Family Law Firm in Salt Lake City, Utah
Legal family issues affect every aspect of our lives including emotional health, happiness, and stability. You deserve compassion, responsiveness, and direct, insightful communication every step of the way during this difficult time. Our Utah family law attorneys know you must be well informed to make important decisions. We are fast, our consultation is free, and we will work to get you results.
If you want to appeal a court decision in your divorce, custody, or other family law case, call Wall & Wall Attorneys at Law PC, Salt Lake City UT, or contact us online to set an appointment.
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Top Family Law Attorneys in Utah to Represent Your Case
Divorce and all legal issues associated with this pivotal life event can be resolved through negotiation, mediation, and dynamic representation in the trial. Legal elements connected to divorce include custody, visitation, and asset and property division. We have over 190 years of combined legal experience helping people through this stage in their life, as well as the compassion and responsiveness to effectively deal with your personal family law issues.
Your best legal support will come from a Family Law Attorney near Salt Lake City who has open communication with you and helps you to make important decisions with the information and insight you need. We can help you with a number of issues related to family law including, but not limited to:
- Asset and property division is a fair and just distribution of marital property and debts.
- Child Custody includes disputed cases. In sole physical custody the ablest parent, best equipped to provide a safe, stable, and healthy environment is selected. Visitation can be a part of this to help the noncustodial parent continue a relationship with the child.
- Shared custody means that both parents demonstrate the ability to cooperate and communicate in sharing responsibility for a child.
- Visitation involves the creation of comprehensive parenting plans suited to individual family circumstances. They protect your children’s well-being and your vital relationship with them.
- Child support Utah courts recommend that you consult an attorney about child support. This is because calculating child support can be very complicated. It’s possible to limit your consultation to this or other aspects of your case.
- Protection orders are often necessitated when domestic violence is threatened. They may also be requested by a party seeking to gain an advantage in a custody dispute.
- Adoption and guardianship are alternatives that enable other responsible caregivers such as stepparents and grandparents the legal right to make important decisions regarding the welfare and protection of children.
- Paternity actions can be made on behalf of either a mother or father who chooses to take responsibility and seeks to claim custody or visitation rights.
- Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements can not only help protect assets, but they can also help clarify any debt issues. We live in a time when divorce is more common, it is always wise to be informed.
- Mediation is required by Utah Law for Divorcing Spouses
- Divorce Modification is the legal process of amending a divorce order issued by a court.
- Virtual Visitation is a broad phrase that refers to any use of technology that a parent uses to keep in contact with his or her child.
- Parental Kidnapping or parental abduction is defined as the concealment, taking, or retention of a child by his parent in violation of the rights of the child’s other parent or another family member.
- Grandparent’s Rights – Grandparents are heavily involved in child-rearing in many families, sometimes as the primary caretakers.
Appeals of Court Decisions in Family Law Cases
In contentious family legal matters, as in any other court case, the outcomes are sometimes undesirable for one party or the other. For example, if you’re in the divorce process and do not agree with your spouse on child custody arrangements, the court will make the decision and issue it in the divorce decree. But, if the court’s decision is unacceptable to you, can you appeal the judge’s decision or ask for a modification of the custody order? Here is some information on the legal alternatives parents may have under Utah family law in cases with adverse outcomes.
Custody Cases in Utah Appellate Courts
If there are grounds for appeal in family court, the case may be considered by the appellate court in Utah if the party submitting the appeal does so within the statute of limitations. These are the two kinds of appeals courts in Utah:
Utah Court of Appeals — The Court of Appeals hears appeals in many cases, including various types of family law cases. These include divorce appeals, property division appeals, child custody appeals, adoption appeals, and others.
Utah Court of Appeals, Appellate Clerks’ Office
450 S. State, 5th Floor,
P.O. Box 140230, Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Phone: (801) 578-3900
Utah Supreme Court — The Supreme Court hears appeals only in severe matters. There are extraordinary writs that allow the higher court authority that lower courts cannot usually exercise. The Utah Supreme Court is further empowered to send cases for resolution in the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court also addresses questions referred from other courts for its legal opinions.
Utah Supreme Court, Appellate Clerks’ Office
450 S. State, 5th Floor,
P.O. Box 140210, Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Phone: (801) 578-3900
Representation in Utah Appeals Cases
Utah’s Pro Se Guide to Appeals Procedures discusses the complex and frequently confusing appeals process. In addition to these obstacles for appellants, the appeals courts are pretty rigid in enforcing deadlines for every filing throughout the Utah appeals process. To emphasize the seriousness of failing to file by required deadlines, it bears mentioning here that parental rights have been lost in Utah due to failure to file documentation on time.
The Utah appellate courts strongly advise obtaining guidance from a qualified family law appeal attorney when seeking, for example, an appeal of a child custody decision from a lower court in the State.
Courts that Issue Custody Orders in Utah
Both parties to a child custody case may file a petition to modify the existing court order. The two kinds of courts that issue custody orders in Utah are:
- Juvenile courts — These courts address violations by juveniles, like shoplifting, underage drinking, or vandalism. They also hear cases regarding child welfare, such as child neglect or child abuse.
- District courts — These courts handle criminal cases, like sex crimes, murder, or armed robbery. The district courts also hear civil cases regarding family and domestic matters, like divorce, property divisions, and child support.
A petition for modification of child custody, for example, must be filed with the court that issued the original order.
Primary Objectives of Utah Courts
The overarching objective across the Utah lower courts and state appellate courts is always to preserve the best interests of the children whose lives are to be affected by a court’s decisions. Children’s interests are prioritized over parents’ desires in custody cases. In such cases, the Utah courts’ decisions are the health, safety, and proper care of the children involved.
So, the appellate courts examine the same factors weighed in the lower courts, such as distance between parents’ homes, history of spousal or child abuse by a spouse, and many others. Plus, the upper court may consider additional factors such as a remarriage, substantial changes in a parent’s income, etc.
Requirements in the Utah Appeals Process
As mentioned, the State courts’ appeals process is complex and involves various requirements for filing documents within rigid deadlines. Such documents include, for example, the petition for the appeal, affidavits, summons, proof of service. In appeals of child support decisions, for example, notification is required to be delivered to the Utah Attorney General’s Office, Child Support Division. An appeal of a family law matter may require filing various other necessary documents.
Parties approaching the appellate courts may be required to participate in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) before being allowed to file an appeal. In these circumstances, mediation is provided as an alternative means for working toward a resolution.
Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law
The cost of mediation is determined, in large part by the mediator’s hourly fee. This averages around $100 to $300 per hour, depending on the skill and experience of the mediator. Some mediators also charge for a full-day or half-day session (no matter how much time you use).
Family law is a broad term that relates to laws that affect family relationships. This includes divorce, adoption, child custody, and paternity.
A financial affidavit, in family court, is a sworn legal document that outlines your family income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. In most states, both parties in a divorce must complete and file a financial affidavit.
The Family Law Act of 1975, also referred to as FLA, is an Australian piece of legislation that gave the courts much greater latitude in dealing with divorce and family court cases. Just a few of the things that this bill allowed were no-fault divorce and custody discussion about ex-nuptial children. With the enactment of this bill, divorce was granted based on living separately for at least 12 months. It also quickened the divorce process, reducing the waiting period to one month. FLA defines marriage as a ”union between 2 persons, to the exclusion of all others voluntarily entered into for life”. This has been interpreted by the Australian courts to include same-sex marriages and common-law marriages. Although this is an Australian bill, the Utah courts and legislature have used this ground-breaking act as a basis for rulings and legislation in our state.
In general, all court cases are matters of public record. However, in sensitive cases, your attorney can file to have the court records sealed. Exceptions to public records are the identities of minor children and the identities of victims of sexual abuse and crimes.
Some US states recognize live-in relationships when they fall into the parameters of common-law marriage. Essentially, this is when a couple has lived together for so long, they are virtually married. However, each state defines this arrangement somewhat differently. For instance, New Hampshire recognizes common-law status only for inheritance purposes. It’s important to note that Utah is one of the handful of states that accepts common law marriage as a type of marriage. In addition, if the marriage was formed in Utah (or another state that recognizes this status as a valid marriage), the couple will be considered married by the law in other states, even if they do not recognize such unions that are formed in their state.
A family attorney is a lawyer trained and experienced in handling matters that come before the family courts, such as adoption, divorce and custody disputes. He or she represents the best interests of the clients and lends his or her expertise and experience to the proceedings. After all, family law situations are stressful situations. This is no time to be teaching yourself the nuances of the law so that you can represent yourself.
In general, attorney fees are not tax-deductible. However, if they are incurred trying to collect money, such as suing a former spouse for child support, you may be able to deduct them from your tax return. Court fees are never tax-deductible.
Contact the Best Family Lawyer near Salt Lake City Who Will Fight for Your Rights
Call the expert Utah trial lawyers at Wall & Wall Attorneys At Law or contact us using our online contact form to discuss your legal case and learn about your rights in Utah. We are an experienced, responsive law firm with in-depth knowledge of divorce and family law to help you through the many challenges and concerns about children, assets, and debts. Our no-obligation case review will provide you with the opportunity to have your personal situation reviewed by an award-winning family law attorney near Salt Lake City.