardian, you are emancipated, or you turn 18; yes, your father could take you home. As your parent, he has that right.

In order to be...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Family Law and Domestic Violence for Utah on
Q: Can I get emancipated from a family that's abusive without legal consent from my parents? I'm 16

I've recently ran away from home because my dad has been abusive for years and I have gotten a bunch of support from my friends and my friends got me out of the house. I was in some trouble for another legal thing that I also need answers for. When I ran away I was talking with my local police... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jun 10, 2021

Utah Legal Services may be able to connect you with a local attorney who could help you pro bono (free). The short answer is "yes, you can be emancipated without your parents consent." You will need to show that you can actually support yourself and not rely on the family you are staying... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Can proctor parents legally open their child's mail if their child is no longer a minor?

My friend is 19 years old. He recently reported to me that his proctor parents have been opening his mail, and have told him that he has no right to his possessions while under their custody and they can legally do whatever they want with anything of his, including taking away his money earned at... Read more »

Paul Waldron
Paul Waldron answered on May 21, 2021

It depends. Generally speaking, without any other information regarding your friend's situation. Do the proctor parents have a custody or guardianship order? If they do, they likely have a right to open your friend's mail and may have a right to control his finances. Also, if they... Read more »

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