AREAS OF PRACTICE

Utah Family Law & Divorce Attorney

Whether you are contemplating divorce, separation, adoption, or protecting your parental rights or guardianship, legal matters will almost always be involved. Having a Utah divorce and family law attorney will help you sort through these important issues and protect those things most important to you.

Call us for a free initial consultation, and we can help you move on with your life!

Here at Anderson & Rogers, we cover a wide variety of domestic and family law matters:

DIVORCE

Divorce can be a complicated and emotionally draining situation if not handled by a professional. Working with a Utah divorce attorney at Anderson & Rogers will ensure that you are being represented fairly. Our attorneys will attempt to lighten your burden through the divorce process and walk you through the legal proceedings.

Spousal Misconduct

Engaging in spousal misconduct before a divorce suit can negatively affect the prospective property division, distribution of spousal support, and even attorney fees. Spousal misconduct can include adultery, addiction to drugs or alcohol, domestic violence, cruel or inhuman treatment, economic fault, hiding or dissipating marital assets, or accruing substantial debt or obligations for which another party may be liable.

  1. The relationship is no longer viable.
  2. Irreconcilable differences have caused an irreparable breakdown in the marriage.
  3. Discord, conflict, and other major personality differences are preventing any reasonable possibility of reconciliation in a marriage.
  4. The marriage is broken.

No-fault Divorce

Many states, including Utah, have enacted no-fault divorce statutes. In these cases, no proof of spousal misconduct needs to be presented to the court; instead, the court needs only to come to one of four possible conclusions:

LEGAL SEPARATION

Legal separation is a step taken by many couples considering divorce in which they yield their rights of cohabitation. And while hiring a Utah divorce lawyer is not required to file a legal separation, working out the terms of a separation can be complicated. Couples need court orders to establish temporary provisions concerning the terms of the new living arrangement (Custody, temporary use and possession of a home, child support, alimony, debt division, etc.).

ENFORCEMENT for DIVORCE DECREES and OTHER COURT ORDERS

When divorce has become the only viable option, you need a divorce decree to officially and legally dissolve the marriage relationship. If you need to make modifications to your new arrangement under the Decree or other Court Order, or simply need help enforcing the terms of your divorce, the legal professionals at Anderson & Rogers can help.

Enforcing Court Orders

When there is a breach in the terms of the Decree of Divorce, Order of Parentage, or other order of the Court, it’s important for the non-breaching party to take the proper steps to enforce those terms. A skilled Utah divorce attorney will help you fill out the proper paperwork, identify the facts of the case, and work with the court (as well as the violating party, or their attorney if they have an attorney) to ensure that the terms are being enforced fairly and swiftly.

Modifying Court Orders

Occasionally, you may find it necessary to adjust the terms of your Decree of Divorce, Order of Parentage, or other order of the Court, particularly if small children are involved. Occasionally, amending the court orders surrounding your divorce or legal proceedings may not be as simple as notifying the court and the other party; sometimes, your action may require legal defense or other formal action before the Court.

PATERNITY and PARENTAGE LAWSUITS

When divorce has become the only viable option, you need a divorce decree to officially and legally dissolve the marriage relationship. If you need to make modifications to your new arrangement under the Decree or other Court Order, or simply need help enforcing the terms of your divorce, the legal professionals at Anderson & Rogers can help.

Reasons to Establish Paternity or Parentage

In paternity and parentage cases, the court makes official orders that determine who a child’s legal parents are. When the child’s biological parents are married at the time of birth, the law assumes that the husband is the father and the wife is the mother; however, in cases involving unmarried parents, establishing parentage requires an Order of Parentage from the Court. Same-sex couples wanting to establish parentage should consult a Utah family law attorney from Anderson & Rogers for sound legal advice.

CUSTODY

In custody battles, the Court’s primary purpose is to reach a decision in the best interest of the child. The Court takes several considerations into account, including the parents’ wishes, their fitness as parents, and the child’s relationship with either parent, siblings, or other significant persons. The Court will also review the different aspects of the child’s environment, such as the home, community, and school the child would be placed in, before assigning custody. Working with a skilled Utah divorce attorney from Anderson & Rogers will assist a parent or parents to help ensure that the child’s best interests are both met and preserved.

Types of Custody

  1. Physical Custody: Establishes with whom a child primarily resides.
  2. Legal Custody: Establishes a parent’s decision-making authority regarding major decisions affecting a minor child, and typically provides both parents with equal access to medical, religious, school, and other important records.

The parent or guardian who is given custody rights makes the decisions concerning the child’s education, religious upbringing, and healthcare; however, depending on the situation, the Court can award physical and legal custody in a number of different ways:

  1. Temporary: Custody may be awarded on a temporary basis during the divorce or separation or parentage proceedings.
  2. Exclusive or Sole: One parent or guardian may be awarded primary custody rights; however, short of parental right termination, such an award does not typically exclude the other parent from parenting time, or providing input on decisions affecting minors.
  3. Joint: Parents may be granted shared custody rights, and share responsibility for parenting time with the child, and decision-making for the benefit of the minor children.
  4. Split: Parents may request to divide the children between them.
  5. Third-Party: Sometimes, a third party (such as a grandparent or close relative) may be awarded custody if the other two parties are deemed unfit, and not key to the child’s best interests.

CHILD VISITATION AND PARENTING TIME

When a parent is awarded exclusive or sole custody rights of the child, the non-custodial parent still has the right to see and visit the child (except in extreme circumstances). If visitation and parenting rights are not explicitly stated, the law implies these rights. But if certain provision or restrictions need to be worked out in Decree of Divorce or Parentage Order, a Utah family law attorney from Anderson & Rogers will work with you every step of the way.

PROPERTY/ASSET/DEBT DIVISION AND SETTLEMENT

In a divorce settlement or separation agreement, both parties need to come to an agreement on how to divide their property, assets, and debts equally and fairly. The legal professionals at Anderson & Rogers will help you organize your assets and debts and work with you, the opposing party’s legal counsel, as well as the Court, in establishing an equitable or agreeable division. The process of such division requires the following steps:

  • Characterization of Property or Liabilities: In a divorce settlement or property/debt distribution, properties and liabilities fall into one of two categories. They are either marital (acquired or commingled during the marriage) or separate (owned prior to the marriage or received via gift or inheritance).
  • Valuation of Assets and Liabilities: Often, opposing parties will have different opinions on the value of an asset or liability. Consequently, if parties cannot agree upon these valuations, a third party may need to be involved in deciding an asset’s value or the scope of a liability.
  • Division of Assets: If you are unable to come to an agreement on your marital settlement, it will likely be necessary to take your case to trial, and the court will divide your debts and assets for you.

If you and the opposing party disagree on the value or something, or whether a possession or debt is considered marital or separate, you will want the help of a Utah divorce attorney from Anderson & Rogers.

CHILD SUPPORT AND ALIMONY

In a divorce, separation, or parentage case, both parents are legally responsible to provide financial support for their children. Sometimes in a divorce, one spouse may request alimony payments from the other spouse for additional support. And while you are not required to hire a lawyer for child support or alimony, determining and assigning this financial support or obligation can be complicated. A qualified Utah divorce attorney from Anderson & Rogers will discuss your options with you, keeping not only your best interests, but also the child’s best interests at heart.

Child Support

The amount that each parent needs to pay for child support is dependent upon many factors, namely the number of children, the adjusted gross income of both parents (whether or not a parent will be imputed or assigned an outcome) and the custody arrangement. These factors are then run through a formula, and the amount each parent needs to pay is calculated. Any changes to these terms will affect the amount of child support paid by the parents, which then should be documented and submitted to the Court as a final or temporary support order.

Alimony

Alimony is also known as spousal support, and is typically a factor in many divorce cases—particularly those divorce cases involving long-term marriages. Alimony can be awarded for any length of time, but such an award is usually limited to the length of the marriage; however some scenarios require alimony to be paid either beyond the length of the marriage, or terminated earlier. Early termination of alimony payments is based upon the cohabitation or remarriage of the receiving spouse, the death of either party, or an agreement between the parties as part of a settlement.

Alimony is based upon several factors:

  • The age of each spouse
  • How long the couple was married
  • Each spouse’s earning potential
  • Each spouse’s ability to pay in light of necessary and ongoing monthly expenses
  • How much each spouse has contributed to the marriage
  • Any spousal misconduct
  • And more

MEDIATION

Taking your case to court can be a lengthy, stressful, and expensive process. Mediation is an alternative process that encourages collaboration, and can be much faster than the litigation process. The Utah family law attorneys at Anderson & Rogers provide mediation services for disputing parties that want to avoid the expenses and potential hostility often associated with the courtroom. Mediation provides a legally safe venue where the parties, not the Court, can decide the terms of how their divorce (including custody and parenting time) will be finalized.

ADOPTIONS

While adoption is a great way to enrich and expand your family life, the laws surrounding adoption can be quite complicated. There are a variety of different types of adoptions:

  • Step-parent adoptions
  • Agency adoptions
  • Private adoptions
  • Open adoptions

The Utah family law attorneys from Anderson & Rogers will explain the dynamics of these types of adoption, and discuss the various laws surrounding them. We will navigate the adoption process with you, and provide the necessary resources to make it run as smoothly as possible. We will also assess the risks involved, and make sure that the rights of the adopting parents or parent, the birth parents, and the children are being preserved.

CONTACT US

801.768.7070