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Utah Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Can a child choose to live with dad. Even though he is on supervised visits issued by a judge.

2 years ago dad was put on supervised visits because he is an alcoholic. The mother began to let the kids go with their father without supervision and without going back to court. Now the 14 year old child wants to live with dad. Is that possible?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 3, 2021

I'm having a sense of deja vu with this question. Possible? Almost anything is. Advisable? That depends on whether dad is still an alcoholic. If dad is still an alcoholic, mom lets the 14 year old go live with him, and anything happens to the child; mom could face both civil and criminal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Can a child choose to live with dad. Even though he is on supervised visits issued by a judge.

2 years ago dad was put on supervised visits because he is an alcoholic. The mother began to let the kids go with their father without supervision and without going back to court. Now the 14 year old child wants to live with dad. Is that possible?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 1, 2021

Possible? Almost everything is. Advisable? Probably not unless dad is a year sober. Legal? You have already set a precedent by allowing variations from the court order. If dad petitions the court, he could possibly get more visitation than the current order but it is much less likely that he would... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: What are the laws for non-biological parents and child custody?

My boyfriend has 3 girls from a previous marriage, two of them are non-biological and he never got to adopt them but they consider him their dad, it's been recently that they want to live with him. What are the laws on this? If he never adopted them but has been in their life since they were... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jan 13, 2021

If the girls and their mother live in Utah, you can file an action for custody and visitation for persons other than parent (see Utah Code Annotated 30-5a-103). I do not believe there are any forms precisely on point on the Utah Court's self-help website... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: I haven't had contact with my daughters bio father in almost 5 years.

custody is not established. When she was a baby I did have an open ORS case and recieved child support. I closed the case over 3 years ago- and have not had contact with bio father almost 5 years. What do I need to do to next? Is this considered abandonment? Is terminating rights possible at this... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 15, 2020

You should have a very strong case for abandonment and termination of parental rights if the sperm donor knew where the child was, had the ability to make contact, and merely failed to make an effort to maintain contact. If he can demonstrate attempts to communicate or show that you interfered with... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Can you petition for an ex parte child protective order in UT, for an (unrelated) child who recently moved out of UT?

Child was in utah for years before leaving with mother to flee domestic violence. no custody orders on child have ever been filed. Petitioner was the perpetrator of domestic violence, and is not at all related to child and has never lived with child. Does Utah allow for people to petition for a... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 14, 2020

UCCJEA questions are never simple and this forum allows for very few details so remember that this answer is NOT legal advice. That being said, you can FILE for a lot of things; whether or not the Order is enforceable is another matter. It is incredibly difficult to get orders of this nature... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Criminal Law and Family Law for Utah on
Q: I am on a Child Abuse Registry for a chronic offense but never criminally charged what to do to remove name?

Is there a chance to remove my name from DCFS database, and somewhere down the line to adopt my cousins in case they get put into fostercare? i'm willing to undergo any psychological testing or other proof to show i am not a danger.

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Dec 7, 2020

My reading of the statute is that being on the child abuse registry alone does not prevent you from adopting a child. I don't know the process, if any, for removing oneself from the child abuse registry, but I have successfully completed an adoption for an individual who was on the registry.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Utah on
Q: I have been divorced for 2 years. From before the divorce was final, ex-husband would pick up and drop off our child.

He has missed a lot of visits saying that I am refusing to let our child go (which is untrue), he just never contacts me and/or picks him up. He is now engaged and has started saying I need to meet him in the middle. When we did our divorce papers, he would not agree on a meeting provision, so it... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Oct 8, 2020

Meeting in the middle is more or less the default absent a showing of why the arrangement should be different. At least if you arrange to meet in the middle you should know in advance when he is going to exercise parent time. If he fails to show more than once or twice, you likely have a good... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: How can I take an Emergency Order for Child Pick up from UT Court and have it enforced in MN? he took kids against order

My name is Jessica. We have been in divorce process for over a year. The temp order on 9/3/19 gave us joint custody as we sought fit. He moved back to MN 11/2019 after the order was placed . He came to visit our kids a couple times then we had a status hearing due to me in fear of him taking the... Read more »

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Oct 2, 2020

I'm sorry that you are going through this. The process can be a tricky process. If Utah is the Court with jurisdiction, you can request a "pick up order" in Utah. This order should allow the police to help you regain custody of your children. Once you have the Utah Order, you would... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: My daughter & ex son in law have joint custody for their 2 children in the state of Utah. A few months ago my daughter

Came to Arizona because she was having some problems. Her ex agreed to keep the girls while she was away but before she left she was served papers from her ex stating he wanted full custody. So she responded to the courts from AZ & was given a court date & time that they were to have a... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Aug 6, 2020

She really needs a Utah family law attorney to ensure her rights are adequately defended. That being said, she should contact the clerk and see if an order issued after the missed hearing or if there had been any additional filings. She may need to ask the Court to set aside any order that was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Utah on
Q: have 2 children they have always resided with their mother until recently my son now 14 has decided he wants to live

with me. there is a CS order from Utah for 1100. month for both children. and recent modifications say her part 331. and mine the 1100 they say I have to pay 12 months out of year. there is no decrease because one resided with me and she does not have to pay unless they are both with me. this makes... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Aug 4, 2020

You will need to file a request / petition / motion (depending on the jurisdiction, it can be called different things) to modify the child support in the court where the child support order was issued UNLESS that court is in a state where neither you, your ex, nor the children still reside. If the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law, Communications Law and Health Care Law for Utah on
Q: Can I record a teleheatlth appointment?

Alright, might sound like a weird situation but here we go. I recorded a family therapy session on my phone. It only has the audio. I have epilepsy and part of that is memory problems. So, I recorded the session so I could make a transcript of the session to read over and understand better and... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Aug 2, 2020

This is an example of why you do not take legal advice from therapists. This is an extremely complex question and I would need more information to provide the best answer but based on what you have described, I would not be concerned. Even if the recording is technically illegal, which is not... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Mysiswasgiven guardianshipinMt.nowshe has told me to file a change of custodywith courtshereinUt. Isthis possible?

I did not loose my Parental rights & they are telling her this is what I'm to do now to get my kids back is this right? What do I file?

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Jul 29, 2020

The answer to your question will require more facts to answer specifically. I suggest that you consult with an attorney on this issue. Here is some general information that may be helpful:

1. Generally speaking jurisdiction over minor children falls under the UCCJEA. The UCCJEA generally...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: Do I need to give my Ex my out of state travel itinerary?

I am taking my son out of state for one of the weeks of summer vacation. My Ex says that I need to give her my travel itinerary for this time and make him available for phone calls even though some of this is camping and cell reception may not be available. Do I need to give her all of this... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jul 27, 2020

Providing an itinerary for travel is usually a part of the custody agreement. Even if it was left out, it is a really good idea and it doesn't cost you anything. If the travel dates are flexible, say so and keep the non-custodial parent updated. Make the child(ren) available by cell phone when... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: My ex husband is taking my daughters to Florida next week. With Covid cases spiking there, is there any way to stop him?

My girls are 14 and 16. They are flying and staying in Florida for a week. I object to this, but is there any legal way for me to stop him from putting them, and my family here at risk?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jul 10, 2020

No. Even if you could get a hearing scheduled, which is unlikely, I cannot imagine a court enjoining your husband from travel with the children which is otherwise allowed by the existing agreement.

Side note: there have been virtually zero deaths in patients under 21. Unless your family in...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Utah on
Q: married in CA for 8 months, Legally separated now for over 10 years, need to complete divorce, both in agreement.

Both looking for easiest and cheapest option to complete this, No children or assets, just need to get done.

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jun 23, 2020

If one of you has lived in Utah for at least 90 days and you both are in agreement with no assets or children, you should be able to go to https://www.utcourts.gov/howto/divorce/ and obtain everything you need to get it done.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Criminal Law and Family Law for Utah on
Q: My daughter is in prison and needs a lawyer for custody case. She asked me to find her a pro bono lawyer and Im looking

For info on how to go about this?? Thank you

William Melton
William Melton answered on Jun 17, 2020

You can contact the Utah State Bar. They have resources to direct you to legal help. Also, you can contact the Utah Legal Aid Society. They will be great resources.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Utah on
Q: I just received a judgment from the State of Utah on my ex husband. Is there a way to obtain this without an attorney?
William Melton
William Melton answered on Jun 10, 2020

Are you just looking for a copy of a judgment? Send me an email so we can talk. William@melton.law

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: My daughter went to live with her dad, who she barely knows, in Wyoming and now he doesn’t want her to come visit me.

My daughter wanted to go live with her dad in Wyoming so I let her and signed a paper saying she lives with me but that she was temporarily going to live with him. She wants to come visit but now he’s saying he’s afraid I won’t bring her back. I’m the one that has had custody of her entire... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jun 4, 2020

If she wants to come home - because your residence is her home - and you have court-ordered primary custody, you are certainly within your rights to go pick her up. I would do everything possible to reassure her father that you will keep him involved in her life and try to avoid drama. Conflict... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Utah on
Q: What can be done failure to be served rule 109 with parentage petition, as well as ex statement of good joint cust pet?

Daughters dad has had no contact, but after several attempts to reduce child support, has now filed a joint custody petition, and served it on me.

First, he did not serve me rule 109, which was granted. Second, he did not include his statement of goodwill as required, with his petition... Read more »

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Apr 28, 2020

I'm sorry that you are going through a custody fight. Custody battles are often hard fought and emotional. I will do my best to answer your questions, but I would also recommend that you seriously consider hiring an attorney to represent you. Custody determinations can have lasting effects on... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: I was not married, but we filed the Voluntary Dec. of Paternity. Do I have any visitation rights, before I go to court?

As I understand it, (but could be wrong), in Utah, a father in divorce proceedings has automatic, and enforceable (though minimal) visitation rights, without having to go to court and ask for them, based on the idea that marriage is cause to assume paternity. If he wants more than the minimum, he... Read more »

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Apr 10, 2020

The answer to your question is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no. Do you have parental rights before going to court? Yes, you absolutely do based upon the voluntary declaration of paternity. Does that mean you have visitation (Utah calls this parent-time) rights? Yes and no. You... Read more »

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