Family Law Covers Many Areas
Family law is a very complex area, and may involve many other different areas of law. For example, there may be federal tax, bankruptcy, Hague convention, relocation, child custody, competing jurisdiction, retirement account, survivor benefit, qualified domestic relations orders, parent visitation, child support, alimony, or decree modification issues involved in a family law case – to name some of the more common subject areas.
Both Utah statutes (laws passed by the Utah legislature), and Utah cases (decided by the Utah Supreme Court and Utah Court of Appeals) constitute the law in this subject area. Additionally, local judges may interpret these legal authorities differently, have a different frame of reference, and/or there may be local customs or ways of applying the law that are unique to a particular community. Therefore, it is best to hire a skilled lawyer if you have a family law case.
Guardianship cases involve getting the court to appoint a third person to manage an incompetent person’s affairs. There may be a conflict between prospective guardians for appointment or by the purported ward.
Adoption is a complex area. I only represent clients in step-parent adoptions. These cases can be simple if the parent relinquishing parental rights consents to adoption. Otherwise, the case will require a trial.
Protective orders can be obtained by cohabitants when abuse, or crimes of domestic violence take place in a residence. They usually can be obtained fairly quickly and easily, but there is at least one hearing before a Hearing Commissioner that is required to determine whether a temporary protective order should remain in place.
DCFS cases involve the abuse or neglect of children. A person who suspects the abuse or neglect of a child is under an obligation by Utah statute to report the suspected abuse to the Department of Child and Family Services immediately. Failure to do so is a basis for prosecution.
All of these subject areas and others are addressed in greater detail in other parts of this web site.