Utah Code 78A-6-513

Utah Code 78A-6-513

Effect Of Decree

1. An order for the termination of the parent-child legal relationship divests the child and the parents of all legal rights, powers, immunities, duties, and obligations with respect to each other, except the right of the child to inherit from the parent.

2. An order or decree entered pursuant to this part may not disentitle a child to any benefit due him from any third person, including, but not limited to, any Indian tribe, agency, state, or the United States.

3. Except as provided in Sections 78A-6-1401 through 78A-6-1404 , after the termination of a parent-child legal relationship, the former parent is neither entitled to any notice of proceedings for the adoption of the child nor has any right to object to the adoption or to participate in any other placement proceedings.

When parents separate or divorce, care for the children must continue. If the parents cannot agree on a plan for raising the children, the court will order a plan or decide matters concerning their health and welfare. Often this includes making decisions about how much time the child will spend with each parent and which parent will be the primary caregiver. In some situations, unmarried parents, relatives or other persons also may ask the court for custody or parenting time. In each case, the court’s decision is based on the child’s best interests.

Custody is a legal term referring to the right of a person to make decisions about the care and welfare of a child (for example, decisions about education, health care and religious training). The parent with custody is often called the “custodial parent.” In many cases, the child lives with the custodial parent most of the time. The law does not favor one form of custody over another, nor do they base their decisions on the sex of the parent.

Parenting Time

Parenting time (also sometimes called “access,” “contact,” “residential time,” or “visitation”) is a legal term referring to the opportunity for the child to spend time with the parent who does not have sole legal custody. This parent is often called the “non-custodial parent.”
Custody and parenting time problems arise most often when parents ask the court for dissolution of the marriage (divorce) or a legal separation. However, custody problems may also arise between parents who have never been married or who no longer live together. Custody and parenting time problems do not go away after the divorce is final. In these situations, parents sometimes disagree about who makes decisions affecting the child’s health, welfare and education, where the child lives and how much parenting time a non-custodial parent has. Parents may agree between themselves about custody or parenting time; however, if the parents cannot agree and if the Arizona legal system becomes involved (for example, when a parent asks the court for a divorce), only the Superior Court may decide these issues.

Sole Custody

This means that one person has sole legal custody of a child. In this situation, the court orders that one parent be responsible for making the major decisions regarding the child’s care or welfare. Although both parents may discuss these matters, the parent designated by the court has authority to make final decisions in the event the parents do not agree.

Joint Custody

This means joint legal custody or joint physical custody or both. In most cases, in order to obtain an order for joint custody, both parents must agree to and submit a written parenting plan to the court.

Legal Custody

Legal custody is the status where one or both parents are responsible for making the major decisions regarding the child’s care or welfare. When legal custody is awarded to one parent, it is called sole legal custody. The law does not favor one form of custody over another.

Joint Legal Custody

When the court grants joint legal custody, each of the parents has the same rights to make decisions about the child’s care and welfare and neither parent’s rights are superior to those of the other parent. In the best interest of the child, the court may direct that certain decisions be made by only one parent, even when joint legal custody is granted. The court may order joint legal custody without ordering joint physical custody.

Joint Physical Custody

When the court grants joint physical custody, the place where the child lives (the child’s physical residence) is shared between the parents in a way that the child will have essentially equal time and contact with both parents. Joint physical custody may be granted in situations where parents share joint legal custody or when one parent is granted sole custody.

Procedure For Getting A Custody Order

The court may grant a custody order only in certain kinds of cases. Most often, custody is determined when the parents are seeking a legal separation or divorce, or when parents are asking the court to change a custody decision that was made in an earlier separation or divorce case. Custody also may be ordered when one parent starts a court case to decide paternity (or maternity) of a child.

When a parent starts a court case for legal separation or divorce and the parents cannot agree about child custody, custody automatically becomes an issue for the court to decide. These court decisions are made in temporary orders hearings and in final trial if the parties are unable to reach agreement. After a decree of legal separation or divorce has been granted, the court still has authority to change (modify) an earlier custody order.
Either parent may request in writing that the court modify a custody order. To change an existing order it must be shown that the best interests of the child are served. The request is filed with the Clerk of the Superior Court and a fee for filing is charged; however, there are limitations on requesting a modification. For example, a request may not be filed for one year from the date of the earlier order, unless there are special circumstances seriously endangering the child’s physical, mental, emotional or moral health.

If a form of joint custody has been ordered, a modification may be requested at any time if there is evidence that domestic violence, spousal abuse or child abuse has occurred since the date the last order was granted. In a joint custody situation, a parent must wait six months before seeking a modification if the reason for the request is that one parent has failed to obey the court’s custody order.

If there is a dispute about custody, the court sometimes refers the parents to internal court mediation services. This process gives the parents an opportunity to reach an agreement regarding custody and related issues; however, if the parents are unable to agree on custody, the court will decide for them. Sometimes the court seeks professional advice from outside experts who evaluate the family situation or offer an opinion about custody. In some situations, the court also may order an investigation by a social service or other agency. In every case, the court must decide custody based on a determination of the best interests of the child. Usually it is best if parents can agree on decisions about raising children after a legal separation or divorce. The court usually accepts the parents’ mutual decision, but the court’s decision about custody must be made in the best interests of the child. After review of the agreement’s terms, the duty imposed on the court by law may require that the court not accept the parents’ agreement.

State law provides guidance to the courts by listing factors that the court should consider. These include such things as the wishes of the parents, the child’s wishes, how the child interacts with each parent and any other children in the family, the health of each person involved, the child’s adjustment to home, school and community, which parent primarily has provided care for the child in the past and which parent is more likely to allow the child to have frequent and meaningful contact with the other parent. The court also must consider whether there has been domestic violence in the family, drug or alcohol use by a parent or other circumstances that may endanger the child’s physical, mental, emotional or moral health. The court will presume that an award of custody to a parent who committed an act of domestic violence is contrary to the child’s best interests.

If the parents request joint legal custody, they also must submit to the court a written plan (parenting plan) indicating how they will cooperate to raise and care for the child. The court may order joint legal custody without ordering joint physical custody. The court also may order joint legal custody even if one parent objects. The court’s decision will be made in the best interests of the child. A parent who is required to relocate in less than 60 days must be a parent with joint physical custody and have the agreement of both parents or a court order allowing the move of the child. If agreement cannot be reached in the situation of required relocation in less than 60 days, the moving parent must file a request with the court.

The term “reasonable parenting time” means time spent with a child that is average for most cases. Although the term has sometimes been used in parenting plans and even in court orders, parenting time decisions depend on the circumstances of each family, considering the child’s age and development. When parenting time is described only as “reasonable,” it is difficult to predict when or for how long parenting time periods should occur. When preparing an agreement or parenting plan, it is recommended that parents specifically decide when and for how long parenting time periods will be, including how to handle and allocate special occasions like vacations, school breaks, birthdays and holidays so that both parents are considered. Parents are free to agree on the best parenting time plan for their child. If parents cannot agree, or if their agreement is not working, court action may be necessary. Remember, only the Superior Court can decide parenting time matters and issue an order that can be enforced if disagreements arise or if one parent does not honor the parenting time schedule.

As with custody, the court may grant a parenting time order only in certain kinds of cases. Most frequently, parenting time is determined when the parents are seeking a legal separation or divorce, or when parents are asking the court to change a parenting time decision that was made in an earlier separation or divorce case. Parenting time may also be ordered when one parent starts a court case to decide paternity (or maternity) of a child or after a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. When a parent starts a court case for legal separation or divorce, child custody and parenting time automatically become issues for the court to decide if the parents cannot agree. After a decree of legal separation or divorce has been granted, the court still has authority to change (modify) an earlier parenting time order. Either parent may request in writing that the court decide what parenting time should be. The request is filed with the Clerk of the Superior Court and a filing fee is charged. If there is a dispute about parenting time, the court sometimes refers the parents to court mediation services. This process gives the parents an opportunity to reach an agreement regarding parenting time and related issues. However, if the parties are unable to agree on parenting time, the court must decide for them. Sometimes the court seeks professional advice to evaluate the family situation or offer an opinion about parenting time.

When making its decision, the court will consider many factors, for example, the age and health of the child, the time each parent has available from work or other obligations, the distance between the parents’ homes, the child’s school schedule and the suitability of living conditions in each parent’s home.

If one parent violates a parenting time order, the other parent cannot deny parenting time, stop paying support or take other self-created action to punish the violating parent (to do so also would violate the court order). Instead, the court should be asked for help. To do this, a parent must file a written request for enforcement with the Clerk of the Superior Court and pay a filing fee. A hearing before the court may be necessary if the matter cannot be resolved.

When a parent files a request for help in enforcing a parenting time order, state law requires the court to take quick action. There are several remedies the court can use to deal with the violating parent. Some of these remedies may include ordering parenting time to make up for missed sessions, ordering the violating parent to attend education classes or counseling and finding the violating parent in contempt of court and ordering monetary fines

The legal process of emancipation can be confusing depending on your state’s laws and the type of parental status involved. Whether a biological parent or stepparent, many times a minor seeking emancipation will need legal advice. To fully understand the emancipation process, including parental rights and responsibilities, you may wish to contact a local family law attorney who can help answer your questions.

Utah Code 78A-6-513 Lawyer

When you need a lawyer to assist you with family law, termination of parental rights, and more, 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


Recent Posts

Utah Code 78A-6-512

Military Divorce

Drug Distribution And Manufacturing Defense Attorneys

Lawyers In Herriman Utah

Terms Of Use Terminology

Automobiles And Bankruptcy

Ascent Law St. George Utah Office

Ascent Law Ogden Utah Office

Family Lawyer Heber City Utah





Family Lawyer Heber City Utah

Someone first receives official notice that he has been sued by receiving the plaintiff’s complaint and an accompanying summons from the court. The summons typically directs the now-defendant to answer the complaint, but the defendant actually has a number of different ways of responding to being sued. If you have been served with a summons in a family dispute, contact an experienced Heber Utah family lawyer.

First, the defendant can simply ignore the whole thing. If the defendant in a criminal case fails to answer a summons or appear for trial, the police can go out and arrest her. Not so in a civil case. But that doesn’t mean that anyone can just ignore a complaint. The sanction for failing to respond to the complaint is that the plaintiff can get the court to enter a default against the defendant. A default prevents the defendant from subsequently entering any defenses on the merits of the case, and the plaintiff can proceed to get a default judgment that concludes the case against the defendant and then can attempt to enforce it like any other judgment.

Sometimes a defendant may take the chance of ignoring a complaint and having a default judgment entered against it because the defendant doesn’t think the plaintiff will be willing or able to enforce the judgment. The second tack the defendant can take is to raise an objection to being sued that is unrelated to the merits of the case. The objection takes the form of a motion to dismiss. A motion is a formal request to the court, here to get rid of the case without ever reaching the substance of what happened.
Some of these objections are trivial. A defendant can say that there was a technical defect in the form of the summons or in the method of service of process, sending the complaint and summons by mail, for example, when personal service is required. If the plaintiff can cure the defect, in this case by personally serving the defendant, then the objection may delay the case but doesn’t halt it altogether. If the plaintiff cannot cure the defect because the defendant is unavailable to be served, then the defendant’s strategy may prevent the case from going forward at all.
A more important basis for a motion to dismiss is that the court lacks jurisdiction over the defendant or the case. Recall that a court can only render a binding judgment in a case when it has jurisdiction, or authority over the subject matter of the case and over the parties. If the defendant demonstrates that the court lacks jurisdiction, the court has no power to do anything other than officially recognize its lack of jurisdiction by dismissing the case.

The third move the defendant might make is to challenge the legal sufficiency of the plaintiff’s complaint. This procedure was classically known as a demurrer, and is today more commonly referred to as a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim or failure to state a cause of action. In such a motion to dismiss, the defendant argues that even if all of the facts that the plaintiff alleges are true, there is no legal basis for holding the defendant liable to the plaintiff. The motion therefore tests the strength of the plaintiff’s legal argument without getting into the facts underlying the dispute.

If the defendant has no basis for making a motion to dismiss the complaint, or if any motions to dismiss fail, the defendant finally has to meet the complaint on the merits of the case. The defendant does this by filing a pleading called an answer, which, obviously, answers the allegations made in the plaintiff’s complaint. The defendant can meet the plaintiff’s allegations in three ways, by saying “no” (denying that the allegations are true), “I don’t know” (disclaiming knowledge about the allegations), or “yes, but” (admitting the allegations but stating facts that would provide a defense to the plaintiff’s claims).

Ideally, a defendant might like to deny everything the plaintiff said in its complaint, thereby hiding all the information the defendant has about the case and putting the plaintiff to the trouble of proving every piece of information it needed to establish its claim. In former times and in a few jurisdictions today, the defendant could accomplish that through a general denial, which places into contention every allegation in the complaint. Most courts no longer permit a general denial, though, because in most cases it subverts the purposes of the pleadings and the goals of the procedural system. The pleading process is designed to help identify and narrow the issues that are in dispute. If the defendant, through a general denial, controverts an allegation that it knows to be true, an issue that could be excluded is raised unnecessarily.

Sometimes the defendant will admit that the essential elements of the plaintiff’s complaint may be true, but the defendant will argue that the complaint doesn’t tell the whole story. If so, in its answer, the plaintiff can raise an affirmative defense. A defense introduces a new factor that eliminates or reduces the defendant’s liability even if all of the elements of the plaintiff’s claim are established.

Often the defendant doesn’t know whether some of the plaintiff’s claims are true. In that case, the rules of civil procedure permit the defendant to say, in effect, “I don’t know.” This puts the issue into dispute and the plaintiff has to come up with its proof. Of course, the desire to promote candor and to define the disputed issues through the pleadings requires that the defendant really not know if the plaintiff’s allegation is true, and courts often extend that requirement to force the defendant to engage in a reasonable degree of investigation to ascertain the truth. If, for example, the allegation concerns some facts about what the defendant itself did, the defendant cannot profess lack of knowledge. Once again, the goal of the process is to efficiently define what the parties are really disputing about and what they can agree on.

Usually we think of a lawsuit as involving two people, the plaintiff and the defendant. But even an ordinary action may involve multiple parties. In addition to involving multiple parties, lawsuits often involve multiple claims.

Discovery

It would be possible to proceed to trial without each party finding out in advance what the other knows. But modern civil procedure uses a more open system in which each party has an extensive opportunity to unearth all of the facts relevant to the litigation during the pretrial stage of the litigation. To obtain information that is in the adversary’s possession, or that can be most easily obtained from the adversary even though it may be available elsewhere, a party can interview the other party under oath, called a deposition; submit written questions, called interrogatories; demand that documents or other physical evidence be produced; require the other party to submit to a physical examination; and ask the other party to admit the truth of facts relevant to the litigation.

A deposition is an oral examination of the other party or someone else with knowledge of the case. A deposition is like the examination of a witness at trial, in that it is conducted by an attorney, a verbatim record is made, and the witness is under oath; the key differences are that the examination is not conducted in front of a judge and there is no cross-examination. Instead, a court reporter swears in the witness and records the testimony. By taking someone’s deposition, an attorney can find out what that person knows in a flexible way; the answer to one question may open up a new line of inquiry. If the witness might testify in an adverse way at trial, the deposition pins down the testimony, allowing the attorney to develop contrary evidence or to use inconsistencies between the deposition testimony and subsequent testimony at trial. It also gives both attorneys a chance to assess how good the witness will be at trial–not only what she says, but how persuasive or credible she is.

The disadvantage of taking depositions is the expense. In a typical deposition, the attorneys for both sides will be present, running up their fees, and the court reporter must be paid, too. One way of reducing this cost is to submit written questions (interrogatories), to be answered under oath. All the attorney has to do is prepare and submit the interrogatories, not be present at a deposition; therefore, interrogatories can be much cheaper, especially because standard form interrogatories are often used for routine aspects of cases.

Interrogatories also place on the adversary the responsibility of ascertaining the facts needed to respond to the questions posed. The disadvantage of interrogatories, though, is that they are inflexible and not spontaneous. The answers often are crafted by the attorney for the responding party to be responsive but not particularly forthcoming, cryptic, and narrowly drawn to give no more information than is absolutely necessary. Nor can an attorney follow up on the answer to one question by asking another; the attorney has to anticipate all the questions that might be asked and include them in the original set of interrogatories.
In connection with depositions or interrogatories, or in a separate request, one party can demand that the other produce documents or other evidence.

Where someone’s physical or mental condition is at issue in the case, one party can ask the court to require them to submit to a medical examination. And a party must disclose whether it has retained an expert to testify at trial and what the expert will testify about.

Finally, where one party believes that some facts are undisputed, that party can request the other to admit that they are true, narrowing down the issues to be tried.

Pretrial discovery has significant advantages over a system of trial by surprise in achieving a fair and efficient process, and in promoting the values of the underlying substantive law. Simply at a practical level, it focuses the recollection of witnesses at an early stage and preserves information that otherwise might not be available at the time of trial. Because it typically takes years for a civil case to come to trial, witnesses may forget details about: events or may even die, and documents or other evidence may be lost or destroyed. Discovery comes well before trial, when recollections are fresher and evidence is more likely to still be available.

More importantly, through discovery the parties learn the contours of each others’ cases and clarify which issues actually are in controversy. This helps the parties to prepare for trial and negotiate a settlement because it narrows down what is involved in a case and gives them a sense of the strength and weakness of each party’s position.

Finally, discovery furthers the law’s substantive values by making it possible to bring actions or assert defenses that could not be done in the absence of full discovery, and by allowing the parties to bring out all of the evidence that might relate to the application of the relevant rules of law. Only when the parties discover and present at trial all of the evidence that bears on the case can the relevant rules of law be correctly applied.

These functions of discovery suggest that the scope of discovery–what information parties can discover and what tools they can use to obtain it–should be very broad, and in most court systems it is.

Seek the assistance of an experienced Utah family lawyer

As the defendant in a Utah family law dispute, there is a lot at stake. You should appear in the court on the date listed in the summons and defend the case against you. Utah family law is complex. Seek the assistance of an experienced Heber Utah family lawyer. The lawyer will review your case and advise you on your options. Never attempt to self defend yourself in order to save on attorney fees. It will prove costly.

Heber City Utah Family Law Attorney Free Consultation

When you need legal help from a Heber City Utah Family Law Attorney, please 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


Recent Posts

What Is A Tax Audit?

Probate Lawyer Midway Utah

Making A Will FAQs

What Contracts Are Required To Be In Writing?

How Much Child Support Is Right?

How Much Does It Cost To Trademark A Logo?