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Utah Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Criminal Law and Juvenile Law for Utah on
Q: Our13 year old son (who we’ve adopted out of foster care at age 5) has raped our two daughters age 10 and 3.

He has been charged with 21 counts of rape and sodomy between the two victims. County attorney representing my daughters states he will most likely get 6 months or less of treatment/incarceration. He has already admitted to his crimes to police. County attorney is going to reduce charges to gain a... Read more »

Brent J Huff
Brent J Huff answered on Apr 1, 2020

You can hire an attorney, in Utah victim's of crimes have a right to be heard. One thing you should know is that the juvenile justice system sentences offenders for different purposes that adults. In the District court, a criminal sentence is meant to serve retribution or punishment among other... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Utah on
Q: I was mailed an order from my ex husband that does not have a judge’s stamp or signature. Is this even valid?

This is for an order on order to show cause. My incorrectly spelled maiden name is also on it (and everything was filed with my married name). The certificate of service also does not have an address on it or my ex’s signature. This is in Utah.

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Mar 5, 2020

Generally a court order will have an electronic signature stamp at the top right corner. If you have a question about whether or not it is valid, your best bet would be to call the Court to confirm. You could also do a consultation with an attorney who could check the docket online to give you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: My mom filed for custidy of my kids

She never told me & I was in a treatment center while i was in there she took my mail which had the letter from the court so I missed the court date & now I need to know what to do to get my kids back

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Feb 18, 2020

You will want to get in touch with an attorney sooner rather than later. The answer to this question could vary greatly depending on what exactly happened to get custody of your kids. You will want to meet with an attorney who can look up the case to determine what was filed - guardianship, custody... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Can my ex's sister, temporary guardian of our 16 month old daughter, legally restrict my visitation?

She has had our daughter temporarily for 7 months while we have fallen on hard times. We signed over temporary guardianship. He and I broke up and he's now at ODYSSEY house trying to get into the parent program with our daughter. Once she is there, the program will determine visitation. In the... Read more »

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Feb 16, 2020

I’m sorry that you are going through these problems with your daughter. Any time you are dealing with custody issues, I suggest having an attorney. The initial decision is crucial and you want to make sure it is done right. It is always harder to change down the road.

Generally speaking,...
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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law, Juvenile Law and Sexual Harassment for Utah on
Q: can you take 30 year old male relative sending 15 year old niece naked photos from snap chat app, pictures weren’t saved

Niece is 15 and her cousin is 30 he has sent her pictures or his private part but it’s sent from Snapchat and the pictures weren’t saved. The whole conversation is saved but no pictures. In the conversation he does state he’s going to send it and also more than once, he states in one of the... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 7, 2020

The short answer is yes, you can sue. You could file a suit claiming negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, etc. The real question is does the pervy cousin have assets worth the fight? If he owns a home, has a high-paying job, or there is some other asset which may be able to be... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: A non court ordered agreement of $900 a month for two kids. How do I go about changing that if she is not willing to

We have a non court order agreement of $900 a month for me the father to pay. Now the kids are old enough to stay home alone so they don't go to day care anymore and she makes about $700 more a month then I do. How should I go about changing that if she is not willing to and I think it is to much... Read more »

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Jan 29, 2020

Generally in a court order, child support and child care costs are 2 different things. Typically the court will order a monthly support amount and also include an order that you split all work related child care costs. It sounds like you agreed to a different arrangement where you made a monthly... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support, Family Law, Libel & Slander and Personal Injury for Utah on
Q: What can i do if my custody case has other proceedings and or personal attacks against me from those who r on my ex side

my ex filed for full custody after i filed for support. well after out temporary orders hearing my ex and his attorney had requested things they know i cant do so there for my parent time has been taken from me even though i begged them to make it to where i can do them but they would not. My ex... Read more »

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Jan 13, 2020

First and foremost, it sounds like you should consider hiring an attorney. It sounds like your ex and his attorney are taking a very aggressive approach in the custody litigation. Their approach seems to be working to keep you from the kids. I suggest finding an attorney who can help level the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Sexual Harassment for Utah on
Q: Order to show cause?

I filed an order to show cause over a month ago and he never filed an answer. He does have an attorney and has since thw beginning. My court hearing is in 8 days and he just barely sent me a response today. In was just wondering if he's allowed to do that? Because in was told I had to file a... Read more »

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Jan 3, 2020

I think that you may be confusing the time to respond to a Petition (likely for custody or divorce) and the time to respond to an order to show cause. The 21 days to respond applies to a Petition or complaint that is served upon you. On the other hand, an Order to Show cause has different... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Would I be able to move out of state with my daughter?

I have full custody and he has standard visitation. I was wondering if I'd be able to move out of state with my daughter and what steps I'd need to take to do so? Can I move if I give him notice and have a parenting planning place for when I move or do I have to get approval from the court? Can... Read more »

Brian Craig
Brian Craig answered on Jan 3, 2020

Utah Code section 30-3-37 governs relocation if the controlling decree does not address relocation.

At least 60 days before the planned move, the parent who plans to move more than 150 miles from the other parent must send the other parent a Notice of Relocation that tells the other parent...
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3 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: If i file for visitation, do my children get a say in the matter?

I lost custody due to a very short-lived drug issue. I have been clean for over 3 years and completed all the requirements from the court. My ex husband wouldnt even let me talk to my kids until early this year. I got him to agree to let me see them every other weekend while he supervised. I want... Read more »

Brian Craig
Brian Craig answered on Dec 26, 2019

This is left to the discretion of the trial judge. Utah Code § 30–3–10(2)(p) indicates that one relevant factor in the best interest of the child includes “the stated wishes and concerns of the child, taking into consideration the child's cognitive ability and emotional maturity.” A... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Utah on
Q: Can I file for default on an Order to show cause?

I filed an order to show cause for child support that the court ordered,( he hasn't paid in over a year and is a little over 4000 behind he also has a job and it's his 13th or 14th one in the last 3 years because he keeps quitting so hes basically not keeping a job to avoid paying.) I served him... Read more »

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Dec 17, 2019

The answer to your question will depend on which court you are in. Orders to show cause are governed by local rules that differ from one district to the next. Generally speaking if an opposing party does not oppose a motion, the court will grant the relief requested. The process for getting that... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: How do you start visitation with your children when you're in Utah and your ex is in another state?

My ex has not let me see my daughter for a long time, other factors were an issue with this situation but aren't any more. I don't know where to start.

Brian Craig
Brian Craig answered on Dec 9, 2019

I suggest contacting a family law attorney. Jurisdictional issues involving different states can be complicated in child custody disputes. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) defines the term as the state in which the child lived with a parent for at least six... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: Can my ex deny visitation with no court orders for visitation?

I pay child support and we have never gone to court for custody or any visitation orders. No restraining orders or anything. We were never married. She even changed my son’s last name without my consent, even though I am on the birth certificate. I haven’t seen my son in 3 years. Can’t... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 8, 2019

Unfortunately, you have little recourse without an order from the Court. I presume the child lives in Utah with the other parent. If you truly cannot afford the court fees, you can request a waiver. I would refer you to utcourts.gov and look at the self-help section for family law.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Is a guardian ad litem legally required to provide both parties in a custody case a report on his findings

The GAL assigned to my case refused to see me until I paid him in full which I could not do. He did not investigate claims made by other party to see if they were accurate did not ask me my side or allow me to present my evidence to him that claims made were a lie. At our temporary custody hearing... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 2, 2019

You really, REALLY need an attorney on your side. If you have not contacted Utah Legal Services to see if you can get pro bono assistance, you truly should . . . Monday. A guardian ad litem SHOULDN'T favor a party who pays over one who does not, but that doesn't mean it might not happen. If you say... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: What are the steps someone would need to take to get guardianship of a child in a unstable home?

I live in a unstable home and don't get the proper needs what would be the steps to take for someone to get guardianship of me?

Brian Craig
Brian Craig answered on Nov 1, 2019

If there is suspected child abuse or neglect, the proposed guardian could first report the suspected neglect to the Utah Division of Child & Family Services (DCFS). Call 1-855-323-DCFS (3237). A minor can also contact a school counselor or other adult to self report possible neglect. The school... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: I am 15 and my step-dad is emotionally abusive towards me he wont buy me my needs, Can I go live with a friend?

I live in too small of a house with way to many people, Its a 4 bedroom house with 10 people. My friends family are willing to take me in, my biological dad is going to jail and there is no one I can go to he has denied me from seeing a therapist or anything like that. Can my friends family get... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Oct 25, 2019

Contact UtahLegalServices.org and see if they can refer you to a pro bono (no fee) attorney in or near Tooele. Alternatively, could you convince your mom (unless step dad has adopted you, he really doesn't LEGALLY get a say in the matter) to sign over temporary guardianship? If you cannot get pro... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Am I obligated to comply with DCFS in a child welfare case if I have not been through the mediation process yet?

I was the victim of domestic violence and my husband told the police I abused drugs after he physically attacked me in an effort to take the attention off himself. Prior to the argument I had told him that I had used a week prior thinking that it was a priviged cinversation. Can I argue that it... Read more »

Brian Craig
Brian Craig answered on Oct 22, 2019

There are two privileges potentially involved here: the marital privilege and the privilege against self-incrimination. The marital communications privilege is governed under Utah Rule of Evidence 502. Rule 502 states that a confidential communication is "made privately by any person to his or her... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: I'm an unmarried father in Utah of 3 boys. Have lived as a family since the begining to present. Can I get 50/50 custod

Ages 7, 5 and 3. I am on birth certificates. Really have been living as a normal family with mother for 7 years till present. Just have never been married. Our neighbors are even shocked at times to hear we were never legitimately married. We're ending on good terms for the most part but the one... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Oct 1, 2019

You will likely be hard-pressed to find an attorney willing to give you your chances. I will tell you that the request, based on the extremely limited amount of information in this Ask-a-Lawyer post, is reasonable. If you are willing to actually be responsible for taking care of the children 50% of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: ok I live in the state Az and I already have court orders here but just had to go to SLC Utah because

well I have been trying to enforce any parenting time I was given but the father has sent my daughter out of state to Utah with his mother at first and she was only suppose to stay out there to visit with grandma because she has cancer and wants to spend time with her , anyways the dad is here in... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Sep 11, 2019

If you have a custody agreement in Arizona, you need to file for a modification. If the father has primary custody and is homeless, it will be difficult for him to argue the child would be safe in his care. You could also file a complaint with child protective services when you file your petition... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law and Juvenile Law for Utah on
Q: so I am just wondering if I should get a laywer for my daughter my only thing is I dont have the money for one well

not a down payment my daughter is 11 years old and is getting charged with a felony and a class b misdominer her and a friend went to walmart and on the way in found a credit card went in used the credit card for like 15 .00 than tryed to pull money out at the ATM witch mind you did not work at the... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Aug 7, 2019

Your daughter is entitled to a court-appointed attorney. I am not sure a privately-retained attorney would have much advantage over the public defender in this case.

Hopefully your daughter can get some assistance coping with the losses she has sustained in her young life.

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