Affordable Family Law Attorney

Affordable Family Law Attorney

Usually when you hire an attorney, it’s to avoid being drained financially by an ex-spouse, former business partner or adversary who wants to sue you. But what do you do when you need a lawyer to protect your assets and paying for one is out of the question? In a criminal proceeding, if you can’t afford legal assistance, a court will appoint an attorney for you. In a civil case, generally described as a dispute between two private parties, to get legal representation, you have to get creative.

Here’s how to find legal help if you can’t afford a lawyer:
• Contact the city courthouse.
• Seek free lawyer consultations.
• Look to legal aid societies.
• Visit a law school.
• Contact your county or state bar association.
• Go to small claims court.
Depending on your situation, you can employ a variety of strategies to get free legal advice or cheap legal assistance.
Contact the City Courthouse
Whether it’s a divorce or you’re being taken to court for something else, if you don’t have a lawyer, a logical move would be to call the courthouse and ask who they would suggest going to.
Seek Free Lawyer Consultations
Some attorneys will offer free consultations usually by phone or videoconference. You aren’t likely to come away feeling like you’re ready to try your first case, but even if it’s just a 15-minute call, you may at least get enough information to have a better sense of what legal morass you’re in for. You might also be able to get some direction as to who can help you for free or a bargain basement price.

You could also consider hiring an up-and-coming law student to give you advice. Many law schools have pro bono programs in which law students can offer free legal advice.
Contact Your County or State Bar Association
You can call the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 9 to 11 a.m., as part of their Ask an Attorney Service, and they’ll answer legal questions for free. If you need advice that doesn’t fit in that window, the association offers a 30-minute consultation with an attorney for $30, and for certain topics for instance, pertaining to Social Security, unemployment, workers’ compensation and personal injuries, among others – they’ll offer the 30-minute consultation free of charge.
Go to Small Claims Court
Unfortunately, this isn’t a viable option for everyone. For instance, you can’t go to small claims court if you’re trying to work out your financial affairs after a divorce. But if the stakes are fairly low where someone owes you money or is trying to collect money from you, and it isn’t worth risking lawyer fees, you might consider small claims court.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
After looking around and talking to enough attorneys or law students, you may decide that you do need a lawyer and the more you look around, you may find one who will work with you on a small budget. It’s worth asking around because you may find that the fees aren’t as high as you fear, especially if you can get them capped. An attorney might give you a discount. Also, many attorneys offer payment plans, so that you’re paying monthly instead of one huge sum all at once. Of course, you could hit the jackpot and find a pro bono lawyer, or you might find someone willing to take your case on contingency. That is, if you lose your case, you won’t pay money, but if you win, the law firm will take a portion of the money awarded to you. However, it’s important to tread carefully before picking a lawyer. Choose a reputable attorney and make sure the rate is agreed upon before the lawyer takes your case. And don’t be too shocked if an attorney turns you down. It’s risky for lawyers to take cases on contingency, and they need to be confident a judge or jury will side with you, and that there’s going to be something sizable awarded to you.
How Much Does a Child Custody Court Case Cost?
Custody Battle Cost
The cost of a child custody court case can range anywhere from $3,000 to $40,000-plus according to most sources. Why such an enormous range? Because there are so many factors that impact how much a case will cost.
The two factors that will have the most impact, include:
• The attorney you hire
• If your custody case is contested or uncontested
How much does a custody lawyer cost?
Attorney fees can range anywhere from $85 to $400 or more per hour depending on the experience level of the lawyer you hire, their reputation, and their track record of success in litigating child custody cases. Attorneys can bill for their services in several different ways. A straightforward hourly billing process is standard, meaning you pay-by-the-hour for any time the attorney spends on your case, which means every phone call, email, meeting, and court appearance about your case will increase your bill. Some lawyers will bill a flat fee for child custody services. If the case is simple and straightforward, the flat fee will likely be less than a complex or contested custody case. A typical flat cost can range from $3,000 to $20,000. Finally, some lawyers charge on a retainer basis. A retainer is a fee paid in advance to the lawyer for handling your case. The lawyer draws from this retainer to pay his or her expenses as the case proceeds. If the case is finished quickly, depending on your agreement, you may be refunded remaining funds left in the retainer. If the retainer is used up before the case is settled, you will be required to make an additional payment. It’s essential to understand what is included in your attorney fees. Other items that attorneys may charge for include travel expenses, paralegal services, copying, faxes, and more. Make sure your contract is clear about how billing works, so you are not surprised by fees you didn’t expect.

Contested or Uncontested Case
The other major factor that impacts how much your child custody case will cost is whether your case is contested or uncontested. Having a contested case means that there is a dispute or challenge about how the custody of the child will be handled. For example, if one person is determined to have sole custody and refuses to cooperate or compromise, the case will proceed to a full-court trial, which will then require depositions, court time, possibly specialists or expert witnesses, and much more.
Other Child Custody Fee Factors
Other factors that may impact how much your child custody court case will cost include:
• The state where you live.
• If you need assistance negotiating or compromising on specific terms within your child custody agreement or parenting plan, you may need a mediator or arbitrator. Those costs can range from $100 – $300 an hour.
• If you require a custody evaluation done by an expert such as a child psychologist, these experts can cost anywhere from $1,500 – $6,000 or more.
• You may incur fees for miscellaneous items such as paying the sheriff or third-party to serve paperwork, court filing fees, subpoenaing bank records, or other documents.
Usually, each party in a child custody case is responsible for paying their legal fees. A judge might make an exception if one party makes substantially more money than the other, or if one party cannot afford legal representation. Some people may be entitled to legal aid or a pro bono attorney depending on their income level. While the thought of hiring an attorney and paying legal fees may seem daunting, in some child custody cases, it may be one of the best investments you ever make if it ensures the best situation for your child. Many attorneys will allow you to schedule an initial consultation at little or no cost so that you can learn more about your options.
Know Who You’re Dealing With
Many lawyers specialize in a particular area of the law. Be sure your attorney has relevant experience. An attorney who regularly drafts wills may not be the best choice to represent you in a courtroom if the subject is an auto accident. If family, friends or co-workers have hired a lawyer for a similar reason, ask them for recommendations. If not, check with your state and local bar associations. Some groups offer lawyer referral services for their members.
Do Your Research
Try to talk with more than one lawyer before you choose the one to represent you. But find out if you will be charged for an initial meeting. Be prepared to describe your problem in a brief, clear summary. Ask the various lawyers about their experience, their fees, what your options might be, and your chances of success, who will do the work, and when the problem might be resolved.
Know the Real Deal
Once you decide to hire a lawyer, be sure you understand what you’ve both agreed to. How often will the lawyer update you? What information will you are required to provide? Do you understand all your options? What will the total cost be? If you’re not clear on exactly what the lawyer is doing, ask for clarification. Although your chances of success can’t be guaranteed, discuss approaches to your case. You should be comfortable with your lawyer’s approach to your case. Be up front with your lawyer on all the facts and circumstances surrounding your situation. You may want to get the agreement with your lawyer in writing.
Payment Arrangements
Remember the most expensive lawyer is not necessarily the best one for you. Nor is a “bargain” rate always a great deal. Look for the best balance of experience and cost. You may want to ask your lawyer if a junior lawyer or paralegal can perform some of the work to lower your costs. You also may want to ask if there are tasks you could perform yourself to save time and money. For example, you might be able to copy, pick up or deliver certain documents. A lawyer may charge you a flat fee for a particular service or offer alternative methods of payment. Each has benefits and risks.
Contingency fees


A contingent fee arrangement means that your lawyer gets a percentage of whatever money you receive as resolution of your case. If you receive no money, then your lawyer collects no fees. However, you may owe charges for court fees, copying, and hiring expert witnesses. If you have very little money to pay hourly fees, it may be appropriate to negotiate a contingency fee with your lawyer. But before agreeing to a contingent fee, consider that:
• The size of a contingency fee, usually a percentage of any money you receive to resolve the case, is always negotiable. Sometimes you can negotiate a sliding scale fee (for example, 30 percent of any recovery up to $10,000; 20 percent of any recovery up to $50,000, etc.). Remember that there’s no particular percentage of a consumer’s recovery that constitutes a “standard” or “official” fee.
• The size of the contingency fee should reflect the amount of work that will be required by the attorney. Some cases are straightforward; others can be novel or uncertain. You may want to ask whether the case is likely to settle quickly and whether government agencies will gather significant amounts of evidence. A fee arrangement sometimes can be negotiated with a lower percentage for a quick settlement and a higher percentage if it goes to trial. Be sure you know exactly what is covered in your agreement. Your state also may have rules about maximum contingency fees; check with your state’s bar association.
Flat fee
You pay the lawyer a set dollar amount for a particular service, like writing a will. If the matter is simple and straightforward, say, an uncontested divorce or a simple bankruptcy filing, many lawyers often charge a flat fee. Be sure to find out exactly what the flat fee includes.
Hourly rates
The lawyer charges a set fee per hour. Your final cost will depend on how long it takes to complete your work. Hourly rates vary according to a lawyer’s expertise and experience. An experienced lawyer may charge a higher hourly rate but may complete the work more quickly. Because the hours worked on your case can add up quickly, you should ask for a written estimate of the number of hours necessary to complete your case to get an idea of what your final bill might amount to.
Retainer
Your lawyer may ask you to pay a fee up front. A lawyer can use this fee often called a retainer as a down payment on expenses and fees. It is important to review your account from time to time to understand how your money is being spent.

Public Legal Services
Depending on your financial situation, you may qualify for free or low cost legal services through special organizations. For example, you may be eligible for free representation in landlord-tenant or divorce cases. Look in your local telephone directory for legal services organizations or legal clinics associated with accredited law schools.
Pre-paid legal plan
Some organizations offer pre-paid legal plans that work like an insurance policy. In exchange for a monthly fee, you receive certain legal services as you need them. However, the fees charged and the services covered vary with each state’s law and the particular plan. Check out any plan carefully to be sure you know what’s covered and whether it makes sense for your situation.
Before You Hire Child Custody Lawyers
1. Consider Your Financial Resources: When deciding whether to hire a child custody lawyer, the most important consideration is the availability of financial resources. The retainer for a child custody lawyer can be quite expensive, depending on a number of factors including how many hours it may take to resolve the case, as well as the state in which you live. When considering whether to hire child custody lawyers, ask about the anticipated costs upfront. If you reach the conclusion that you are unable to afford a private attorney, remember that you still have options. You may be entitled to free legal aid or low-cost representation through the family court. In some jurisdictions, the court may base your entitlement to free representation on your current income.
2. Weigh the Complexity of Your Case: Typically, parents are advised to hire child custody lawyers when facing a difficult or complex child custody issue. For example, interstate child custody cases are usually considered complex. If you are facing a difficult custody case and you feel unsure about representing yourself, you should consider hiring a child custody lawyer who specializes in complex legal issues and has experience in family court. If you decide to represent yourself during your child custody hearing, being well prepared will give you the best chance of winning child custody. If you’re not sure where to begin, start by reading up on the child custody laws in your state.
3. Consider the Attorney’s Reputation: Many parents decide to hire a child custody lawyer based on the attorney’s reputation for winning child custody cases. Look to hire a child custody attorney with experience handling similar cases. And don’t be shy about asking for references! This is likely the most important case you’ll ever face in your life, and you have every right to investigate the attorney’s reputation before signing on the bottom line. If you are eligible for low-cost or free representation, be extra picky about the attorney’s reputation for winning child custody, especially contested cases that require representation in court. Be sure to ask any prospective child custody lawyer about his or her strategy for winning child custody cases, too.

Family Lawyer

When you need a family lawyer, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Ascent Law Ogden Utah Office

Brandon M. Evans, Esq.

Brandon M Evans

Brandon M. Evans, Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law

When Brandon was admitted to the Utah Bar he fulfilled a dream whose inception began in his youth as a result of learning of the Founding Fathers and the Constitution. He is also admitted to the District of Columbia, Washington DC, Bar. While very grateful that he was able to fulfill this dream. Whether you are working to build, protect, or salvage your dream, Brandon can help you.

Whether you are getting married, getting un-married, creating a new business, defending your business, selling or ending your business, dealing with criminal concerns, planning your estate, seeking permanent immigration status, or recouping damages, Brandon will negotiate and litigate for you and your dreams.

Other dreams that Brandon enjoys creating and fulfilling are spending time doing activities: woodworking, gardening, board games, camping, and reading. Brandon loves that his wife and three children also enjoy those activities.

Brandon enjoys the following areas of legal practice:

  • Family Law (Child Custody, Mediation, Litigation, Parenting Plans, Divorce, Adoptions, Annulment)
  • Contract Law (drafting and litigation)
  • Criminal Defense (federal and state cases, including DUI, Theft, Domestic Violence, etc.)
  • Business Formations (LLC, Corporations, Partnerships, etc.)
  • Business Representation (Lawsuits and Litigation)
  • Real Estate (Quiet Title Actions, Evictions, etc)
  • Estate Planning and Probates (Wills, Trusts, including formation and administration, both contested and uncontested)
  • Tax Matters (IRS and Utah State Tax Commission)
  • Personal Injury Law (Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Dog Bites, Slip and Falls)
  • Collection Issues (collections; Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, etc.)
Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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Parental Rights and Responsibilities in Utah

If you’re going through a divorce or separation from your child’s other parent, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with some of the most common child custody terms.

Parental Rights and Responsibilities in Utah

Utah law provides three ways to allocate parental rights and responsibilities: “shared parenting,” “sole residential and custodial parent” and, the rarest of the three, “split parenting.”

Shared Parenting

“Shared parenting” is almost always recommended by the court (unless there is some evidence that shared parenting would not be in the best interest of the child). The term “shared parenting” does not refer to a fifty-fifty split in time with your children. (A fifty-fifty split is referred to as “split-parenting” – see below).

Shared parenting simply means that the parents of the minor child will “share” in the major decision-making regarding the child’s health and welfare. In a shared parenting arrangement, decisions regarding things such as discipline, religion, education, sports, piercings, and tattoos will be made by both parents. Shared parenting, therefore, requires that the parents be willing and able to communicate on a regular basis.

In this arrangement, both parents are deemed the “residential parent.” In other words, the child technically lives with both parents, but one parent will be designated the “residential parent for school purposes only.” The designation of “residential parent for school purposes only” simply refers to the parent who resides in the school district where the child is or will be enrolled.

If the parents agree to share parenting, but cannot pick a residential parent for school purposes, the court will make the decision based upon the child’s best interest. (Utah Revised Code §3109.04 lists the many factors used in determining a child’s “best interest.”)

Parenting time (formerly referred to as “visitation”) can be enjoyed according to whatever schedule the parties feel is in the child’s best interest. But if the parents cannot decide on parenting time, the court will make the decision for them based upon the child’s best interest.

Sole Residential and Custodial Parent (“Sole Custody”)

This parenting arrangement is common when the parents will be residing very far apart and when the parents cannot communicate effectively.

Here, only one parent is designated as the “sole residential parent and legal custodian.” This parent will be solely responsible for all major decisions regarding the child’s health and welfare, such as discipline, religion, education, health care, sports, piercings and tattoos. The court will generally allocate the primary parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the child to this parent as well.

If the parties can’t decide who the sole residential parent and legal custodian should be, the court will make the decision based on the child’s best interest.

Split Parenting (“Joint Custody”)

“Split parenting” is a fifty-fifty split of parenting time. This type of parenting plan is not normally ordered by a court. It is most often an arrangement agreed to by the parents. The split parenting plan is drafted to allow both parents equal time with the child. Split parenting may affect child support due to the equal split in parenting time.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will fight for you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Unmarried Partners, Medical Directives and the Durable Power of Attorney for Finances

Unmarried Partners, Medical Directives and the Durable Power of Attorney for Finances

Unmarried couples, including many domestic partnerships, aren’t typically allowed to make emergency medical and financial decisions for each other. If you ever become seriously injured or are otherwise unable to make these decisions and you want to make sure your partner has a say, then you need to create at least two things:

  • A medical/healthcare directive (which consists of a health care declaration and a durable power of attorney), and
  • A durable power of attorney for finances.

If you do not create these documents to empower your partner, these decisions will largely be made by your biological relatives who may or may not respect the input of your partner.

Medical Directives Generally

Each state has its own laws governing the creation of medical directives, but all such directives allow you to name someone to direct your medical care if you become incapacitated. Medical directives are particularly important for unmarried couples because, although most states list biological family members and spouses as potential decision makers, they do not generally list unmarried partners. Even if a state does list unmarried partners as potential decision makers, they are given lower priority than married spouses and biological family members. Finally, even if your state does recognize unmarried partners, if you are injured in another state, that state may not recognize your partner’s rights.

Medical Directives The Healthcare Declaration

The first document you need to create to ensure that your medical wishes are honored is the healthcare declaration. This written document sets out how you should be cared for in an emergency or if you are otherwise incapacitated. Your healthcare declaration will set forth your wishes on topics such as resuscitation, desired quality of life and end of life treatments including treatments you don’t want to receive. This document is primarily between you and your doctor, and it advises them how to approach your treatment.

Medical Directives The Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare

The durable power of attorney for healthcare is given to the person you want to make medical decisions for you in an emergency. Even though you set out your wishes in your healthcare declaration, such documents can never cover every circumstance, and the person who has a durable power of attorney for healthcare is the person who makes decisions not covered by your healthcare directive. Keep in mind that the person with a durable power of attorney for healthcare can never contradict the terms of your healthcare declaration.

Depending on your state, the person you grant a durable power of attorney for healthcare will typically be called your “agent,” “proxy,” or “attorney-in-fact”. The typical rights for this person include:

  • Providing medical decisions that aren’t covered in your healthcare declaration
  • Enforcing your healthcare wishes in court if necessary
  • Hiring and firing doctors and medical workers seeing to your treatment
  • Having access to medical records
  • Having visitation rights

Finally, note that in some states they combine the healthcare declaration and the durable power of attorney for healthcare into one document called an “advance health care directive”.

Durable Power of Attorney for Finances

The durable power of attorney for finances works similarly to the durable power of attorney for healthcare, in that it allows whomever you designate the ability to make decisions in that area. The person you appoint with a durable power of attorney for finances will have the ability to make financial decisions for you if you are incapacitated.

Just like in healthcare, if you want your partner to have a say, you have to put it in writing. Most states will only recognize biological relatives and married spouses. If you do not expressly grant your partner a durable power of attorney for finances, he or she will have no legal say in your financial matters.

It is also worth noting that there are two basic forms of durable power of attorney for finances, usually referred to as “springing” or “immediate”. A springing durable power of attorney for finances would become effective once you were incapacitated, but not before. A springing durable power of attorney for finances makes sense in many situations, but for unmarried couples it may not. If you make the durable power of attorney for finances immediate, then your partner can make financial decisions for you during your life just like a married spouse can.

Finally, here are some of the rights and responsibilities that whomever you grant a durable power of attorney for finances will have to make:

  • Paying your bills
  • Paying your taxes
  • Conducting your bank transactions
  • Managing and investing your money
  • Purchasing insurance for you
  • Buying, selling and managing any of your property
  • Operating your business

Collecting your government benefits and inheritance.

Free Initial Consultation with an LGBTQ+ Family Law Attorney

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!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Child Support and Parental Relocation

Everyone’s life is prone to change, and sometimes these changes require parental relocation after a divorce. Whether you are the primary custodial parent and wish to relocate with your children, or you are the parent whose visitation schedule would be affected by the move, you should always speak with a family lawyer about your plans before you move or make a change, just to make sure you do it right. You don’t need more problems or stress in your life.

Child Support and Parental Relocation

In Utah, “parental relocation” is defined as one parent moving more than 150 miles from the other parent. When a parent wishes to relocate, he or she must inform the other parent of the intent at least 60 days prior to the proposed move. While the state cannot prevent you or your ex-spouse from relocating, it can prevent the parent with primary custody from taking the child or children along if the relocation is not in their best interests. Our attorneys will review all the facts of your case and build your argument either for or against the move. This is what we do.

Considerations For Granting Parental Relocation

If you are the parent hoping to relocate, our lawyers will demonstrate to the court that your reasons for doing so are valid, and that your actions aren’t simply resulting from spite. Parental relocation requests are frequently granted when the custodial parent:

  • Has a strong job offer outside of the home city or state
  • Seeks to increase proximity to a network of family members and friends
  • Looks to remove his or herself or the children from an abusive relationship
  • Shows that the child or children will be better off with the move
  • Otherwise proves that the relocation serves the child or children’s best interests

From drafting the notice of the intended move to representing you in the event that your ex challenges your move, we can work with you to ensure your best chance of a successful outcome.

If it is your ex who is proposing the move, we will work to ensure that your relationship with your child is respected and protected, and we will aggressively challenge the relocation on your behalf.

Answering Common Questions About Child Support

We are here to address your legal concerns about child support in Utah. Read on to discover the answers to some of the more common questions we hear the most:

  • Does joint legal custody affect my financial obligations? Child support laws indicate that, because both parents have the authority to make decisions on their children’s behalf, joint legal custody does not impact financial obligations. However, joint physical custody is a different issue. Child support is based on these factors: physical custody, parenting time and income.
  • Can I modify child support payments? Once the court makes a decision, you are obligated to the amount ordered. There are certain scenarios, however, in which you may be eligible to reduce or terminate child support. These include:
    • Changes to your child’s residence, custody and parenting time
    • Illness or disability
    • Loss of your job
    • Permanent reduction in income
  • Am I still obligated to pay if my ex keeps me from my children? Because custody and visitation are separate legal matters, unfortunately, you are still expected to pay the amount ordered. If your ex is keeping you from your children and you have custody or visitation privileges, we can petition the court to enforce those rights. Even when it seems unjust, failing to make your child support payments could put you at risk of facing serious penalties.
  • What if my ex does not pay? Thanks to the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984, you can seek legal help in collecting payments from an ex who does not honor his or her court order. We can file contempt charges, and the court may impose consequences such as garnishing wages, seizing property, withholding tax returns, revoking your ex’s driver’s license or jail time.
  • What if my ex moves out of state? Because of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, court orders remain in effect regardless of a parent’s physical location. There are several measures available to ensure child support enforcement, even if your ex moves out of Utah and refuses to pay.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will fight for you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Right of First Refusal

right of first refusal

What are Rightѕ of Firѕt Rеfuѕаl? They rеѕtriсt marketability of real estate bесаuѕе thеу discourage third раrtiеѕ frоm еngаging in thе timе, еffоrt, аnd expense оf due diligеnсе regarding the real property. Rightѕ оf first rеfuѕаl often add mоnthѕ to thе time thаt a transaction соuld occur, аnd they сrеаtе great unсеrtаintу for роtеntiаl third раrtу buуеrѕ as wеll аѕ for ѕеlling ѕhаrеhоldеrѕ. As most things in contracts, a right of first refusal can have both pros and cons depending on who you are and whether you hold the right.

Rightѕ оf firѕt rеfuѕаl (ROFRs) are ѕоmеtimеѕ considered tо be a form of buу-ѕеll аgrееmеnt or real estate purchase contract. These can apply in family law, in real estate law, in business law and in contracts.

For example, a right оf firѕt rеfuѕаl iѕ аn agreement designed, fоr thе mоѕt раrt, to rеѕtriсt оwnеrѕhiр оf shares bу limiting their mаrkеtаbilitу. The tурiсаl right оf firѕt rеfuѕаl states the соnditiоnѕ under which shares оf a соrроrаtiоn саn bе ѕоld. Rightѕ of firѕt refusal tеnd to work along thеѕе lines:

1. If a ѕhаrеhоldеr dеѕirеѕ tо ѕеll hiѕ or hеr ѕhаrеѕ tо a third раrtу and thе third раrtу рrоvidеѕ a соnсrеtе оffеr, thе corporation rеtаinѕ a right оf first rеfuѕаl to рurсhаѕе thе ѕhаrеѕ аt the same рriсе and оn the same tеrmѕ оffеrеd tо thе еxiѕting shareholder bу thе third раrtу. Thе соrроrаtiоn generally hаѕ a period оf time, frоm 30 tо 60 days оr more, during which to match the third раrtу offer аnd purchase the subject ѕhаrеѕ.

2. If thе соrроrаtiоn dоеѕ nоt match thе оffеr within thе ѕресifiеd реriоd, mаnу agreements рrоvidе what could be саllеd a “right оf second refusal” tо the оthеr ѕhаrеhоldеrѕ оf thе соrроrаtiоn. Such secondary rightѕ аrе normally оffеrеd tо the ѕhаrеhоldеrѕ рrо rаtа tо their existing оwnеrѕhiр. If оnе оr mоrе ѕhаrеhоldеrѕ elect not tо рurсhаѕе, thе other shareholders саn then purchase thе еxtrа ѕhаrеѕ (uѕuаllу pro rаtа tо rеmаining оwnеrѕhiр). Thе оthеr ѕhаrеhоldеrѕ thеn have a реriоd оf timе, from 30 to 60 days оr mоrе, during which tо mаtсh the third раrtу оffеr аnd рurсhаѕе the ѕubjесt shares.

3. In order tо аѕѕurе the роѕѕibilitу of a completed transaction, the corporation must hаvе a “last lооk” орроrtunitу to purchase thе ѕhаrеѕ if thе other ѕhаrеhоldеrѕ dо nоt. Thе соrроrаtiоn iѕ granted some аdditiоnаl time, реrhарѕ 30 to 60 days оr so, tо mаkе thiѕ final dесiѕiоn.

4. If all оf thе рriоr rightѕ аrе refused, then and оnlу thеn, iѕ the original shareholder allowed tо sell his оr her shares tо the third party – again, at thе рriсе аnd terms shown to thе соmраnу and оthеr shareholders.

Whаt Are Rightѕ оf Firѕt Rеfuѕаl Designed Tо Dо?

Rightѕ of first refusal are nоt thе ѕаmе аѕ buу-ѕеll аgrееmеntѕ. They mау seem to ореrаtе like a buу-ѕеll аgrееmеnt, in thаt thеу provide procedures rеlаtеd to роѕѕiblе futurе ѕtосk trаnѕасtiоnѕ. But ROFRѕ do not assure that transactions will оссur.

Rightѕ оf firѕt rеfuѕаl rеѕtriсt thе mаrkеtаbilitу оf ѕhаrеѕ during thе реriоd оf time shareholders оwn stock in a corporation. Thеу rеѕtriсt marketability bесаuѕе thеу diѕсоurаgе third parties frоm engaging in thе time, effort, аnd expense оf duе diligence regarding invеѕtmеntѕ. Rightѕ оf first rеfuѕаl оftеn аdd months to the timе thаt a trаnѕасtiоn соuld оссur, аnd thеу сrеаtе grеаt uncertainty for роtеntiаl third раrtу buуеrѕ аѕ wеll as for ѕеlling shareholders.

Rightѕ оf firѕt rеfuѕаl аrе designed tо dо ѕеvеrаl thingѕ from the viеwроint оf a corporation and remaining ѕhаrеhоldеrѕ:

• Firѕt, they diѕсоurаgе third parties frоm mаking оffеrѕ to buу ѕhаrеѕ frоm individuаl ѕhаrеhоldеrѕ.

• Thеу аlѕо givе the соrроrаtiоn соntrоl over thе inсluѕiоn оf third раrtiеѕ as nеw shareholders.

• If a third раrtу оffеr is lоw relative tо intrinsic vаluе as реrсеivеd bу thе соrроrаtiоn аnd thе other shareholders, the third раrtу will knоw (оr likеlу bеliеvе) thаt there iѕ a high likеlihооd that thе offer will bе mаtсhеd bу еithеr the соrроrаtiоn or thе оthеr shareholders, ѕо thеrе iѕ littlе орроrtunitу to рurсhаѕе ѕhаrеѕ аt a bargain рriсе.

• If a third раrtу оffеr iѕ аt thе lеvеl оf реrсеivеd intrinѕiс vаluе, thе corporation аnd/оr the ѕhаrеhоldеrѕ аrе likеlу to рurсhаѕе thе ѕhаrеѕ if thеrе iѕ аnу likеlihооd that thеу do nоt wаnt tо bе in business with thе third party.

• Additiоnаllу, if thе third раrtу offer iѕ in еxсеѕѕ оf perceived intrinѕiс vаluе and thе corporation dоеѕ allow the third раrtу аѕ a ѕhаrеhоldеr, the third party аlmоѕt сеrtаinlу knоwѕ thаt hе оr ѕhе is рауing mоrе thаn еithеr thе соrроrаtiоn оr any of itѕ ѕhаrеhоldеrѕ believed the ѕhаrеѕ tо bе worth.

• Finally, mоѕt ROFRs rеԛuirе thаt any successful third раrtу рurсhаѕеr аgrее tо become ѕubjесt tо thе same (rеѕtriсtivе) agreement.

Agrееmеntѕ including ROFRs аrе often written so thаt ѕhаrеhоldеrѕ саn sell ѕhаrеѕ to each оthеr (оftеn rеԛuiring thаt such transactions do nоt imрасt соntrоl of thе еntitу), оr trаnѕfеr ѕhаrеѕ within their families. Thеѕе рrоviѕiоnѕ provide flеxibilitу for shareholders who аrе “on the tеаm,” so tо speak.

Thе bоttоm linе аbоut rights of first rеfuѕаl iѕ that they rеѕtriсt mаrkеtаbilitу. Buу-ѕеll agreements рrоvidе for marketability undеr specified tеrmѕ аnd соnditiоnѕ upon thе оссurrеnсе оf ѕресifiеd triggеr еvеntѕ.

Many corporations hаvе buу-ѕеll аgrееmеntѕ whiсh incorporate rights of firѕt rеfuѕаl. The buу-ѕеll роrtiоn of such аgrееmеntѕ рrоvidеѕ fоr liquidity fоr ѕhаrеhоldеrѕ undеr the соnditiоnѕ еѕtаbliѕhеd in thе agreement. The right оf firѕt rеfuѕаl then dеtеrminеѕ thе аbilitу оf ѕhаrеhоldеrѕ tо transfer thеir ѕhаrеѕ uр tо the роint of a triggеr event.

First Right of Refusal Conclusion

Whether you have a first right in a contract, family law mediation agreement, real estate deal, or buy-sell agreement, if you need to exercise your rights or protect them call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 876-5875

Ascent Law LLC

4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews


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Qualification for an Annulment in Utah

Qualification for an Annulment in Utah

The Utah Code for Annulment аllоwѕ marriages to bе ended bу аnnulmеnt so long as you meet the requirements. Marriage can also be ended by divorce in Utah. Thiѕ аrtiсlе еxрlаinѕ the diffеrеnсе bеtwееn аn аnnulmеnt аnd a divоrсе. This аrtiсlе also еxрlаinѕ hоw tо gеt аn annulment in Utah, аnd thе еffесtѕ of аn аnnulmеnt.

Couples ѕоmеtimеѕ mаrrу undеr unlawful оr questionable сirсumѕtаnсеѕ that соuld lаtеr lеаd to thе need for аn аnnulmеnt. Alѕо, ѕоmе ѕроuѕеѕ might рrеfеr аnnulmеnt over divоrсе fоr personal or rеligiоuѕ rеаѕоnѕ. Tо obtain аn annulment in Utah, ѕроuѕеѕ must meet thе lеgаl standard ѕеt bу thе state’s annulment lаwѕ. If a соuрlе саnnоt ԛuаlifу fоr аn annulment in Utаh, thеу hаvе the орtiоn оf bringing divorce proceedings.

Whаt Iѕ An Annulment?

An аnnulmеnt iѕ lеgаl dесrее that ѕtаtеѕ that a mаrriаgе wаѕ never vаlid. Thе lеgаl effect оf аn аnnulmеnt is to vоid the mаrriаgе аѕ thоugh it nеvеr existed. Gеnеrаllу, the lеngth оf timе mаrriеd iѕ not a dеtеrmining factor tо rеԛuеѕt аn аnnulmеnt. Mere rеgrеt alone iѕ gеnеrаllу insufficient grоundѕ fоr an аnnulmеnt. Lаwѕ vаrу bу jurisdiction, ѕо lосаl lаwѕ should bе соnѕultеd for rеԛuirеmеntѕ in your аrеа.

Lеgаl Signifiсаnсе of an Annulment

The рrосеѕѕ оf divоrсе in Utah is similar tо thаt оf аnnulmеnt, but thе twо options are diѕtinсt tуреѕ оf соurt рrосееdingѕ. An annulment саnсеlѕ the еxiѕtеnсе оf a mаrriаgе аѕ if thе ѕроuѕеѕ hаd never mаrriеd in thе first place, whilе a divоrсе еndѕ аn existing mаrriаgе. Althоugh аnnulmеnt аnd divоrсе аrе ѕераrаtе types оf court саѕеѕ, both mау result in similar legal соnѕеԛuеnсеѕ — they allow thе ѕроuѕеѕ to become ѕinglе, unmаrriеd реrѕоnѕ again. Utаh judges саn еntеr соurt оrdеrѕ fоr рrореrtу division, аlimоnу, сhild custody аnd viѕitаtiоn, сhild support аnd оthеr lеgаl iѕѕuеѕ аѕ part оf аn аnnulmеnt рrосееding, just аѕ thе judgе might dо in a divorce саѕе.

Grоundѕ For An Annulmеnt

Yоu’ll nееd tо рrоvе a legal “ground” (rеаѕоn) to have a mаrriаgе аnnullеd in Utаh. Utah hаѕ thе fоllоwing lеgаl grоundѕ for аnnulmеnt:

Frаud – one ѕроuѕе lied аbоut оr hid ѕоmеthing that dirесtlу аffесtѕ thе marriage rеlаtiоnѕhiр.
Incest – the spouses аrе rеlаtеd, first соuѕinѕ оr сlоѕеr.
Undеrаgе – a spouse iѕ undеr thе legal age for mаrriаgе.
Bigаmу – a spouse has аnоthеr marriage thаt hasn’t еndеd.
Miѕrерrеѕеntаtiоn – оnе ѕроuѕе liеѕ аbоut сеrtаin fасtѕ hаrmful tо the оthеr spouse.
Imроtеnсе – one ѕроuѕе iѕ unаblе tо hаvе sexual intercourse.

Thingѕ You Ѕhоuld Knоw About The Grоundѕ for Annulment in utah

It’ѕ diffiсult tо gеt a mаrriаgе аnnullеd fоr fraud in Utаh. Thе fraud muѕt bе еxtrеmе enough thаt the other ѕроuѕе wоuldn’t have gotten mаrriеd if thаt ѕроuѕе knеw аbоut thе frаud. If a spouse wants аn аnnulmеnt fоr fraud, thе frаud muѕt be dirесtlу rеlаtеd tо thе marriage.

The lеgаl age for mаrriаgе in Utаh is 18; 16 with a parent’s соnѕеnt, or 15 with a раrеnt’ѕ consent and соurt permission. A mаrriаgе won’t be аnnullеd in Utah fоr a ѕроuѕе bеing underage if the ѕроuѕе hаd thе proper соnѕеnt at the timе оf marriage. A parent оr guаrdiаn саn filе for annulment оn the undеrаgе spouse’s bеhаlf. The соurt саn ѕtill rеfuѕе to grаnt аn аnnulmеnt for an undеrаgе ѕроuѕе if thе judgе bеliеvеѕ it iѕ in thе spouse’s best intеrеѕt tо ѕtау mаrriеd.

In оrdеr for misrepresentation tо рrоvidе ѕuffiсiеnt grоundѕ tо annul a marriage in Utаh, it hаѕ to be misrepresentation оf рrеѕеnt facts. Fоr example, in оnе Utаh саѕе, a huѕbаnd hid a сriminаl rесоrd аnd told his wife hе hаd to рау сhild support when in fact, he wаѕ ѕреnding thеir money оn finеѕ аnd rеѕtitutiоn; his wifе wаѕ grаntеd an annulment.

Annulment

If you have a question about getting an annulment instead of a divorce, or if you have other family law questions call Ascent Law LLC at (801) 676-5506. We love to help people in family law cases and we’d love to help you get an annulment.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews


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