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Utah Family Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Utah on
Q: If a friend is pregnant and wants to give you custody of her baby, what legal action,if any, do u need to do.

Do you have to go through an adoption agentcy or does she just sign over custody?

Jason F. Barnes
Jason F. Barnes
answered on Feb 20, 2024

As to your question in general, it comes down to what you want to do.

1. Temporary custody: This allows you to have custody of the child for a limited period, typically up to 6 months. However, it can be revoked at any time by the birth parents. Drafting this document requires meeting...
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2 Answers | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Utah on
Q: If a friend is pregnant and wants to give you custody of her baby, what legal action,if any, do u need to do.

Do you have to go through an adoption agentcy or does she just sign over custody?

Jason F. Barnes
Jason F. Barnes
answered on Feb 20, 2024

Follow up...

I want to emphasize that if the child was born outside of Utah, or if the birth mother is not from Utah, in any scenario, please note that such circumstances introduce a complexity that can only be adequately addressed in a consultation with an attorney (and one whose practice...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Right of First Refusal

My husband will be going out of town for a week and he has his kids every weekend. He will be gone during that visitation. If they don't have the Right of First Refusal in the decree, as their stepmom, can their mom stop them from spending the weekend with me? From what I read, that would... View More

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 18, 2024

In Utah, the Right of First Refusal (ROFR) typically needs to be specified in the custody decree for it to apply. If the custody decree doesn't include a ROFR provision, your husband may have the discretion to choose who takes care of the children during his absence. Without a specific ROFR... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: What’s the process for getting custody of a child that’s a non family member when parent is an addict.

A family friend dropped their children off 2 weeks ago and has made minimal effort to pick them up. They have lived with me off and on since birth. They have a stable home but chose not to live there, and continue to drag the kids around from place to place leaving them for extended time periods... View More

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 10, 2024

If you are seeking custody of a child who is a non-family member due to concerns about the parent's addiction, the process in Utah typically involves filing a petition for guardianship or custody with the appropriate court. Given that the children have been living with you and the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Do I have any claim to the proceeds of the sale of my (soon to be ex) husband's house, where I am listed on the title?

He sold the house 6 months ago, and is holding on to all of the proceeds. We are about to go through a divorce. He is claiming that I have no right to that money. Is he right? My name was on the deed and title.

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Dec 20, 2023

In Utah, if your name is listed on the title and deed of your soon-to-be ex-husband's house, you likely have a legal claim to a share of the proceeds from its sale, even if the sale occurred before the divorce proceedings. The fact that your name is on the title indicates ownership interest in... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Collections and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Can I respond to a court summons on behalf of my Father?

My Father was served a court summons related to a debt. However he has Dementia and isn't competent to reply himself. As his son, Can I respond on his behalf? I do not have Guardianship or PoA over him.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 24, 2023

Responding to a court summons on behalf of your father, especially given his dementia and incapacity, is a sensitive situation. Generally, without legal authority such as guardianship or power of attorney (PoA), you may not have the legal standing to respond to the summons on his behalf.

In...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning, Family Law and Arbitration / Mediation Law for Utah on
Q: I want to protect my assets before a divorce by creating a trust. Should I have a trust before or after the divorce?

Is creating a trust the best option to protect my assets before a divorce in Utah? If yes, should I have my trust before or after the divorce? What options I have to minimize the loss of my assets in Utah?

Kenneth Prigmore
Kenneth Prigmore
answered on Nov 17, 2023

If you are already married, the only way a Trust might help is if both of you sign an irrevocable trust, permanently giving up your asset. For example, the irrevocable trust could give the asset to your children. Once you both sign it, you no longer have control over the asset, so neither of you... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Divorce and Family Law for Utah on
Q: If my wife helped me with my business and we get divorced am I obligated to keep paying her if she no longer helps?

The business license is in my name. She is considered an employee on taxes. I can do everything without her help. She can't operate the business without me. Its a strictly labor based business. Small home based business. Just us 2 working the business.

Wesley Winsor
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Wesley Winsor
answered on Nov 6, 2023

Is she an owner of the business or just an employee? If she is an owner than every time you take an owner's draw she needs an equal amount distributed to her. I would have thought that the divorce decree would have addressed this issue. If it hasn't addressed this issue, then here are... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: Can my parents control my usage of devices that I have purchased if I am 18 living at home?

To clarify, the devices are purchased with money I have earned at a job, not gifted money etc.

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Sep 15, 2023

In Utah, as in many other states, once you reach the age of 18, you are considered an adult and have certain legal rights, including the ability to make decisions regarding your personal property. If you have purchased devices with your own money and are 18 years old or older, your parents... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Family Law for Utah on
Q: if a Utah marriage certificate was signed under duress and did not have an actual 2nd witness, is it a binding contract?
Kenneth Prigmore
Kenneth Prigmore
answered on Jun 20, 2023

What is more important than the certificate is how long you have been married. Clerks make errors on certificates all the time, but that does not automatically void them. Similarly, who signs the certificate and when are not normally a problem.

Your question sounds like you may feel forced...
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1 Answer | Asked in Banking and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Am I legally obligated to close savings accounts in my kids names on my bank account, that my ex has never been on

I opened these accounts for my kids, under my own account, without my ex ever being on said account, she's asking I close these out, give her the money, and give a list of when the accounts were opened, any transactions etc. We've been divorced since July, am I legally obligated to do... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 5, 2023

If the savings accounts were opened solely in your name and your children's names, and your ex-spouse was never a signatory on the account or made any contributions to the account, then she likely does not have any legal right to demand that you close the accounts and provide her with the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Do we need to make a financial disclosure to get a divorce in Utah? We have no children, no property.

A basic divorce, you go your way and I go mine.

Jeremy R Miller
Jeremy R Miller
answered on Feb 27, 2023

No. You can file a petition, pay the fee, wait 30 days (or apply to waive the waiting period), then file the agreement (called a stipulation) and final documents with the court. This website can help you prepare your documents, or you can hire an attorney to draft them.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Utah on
Q: how do i answer a filed answer to my divorce when the judge signed an order to wave classes with no relief until he does

the classes, he will have no relief? my kids are terrified of him, i travel for work and he abandoned my kids with my parents ,cheated 14 times gave me std i was at defsukt and the clerks lost my stuff and got him enough tjme to hire atty hoe do i just motion to ignore amswer based on perjury in... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Feb 10, 2023

This is a situation where you definitely need a competent attorney experienced in family law in the county where your case is pending.

A default judgment is usually only available when a party, after being properly served with a lawsuit, fails to file an answer and displays conscious...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Ex filed for reduced child support. He was making 88k a year, was fired twice, now makes 44k. Is his potential 88k/yr?

My ex husband just filed for a modification to his child support payment. He will pay nothing after this modification. He has been fired from multiple jobs in the last year. He originally made 88k when we divorced. Can I argue that his potential income is 88k, but that he is trying to earn less to... View More

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Jan 26, 2023

You can and you should argue that he is "willfully underemployed." He will need to explain the reasons for being separated from those jobs. If the Court determines he has the capacity to earn the 88k, they should leave the child support intact.

If you have not retained competent...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: Can a mom request a paternity test when there is already a father on the Birth certificate? Am I required to get tested?

Ex girlfriend had another guy on the side, he signed Birth certificate, now she isn’t sure and want a paternity test from me. She’s in a mother state. (Florida I believe) I received a letter from her requesting paternity test. I have doubts I’m the father. Am I required to submit to testing?

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jul 10, 2023

A court can order you to submit to paternity testing but you are not legally required to comply with a letter requesting it.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Criminal Law, Divorce and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Can dating someone with traffic misdemeanors effect child custody?

Im going through a divorce its been 9 months waiting. I fell in love with someone who has misdemeanors for dumb traffic things. He had some stuff in his teens. Hes changed and wanting to be a fireman or go into marines to be a combat medic. Im worried that my Ex husband who is not a good guy might... View More

Aric M. Cramer
Aric M. Cramer
answered on Sep 30, 2022

This is not a criminal law question. You need a family law specialist.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Utah on
Q: I have 2 children with a man that I haven't seen in 4 years or heard from in 3 years, can I get his rights taken away?

I have 2 children with a man I was with over 5 years ago (we were never married), since then I have had 2 more kids and gotten married. We have no contact with my 2 oldest children's father and he periodically will pay some child support but still owes us thousands of dollars in back child... View More

Mike Branum
Mike Branum
answered on Aug 8, 2022

You could incorporate a petition to terminate the father's rights with a petition to adopt the two children if that is what your husband desires and the children are on board (if they are old enough to have a say). If your husband is not planning to adopt the children, there really is not a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for Utah on
Q: My husband would like to adopt our daughter. Bio has no contact for 3+ yrs and is not on birth certificate. Do I have to

Do I have to contact him in order to go through with the adoption?

Jason F. Barnes
Jason F. Barnes
answered on Jul 8, 2022

Although your question may seem to be an easy one, there are many other questions that need to be asked in order to assess whether or not notice is necessary. If you would like to give us a call, we can certainly talk about the specific details of the case and answer your question. If you are not... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: In Utah are you required to turn over financials in a grandparent visitation case?

I don't want opposing side to know I'm almost out of money to keep fighting for visitation.

Paul Waldron
Paul Waldron
answered on May 31, 2022

Short answers, based on the following, applicable rule, are sort of, maybe, and yes, unless you seek a discovery protective order (which will cost even more money and may not be granted).

This is from Rule 26.1, Utah Rules of Civil Procedure...
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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.... View 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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