Utah Child Custody Questions & Answers

Q: Can I record mine and my step-child's in person conversations?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Answered on Apr 18, 2019
Mike Branum's answer
Utah law only requires one party to the conversation be aware a recording is being made, so, yes, you may legally record the conversations with or without his knowledge. As far as helping your case, requesting the appointment of a guardian ad litem would probably be more advantageous than your recordings. A guardian ad litem is a non-attorney volunteer who will be the child's neutral advocate during court proceedings. It is helpful to have an outside party privately speak with the child and...

Q: Joint custody and child abused in other home... do we have to take her back there?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Utah on
Answered on Apr 18, 2019
Mike Branum's answer
You would need to file a petition in Juvenile Court. See https://www.utcourts.gov/abuse/child.html for the form or seek advice from a licensed attorney who practices in the Fifth District (Washington and Iron Counties).

Q: I am trying to get my son back from my ex boy friends sister. She will not release him to me. How can I get my son

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Civil Rights for Utah on
Answered on Mar 4, 2019
Wesley Winsor's answer
Hi,

I am not a family law attorney, but as I understand it, as long as your parental rights have not been terminated, your custodial rights should trump anyone else's except for maybe the father.

So if you just picked him up and took him home, it would be in within your rights. I am not sure this is the best way to go about it, but it should work.

The other way to do it, would be to file an action for custody with the Court and have the Court make that determination.

Q: Can my ex take our son out of state if we have joint legal custody / sole physical

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Answered on Feb 1, 2019
Wesley Winsor's answer
this is not really my area of law here, so I would encourage you to seek more advice, but to my understanding, if the ex has sole physical custody, then they can decide where to live independent of your preferences. You still have a say in medical decisions and other areas, but they have independence on where to live.

I hope this helps.

Wes

Q: I have raised my nephew as my son, my sister has been collecting child support for him do i have a right to sue her?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Utah on
Answered on Feb 1, 2019
Wesley Winsor's answer
If you are doing it voluntarily, then no you don't have a right to sue her. She is supposed to be using the funds she is collecting to take care of her son. If she isn't, then the son has a claim or the father has a claim against her. If you are the guardian of the son then you might as well.

With only volunteer status, you don't have standing to assert a claim on the child support funds received by your sister.

I hope this helps.

Wes

Q: I need to get a separation and don’t know where to start? Worried about income differences?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for Utah on
Answered on Sep 24, 2018
T. J. Jesky's answer
Generally speaking, those who choose legal separation instead of divorce is usually based on religious beliefs, a desire to keep the family together legally for the sake of children, or the need for one spouse to keep the health insurance benefits that would be lost with a divorce.

A separation is not the same as a divorce. With a separation, you’re still legally married until you obtain a judgment of divorce from a court. Generally a separation does affect the financial...

Q: Does my ex have the right to refuse me taking my kids overnight just because he wants to meet my boyfriend?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Answered on Jun 8, 2018
Paul Waldron's answer
It depends on the terms of the court orders. Generally, the other parent cannot control who the other fparent allows to be around the children. However, if there are no court orders, whoever has the children has custody and you are stuck with what your boyfriend may agree to until you get court order. Unless your boyfriend is an ax murderer, drug abuser, child abuser, etc., a judge will not enter an order restricting contact with your boyfriend. You would be well served by hiring an...

Q: When my girlfriend turns 18 and i marry her, can she legally move in with me even if she has some "disabilities"?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Answered on May 31, 2018
Paul Waldron's answer
It depends on your girlfriend's level of "disabilities" and whether or not someone else has guardianship of her. Otherwise, generally speaking, without any other information regarding your situation, there is nothing stopping your girlfriend from moving in with you when she turns 18. Working with an experienced lawyer will help you more fully understand any legal problems that may need to be considered.

Q: With uninterrupted parent time during the summer must the parent be with the child during that time?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Utah on
Answered on May 31, 2018
Paul Waldron's answer
More information is needed regarding your husband's situation. In order to answer your question it is important to know the specific terms of your husband's Decree of Divorce and any other orders and facts in your husband's divorce case. One question, for example, is whether or not there is a "first right of refusal" provision in his Decree of Divorce. Another question is the purpose of the daughter going to be with the family member; is it a visit, or is it for surrogate/child care?. Working...

Q: How hard is it to get full custodial/ parental rights for my two kids?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Utah on
Answered on Mar 16, 2018
Paul Waldron's answer
Generally speaking, without any other information regarding your situation, your chances of getting sole custody completed through the court system is 100%, as long as you can get the father served with the court papers. De facto, you have 100% sole custody right now, so it is unclear why you want to obtain a court order of custody. The first issue will be getting the father served, but there are various ways you can get this done without having him served personally. Working with an...

Q: If a mom passes away and has a will for her kids to go to family will the courts go from her will. Or will dad?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Probate for Utah on
Answered on Jan 29, 2018
William Tyler Melling's answer
It depends. Ultimately, child custody is determined by a judge. However, the nomination of someone in a deceased person's Will is taken into account. When another parent is still living, the children will usually go with that parent.

Finances, on the other hand, are 100% determined by the person's Will. If a Will leaves funds to children in Trust and appoints a Trustee, then that Trustee has control over the funds, and not the other parent.

I hope this helps.

Q: I was put into dcfs codtody flatly accused of meltesting a sib was proven not guilty about adulthood can i sew

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Civil Rights and Juvenile Law for Utah on
Answered on Jan 11, 2018
Catherine Cleveland's answer
No, you cannot sue the State for charging you with a crime.

Q: My boyfriend is finally getting a divorce from his ex does she have a right to say I can’t be around the kids? Legally.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Divorce for Utah on
Answered on Oct 18, 2017
Paul Waldron's answer
Legally, it will depend on the terms of the court orders. Generally, a former spouse cannot control who the other former spouse allows to be around the children, but it depends on what your boyfriend may agree to as divorce settlement. Unless you are an ax murderer, drug abuser, child abuser, etc., a judge will not enter an order restricting contact with you. Your boyfriend will be well served by hiring an experienced family attorney to ensure that he doesn't agree to settlement terms that...

Q: If no custody order is in place can my ex keep my son from me . can I go get him with a police officer

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Civil Rights and Family Law for Utah on
Answered on Aug 22, 2017
William Head's answer
This issue needs a local lawyer to assist you. Plus, reading this question, the first thing that comes to an attorney's mind is, "What did you OMIT from this question?"

The fact that she is "keeping" your son from you raises a red flag.

Have you legitimized the child?

Have you been arrested or convicted of crimes?

Who do you live with?

Where do you live, as in a safe place?

Are you addicted to alcohol or drugs?

Quit looking online for...

Q: What is the process for a step parent to adopt the child of his/her spouse?

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Utah on
Answered on Aug 8, 2017
Jason F. Barnes' answer
To answer your first question, you can start the adoption process now. However, please understand that 78B-6-136.5 states:

(2)(a) If the prospective adoptive parent is the spouse of the pre-existing parent, a final decree of adoption may not be entered until the child has lived in the home of that prospective adoptive parent for one year, unless, based on a finding of good cause, the court orders that the final decree of adoption may be entered at an earlier time.

(b) The court...

Q: Which of the following am I entitled to if I file for divorce?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Utah on
Answered on Jul 10, 2017
Devin W. Quackenbush's answer
You should have a good strategy for your divorce case. Finding the right lawyer for that can be daunting. Most lawyers will allow you to have a free consultation to determine whether they would be a good fit for your case. Feel free to reach out to a lawyer's office to see if they offer a free consultation.

Q: What is the chance that a judge would separate half siblings that have grown up together with a strong bond. 5 & 8 yr

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Utah on
Answered on Mar 5, 2017
Paul Waldron's answer
The second factor that the judge must always consider, after a change in circumstances, is the best interests of the child/children. You have made the argument above that, though there may be a change in circumstances, it is not in the best interests of your son to live under a 50/50 parent-time arrangement due to his relationship with his sister. You simply need to provide additional supporting evidence that this is his best interest, and obtain any and all evidence you can that it is not in...

Q: im 17 and live with mom i want to live with dad can i move out and live with him.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Answered on Mar 5, 2017
Paul Waldron's answer
You had better talk to a lawyer. We cannot answer this question in this forum, as it is too specific, cannot be generalized and should be subject to the attorney-client privilege.

Q: I have a niece in Utah who is 17 she is getting ready to graduate, she wants to move with her dad to Missouri mom say no

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Sexual Harassment for Utah on
Answered on Mar 5, 2017
Paul Waldron's answer
Under Utah law, until a child turns 18 or emancipates, the child must live where any court order says the child must live.

Under Utah law, everyone must report any believable allegations of child abuse or neglect (including getting "handsy") to either law enforcement or the Division of Child and Family Services, Child Protective Services (DCFS, CPS). If you know of someone that your niece has told about the allegations of sexual abuse, they should report it to one of these authorities...

Q: My boyfriend turns 18 in December but will still be in highschool, can his mom stop him from moving in with me?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Family Law and Juvenile Law for Utah on
Answered on Mar 5, 2017
Paul Waldron's answer
Absent a court order, the mother of your 18 year old boyfriend cannot stop him from moving in with you. If there may be financial or other consequences, that is a different situation.

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