Salt Lake City Family Law Firm
We are a family law and divorce firm unlike any other. We stay focused on two things: our clients’ well-being and delivering the best results possible, no matter the opposition or circumstances. We are proud to say that our devotion, skill, and experience have made us the go-to name in family law advocacy for people all across the state of Utah. Hundreds of favorable resolutions have been reached with the help of our skilled attorneys. We serve to restore peace in the lives of our clients. Delivering the most effective, cost-efficient legal remedies becomes our priority when you put us on your side. Some cases can even be handled with our competitively-priced flat-fee rates. With previous experience advocating for children in high-conflict divorce and custody cases, our team handles family law matters with the intention of seamlessly guiding our clients through the process as peacefully as possible.
Knowledgeable Salt Lake City Child Custody Lawyer
Just like you, our Salt Lake City family law firm places your children at the forefront of our case, so both parents can prioritize their well being over their other divorce details. When it comes to kids, we take a big-picture approach to delivering solutions that will fit their current and future needs, so they do not have to undergo the stress of child custody matters over and over. Our Salt Lake City family law lawyer will draft a unique parenting plan that provides the support and guidance your children need to lead full lives by communicating and negotiating the details of:
• Extracurricular activities
• Transportation and exchange of children
• Healthcare and insurance coverage
• Religious decisions and upbringing
• Day to day time-sharing
• School breaks and holiday parenting schedules
The Utah court’s child custody decision will dictate several aspects of your child support needs, including the details of your parenting plan, the income of each parent, and how many children require financial support after the divorce. Whether you are outlining your and the children’s financial needs for the first time, or are interested in modifying your current child support agreement, our Salt Lake City family law attorney will draft a solution that fits your needs, so you are not left paying for shared experiences solely out of your own pocket. Life after divorce requires both spouses to go their separate ways, and the expenses involved in doing so can be overwhelming without the proper alimony agreement in place.
Compassionate Salt Lake City Adoption Attorney
Adoption proceedings require a specialized approach to producing legal results. Our Salt Lake City family law lawyer provides comprehensive representation for individuals and couples alike who are seeking to change the life of a child by becoming their forever parents. We know that adoption comes in many forms, which is why we provide legal guidance between birth parents, adoption agencies, and adoptive parents in:
• Adoption appeals
• Contested adoptions
• Domestic and interstate adoptions
• Grandparent adoptions
• International adoptions
• Minority adoptions
• Relative adoptions
• Same-sex couples adoptions
• Second parent adoptions
• Special-needs adoptions
• Stepparent adoptions
Family law generally concerns domestic relations and family-related matters such as marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships, adoptions, paternity, guardianships, domestic abuse, surrogacy, child custody, child abduction, the dissolution of marriage and associated issues. Each state has its own set of family laws, and travelling across state borders can sometimes affect your rights and those of your family. Contrary to popular belief, seeking the advice of a family law attorney does not necessarily mean that something is amiss in your family. A family law attorney can help negotiate prenuptial/premarital agreements for clients in anticipation of marriage or advise same-sex couples on relevant legal issues affecting their relationship. They also can help with adoption proceedings and other procedures involving children. Family law attorneys often do represent clients seeking a divorce, annulment or legal separation, and the complicated issues that can arise as a result. Although domestic abuse is a criminal offense, some family law attorneys are skilled at handling these situations, as they are often entangled with other family law issues. Some jurisdictions certify lawyers as family law specialists, which means these attorneys have met the certifying body’s minimum requirements for education, experience, and examination.
Family law is a legal practice area that focuses on issues involving family relationships, such as adoption, divorce, and child custody, among others. Attorneys practicing family law can represent clients in family court proceedings or in related negotiations and can also draft important legal documents such as court petitions or property agreements. Some family law attorneys even specialize in adoption, paternity, emancipation, or other matters not usually related to divorce. States have the right to determine “reasonable formal requirements” for marriage, including age and legal capacity, as well as the rules and procedures for divorce and other family law matters. Prior to the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, some states restricted marriage (and divorce) to opposite-sex couples only.
The following is a primer on family law and what it entails.
Helpful Terms to Know
• Emancipation: A court process through which a minor becomes self-supporting, assumes adult responsibility for his or her welfare, and is no longer under the care of his or her parents.
• Marital Property: Property acquired by either spouse during the course of a marriage that is subject to division upon divorce.
• Alimony: An allowance made to one spouse by the other for support during or after a legal separation or divorce.
• Paternity: Origin or descent from a father (to establish paternity is to confirm the identity of a child’s biological father).
• Prenuptial Agreement: An agreement made between a man and a woman before marrying in which they give up future rights to each other’s property in the event of a divorce or death.
Reasons to Hire a Family Law Attorney
Most family lawyers represent clients in divorce proceedings and other matters related to divorce. But family law is a relatively broad practice area, including such issues as foster care and reproductive rights. Since family law matters hit so close to home, having a trusted legal professional by your side can help you ensure your loved ones are properly represented and protected during any legal process.
The most common reasons to hire a family law attorney include:
• Divorce: Each partner hires his or her own attorney, who will help devise a settlement plan in order to avoid a trial. Divorce attorneys typically are skilled at dividing marital property, calculating spousal support, and proposing a plan for child custody, visitation, and support (if applicable).
• Child Custody / Child Support: Court orders and settlement agreements involving both custody and support usually are included in the larger divorce case, but may be revisited as conditions change. For instance, child support may be altered after the non-custodial parent’s financial situation changes.
• Paternity: In most cases, paternity cases are filed by the mother in an effort to secure child support payments from an absent father. But sometimes biological fathers file for paternity in order to have a relationship with their child. Paternity typically is determined through DNA testing.
• Adoption / Foster Care: Adoption is a complex process that differs according to the type of adoption, where the child is from, variances in state laws, and other factors. Therefore, it’s important to consult with a family law attorney. Foster parents sometimes adopt their foster children, but the foster process does not necessarily require legal representation.
Family law is a specialized practice area dealing with issues arising from domestic relationships of all kinds, including marriage, domestic partnerships, civil unions, and other family structures, both traditional and non-traditional. Dissolution of these relationships through divorce or separation gives rise to matters most commonly handled by family law practitioners, notably child custody and visitation, the division of assets and liabilities between the parties, and spousal alimony and child support. Other and often related aspects of a family law practice include domestic violence, paternity, annulment, adoption, surrogacy, child abduction (domestic and international), termination of parental rights, and pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements. The statutes and case law of individual states determine most domestic matters, although there are also uniform laws adopted by all of the states, as well as international treaties that relate to parentage, child custody, parental abduction, and child support enforcement.
Many financial aspects of family law are highly complex. Family attorneys must have proficiency in other areas of law that impact these financial issues and a roster of outside experts to assist them when necessary. Knowledge of tax law as it pertains to alimony, support, asset allocation, filing status, and a dependency exemption is essential. Familiarity with accounting principles, financial statements and balance sheets, retirement plans, asset (including business) valuation, health insurance following divorce, the effect of bankruptcy, wills and trusts and real estate also is important. The psychological aspects of family law are also highly complex. Dealing with families in conflict, often emotional and highly charged, requires special sensitivity and a broad array of skills. A good family lawyer must have, in addition to substantive knowledge, the ability to listen, to counsel, to investigate, to negotiate, to plan, to draft, to defuse conflict, to advocate and, when necessary, to litigate. Recognizing that out-of-court settlements are vastly preferable for their clients, and with the growing burden on court dockets, an increasing number of practitioners are using (and becoming trained in) alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, and private judging.
A family group has a certain internal structure as well as relationships between itself and third parties. Family groups in some societies have tended to be complex, as, for example, the Roman paterfamilias group, the Chinese upper-class family, the Indian joint family, the samurai family in Japan, and many customary family structures in Africa. The family may be a part of a larger group such as the tribe or clan. At present the dominant form of the family group consists of two spouses and the children they have produced or adopted. The law, therefore, is concerned mainly with the rights of the couple and their children and the duties of the couple to the children and to each other. In a strictly monogamous society, for example, the law will forbid a person to be married to more than one other person at the same time, while in other societies it will regulate the number of wives a man may simultaneously have (as Islamic law does). Traditionally, family law has not concerned itself much with unions that are not commenced by legal marriage, though some systems of law have permitted the recognition of a “natural” child by a father for purposes such as inheritance and support. More recently, the family law of several European countries and of some jurisdictions in the United States was amended to recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships, which created many of the legal incidents of marriage for same-sex couples.
Legal consequences of marriage
Two persons might produce the economic incidents of marriage by executing appropriate contracts or settlements. In some legal systems, a contract in conventional form is the core of the constitution of marriage. The contract may be complex, with a variety of clauses, as in Islamic law. In most countries today, however, the legal documentation of a marriage is mainly a registration of the event. Basically, then, marriage in the legal sense is the implied creation of certain rights or obligations such as maintenance, marital property and succession rights, and the custody of minor children. In modern systems, the parties to a marriage can usually create the economic incidents of the marriage by a separate agreement. In some early legal systems and in present systems in which customary family law pertains, there is little choice as to the economic incidents of marriage because these are fixed by custom. In legal systems that allow substantial scope for personal independence, the spouses can take up a position of their own as to the economic basis of their family group by means of a marriage contract or a will. One feature that distinguishes marriage from a simple contract is that, in many countries, the parties cannot release themselves by mutual agreement. But some legislation in North America and western Europe comes close to permitting this; the grounds of divorce have been so widened that the marriage can be terminated, for example, after a period of separation.
Family Law Firm Free Consultation
When you need legal help for your family law matter in Salt Lake City Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506