The legal definition of family law in Taylorsville Utah is the collection of laws and legislation that relate to issues that have a serious and significant impact on family relationships. While family law is often seen as synonymous with handling divorce proceedings, the reality is that it encompasses a wide range of subjects that affect all areas of personal and family life. Family law lays out and protects the rights and responsibilities of family members across a wide spectrum of situations. It is designed to be a framework that provides a basis for achieving fair and equitable results for all family members involved, whether they are adults or children.
Family law can be an emotionally charged area of law, dealing as it often does with failing relationships and the resulting conflict. For this reason, family law solicitors require not only legal knowledge but also a good understanding of people and how to support them with appropriate sensitivity.
Reasons to Hire a Family Law Attorney in Taylorsville Utah
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 and 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: 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.
What is a Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement (“prenup” for short) is a written contract created by two people before they are married. A prenup typically lists all of the property each person owns (as well as any debts) and specifies what each person’s property rights will be after the marriage. In some states, a prenuptial agreement is known as an “ante nuptial agreement,” or in more modern terms, a “premarital agreement.” Sometimes the word “contract” is substituted for “agreement,” as in “prenuptial contract.” An agreement made during marriage, rather than before, is known as a “postnuptial,” “post marital,” or “marital” agreement. Contrary to popular opinion, prenups are not just for the rich. While prenups are often used to protect the assets of a wealthy fiancé, couples of more modest means are increasingly turning to them for their own purposes.
Reasons That Some People Want a Prenup:
• Pass separate property to children from prior marriages. A marrying couple with children from prior marriages may use a prenup to spell out what will happen to their property when they die, so that they can pass on separate property to their children and still provide for each other, if necessary. Without a prenup, a surviving spouse might have the right to claim a large portion of the other spouse’s property, leaving much less for the kids.
• Clarify financial rights. Couples with or without children, wealthy or not, may simply want to clarify their financial rights and responsibilities during marriage.
• Avoid arguments in case of divorce. Or they may want to avoid potential arguments if they ever divorce, by specifying in advance how their property will be divided, and whether or not either spouse will receive alimony. (A few states won’t allow a spouse to give up the right to alimony, however, and, in most others, a waiver of alimony will be scrutinized heavily and won’t be enforced if the spouse who is giving up alimony didn’t have a lawyer.)
• Get protection from debts. Prenups can also be used to protect spouses from each other’s debts, and they may address a multitude of other issues as well.
If you don’t make a prenuptial agreement, your state’s laws determine who owns the property that you acquire during your marriage, as well as what happens to that property at divorce or death. (Property acquired during your marriage is known as either marital or community property, depending on your state.) State law may even have a say in what happens to some of the property you owned before you were married. Under the law, marriage is considered to be a contract between the marrying couple, and with that contract comes certain automatic property rights for each spouse. For example, in the absence of a prenup stating otherwise, a spouse usually has the right to:
• share ownership of property acquired during marriage, with the expectation that the property will be divided between the spouses in the event of a divorce or at death
• incur debts during marriage that the other spouse may have to pay for, and
• share in the management and control of any marital or community property, sometimes including the right to sell it or give it away.
Making a Valid Prenup
As prenuptial agreements become more common, the law is becoming friendlier toward them. Traditionally, courts scrutinized prenups with a suspicious eye, because they almost always involved a waiver of legal and financial benefits by a less wealthy spouse and they were thought to encourage breakups. As divorce and remarriage have become more prevalent, and with more equality between the sexes, courts and legislatures are increasingly willing to uphold premarital agreements. Today, every state permits them, although a prenup that is judged unfair or otherwise fails to meet state requirements will still be set aside. However, because courts still look carefully at prenups, it is important that you negotiate and write up your agreement in a way that is clear, understandable, and legally sound. If you draft your own agreement, which we recommend, you’ll want to have separate lawyers review it and at least briefly advise you about it otherwise a court is much more likely to question its validity
Types of Adoption
• Agency Adoptions: Agency adoptions involve the placement of a child with adoptive parents by a public agency, or by a private agency licensed or regulated by the state. Public agencies generally place children who have become wards of the state for reasons such as orphanage, abandonment, or abuse. Private agencies are sometimes run by charities or social service organizations. Children placed through private agencies are usually brought to the agency by a parent or parents who have or are expecting a child they want to give up for adoption.
• Independent Adoptions: In a private, or independent, adoption, no agency is involved in the adoption. Some independent adoptions involve a direct arrangement between the birth parents and the adoptive parents, while others use an intermediary such as an attorney, doctor, or clergyperson. For most independent adoptions, whether or not an intermediary is involved, the adopting parents will usually hire an attorney to take care of the court paperwork. Most states allow independent adoptions, though many regulate them quite carefully.
• Open adoption: This is an independent adoption in which the adoptive parents and birth parents have contact during the gestation period and the new parents agree to maintain some contact with the birth parents after the adoption, through letters, photos, or in-person visits.
• Identified Adoptions: An identified, or designated, adoption is one in which the adopting parents and the birth mother find each other and then ask an adoption agency to take over the rest of the adoption process. The process is a hybrid of an independent and an agency adoption. Prospective adoptive parents are spared the waiting lists of agencies by finding the birth parent themselves, but they reap the benefits of the agency’s counseling services and experience with adoption legalities. Everyone may simply feel more comfortable if an agency is involved. Identified adoptions are available to parents in the states that ban independent adoptions.
• International Adoptions: In an international adoption, the new parents adopt a child who is a citizen of a foreign country. In addition to satisfying the adoption requirements of both the foreign country and the parents’ home state in Taylorsville, the parents must obtain an immigrant visa for the child.
• Stepparent Adoptions: In a stepparent adoption, a parent’s new spouse adopts a child the parent had with a previous partner. Stepparent adoption procedures are less cumbersome than agency or independent adoption procedures. The process is quite simple, especially if the child’s other birth parent consents to the adoption. If the other birth parent cannot be found or if he or she refuses to consent to the adoption, there is more paperwork to do and the adoptive parents may need an attorney.
• Same-Sex Adoptions: Rules about same-sex couples vary from state to state. In states that have some form of recognition for same-sex relationships, same-sex couples may adopt children together and one partner may adopt the child of the other partner. In some states, the adoption can be done under the streamlined stepparent adoption procedures, making the process inexpensive, quick, and easy.
• Relative (Kinship) Adoptions: In a relative adoption, also called a kinship adoption, a member of the child’s family steps forward to adopt. Grandparents often adopt their grandchildren if the parents die while the children are minors, or if the parents are unable to take care of the children for other reasons (such as being in jail or on drugs). In most states, these adoptions are easier than non-relative adoptions. If the adopted child has siblings who are not adopted at the same time, kinship adoption procedures usually provide for contact between the siblings after the adoption.
• Adult Adoptions: In most states, it’s legal for one adult to adopt another as long as there’s at least a ten-year age difference and the parties can show why the adoption is in the interests of both the parties involved and the public good. Often, adult adoptions are stepparent adoptions that the family didn’t get around to when the younger person was a minor, but wants to complete in order to assure inheritance rights. Sometimes, older adults who don’t have children of their own meet younger persons who they wish to treat as their children for inheritance purposes. There are protections in place in many states requiring oversight of adult adoptions where caregivers of the elderly are involved, in order preventing elder financial abuse.
How Do I Change My Name In Taylorsville, Utah
You can change your name by following your state’s name change guidelines. While each state’s policy varies, the first step is to file a formal petition for a name change with your local court. You can ask the court if it supplies the forms. Otherwise, you may need to check online or consult with an attorney.
Complete the forms and hand them to the court clerk. Next, the court may require you to obtain official fingerprints and a background check through local law enforcement or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Once you’ve completed your fingerprinting and background check, some states require you to set up and pay for a formal advertisement in the local newspaper or other publication. The purpose of advertising your name change is to inform your creditors and any other interested party of your intent to change your name. In most cases, the publication is a formality that doesn’t interfere with the name change process. Lastly, you’ll need to attend a formal hearing in front of a judge or magistrate. During the hearing, the judge will ask you your reasons for changing your name and will ask you, under oath, to verify that you’re not seeking a name change to commit fraud or for any other unlawful reason. If the judge is satisfied with your testimony, the court will issue the name change.
Whether you’ve changed your name on your own, by marriage, or with a court order, the most critical part of accomplishing a name change is letting others know. If you start a new job, apply for a new credit card, or begin school, use only your new name. Introduce yourself to new friends and acquaintances with your new name. You’ll also need to contact individuals and companies that have your previous name and contact information, including the following:
State and Federal Government Agencies
One of the first steps for any name change is for you to visit your state and other government agencies to have your name changed on their records. You may need to provide proof of your court order, marriage certificate, or judgment of divorce. In most cases, the best first steps you can take are to obtain a new driver’s license from the Department of Motor Vehicles and a Social Security card. Once you have a photo I.D. and a Social Security card, it’s usually easier to change your name with other institutions.
Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law 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