Utah Family Law Attorney
GET YOUR LIFE BACK
Find peace amidst your storm. Get through the worst of a bad situation and quickly find your new footing.
- Petition to Modify Name Change
- Stepparent Adoption
Whether you’re experiencing divorce, are seeking custody, or are negotiating a fair financial settlement; or you are celebrating the adoption of a child, attorney Peter Kern & Associates will help you navigate the often treacherous and complicated legal road associated with Utah family law. Discover that peace is possible as you create a fresh start. In the case of your family transitioning out of marriage, you can come through this experience without your lives being destroyed. If you are joyously awaiting finality of an adoption, we want to be your biggest ally.
Step 1: Acknowledge Your Need
If you are in the midst of a life transition, such as divorce, making the decision to receive legal help marks a new trajectory of strength and hope for the long days ahead.
Step 2: Schedule a Consultation
Reach out to schedule a consultation. Share a brief history, discover what to expect, go over pricing, and uncover where you are at in the case.
Step 3: Hire Peter Kern & Associates
Hire Peter Kern & Associates to handle the paperwork, scrutinize evidence, review statutes and precedents, manage communication with the court, and begin negotiations.
Step 4: Move Forward
Protect what is most important to you: protect your time with your children, negotiate a fair financial settlement, and avoid having to come back to modify.
DIVORCE – ADOPTION – PETITION TO MODIFY – NAME CHANGE
If you are facing divorce, you may have asked yourself one of these questions:
“Am I going to be able to recover from this divorce; financially, emotionally and physically?”
“Are my children going to have to be uprooted from their friends and school on top of everything else?”
“How much of my normal is going to be ripped out from underneath me?”
“What am I entitled to? How aggressively should I push against my ex-spouse?”
- In Your Experience, Is A Court-Ordered Modification Always The First Answer For Everyone When A Change To Parenting Time Or Child Support Is Necessary Or Should Parents Try And Work It Out On Their Own First?
- Are The Courts Going To Be More Apprehensive To Alter A Parenting Time Or Custody Order That Was Granted Just A Year Or So Previous To The Request To Modify?
- What Should I Do If I’m Served With Court Papers For A Modification Case?
- Why Don’t We Start, Peter, With Telling The Readers About Yourself And The Practice And Your Experience In Working In Family Law Specifically With Modifications In Utah?
- In Your Experience, When Custody and Support Orders Are Established, Do Most Parents Generally Walk Away Happy with The End Result of The Custody and Support, Or Is There Usually One Party or More That Aren’t Happy?
- What Changes In A Child’s Life Could Also Cause A Need For Support Or Custody Visitation Modification?
- What Is Considered A Material And Substantial Change In Custody Or Support Needs?
WHAT ARE THE REASONS PEOPLE IN UTAH SEEK TO MODIFY FAMILY COURT ORDERS?
There are a lot of reasons why people seek to modify their divorce decrees. One major reason is that they have been operating under the decree and realize that it is inadequate for their needs. It could be possible that the divorce decree was ambiguous. It is possible that the parties overlooked some important aspects that should have been covered while drafting and negotiating the contents of the decree. They could otherwise be unsatisfied with the way things have been going. It is also possible that modifications are needed in a divorce decree due to the aftermath of a significant and material change in circumstances. Read More
IF A PARENT EXPERIENCES A DECREASE IN INCOME AND CHILD SUPPORT WAS EVENTUALLY REDUCED, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE PAYER GETS A NEW JOB OR HIS OR HER INCOME INCREASES? DO WE HAVE TO GO BACK TO COURT? WILL IT BE A PROBLEM TO GET THE CHILD SUPPORT BACK TO THE ORIGINAL AMOUNT?
The process for changing child support is always going to be the same. The receiving party can return to court and ask for additional child support if the change in income and accompanying change in child support meets the threshold required under the law. Read More
HOW CAN I PROTECT MY INTERESTS PRIOR TO GOING THROUGH A DIVORCE?
You should meet with an attorney to figure out what exactly a divorce entails and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that no financial harm is done to you and that your marital estate isn’t suddenly dissipated by the other party. While the damage can generally be undone, it takes a long time to turn back the clock. To undo it, you need to have accurate and complete records, so that you can historically reconstruct what things looked like at any given time. To prevent that situation from happening, some protective measures to take are to cancel joint credit cards and formally separate from your spouse. Read More
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER ONE PARTY FILES FOR DIVORCE IN UTAH?
A divorce case is a tier-two domestic level case. Once you have drafted and filed your divorce, you have to serve it personally on the other party, which is generally done by having someone other than you or your attorney deliver the documents in person to the individual. You can also send them through certified mail, provided that the Respondent is the person who signs for them. After that, the Respondent has 21 days to file an answer in which they respond to your petition for divorce, letting the court know which paragraphs they agree with and which they disagree with. This identifies which issues are going to be contested. If they admit to some of the issues, those issues are no longer contested. Read More
HOW IS CUSTODY DETERMINED ONCE PARENTS ARE DIVORCED IN UTAH?
For custody, the court has only one concern, what is going to be in the best interests of the child or children. That is the only question the court is entitled to answer in justifying its award of custody. Under the Utah divorce code, there are about 25 factors that the court is explicitly empowered to consider as it weighs questions of custody. Some of them are obvious, like whether either parent abused the children or is unfit to be a parent because of excessive alcohol use or incarceration. Some are much more specific and hotly contested, like who participated more in raising the children during the divorce, the relative depth and desire for custody of each parent, and the type of bond that the children have with each parent. Some of them are practical concerns, like the proximity of the parents to each other, the ability to keep siblings together, and the ability of a parent to provide personal rather than surrogate care. Read More
WHO IS GENERALLY REQUIRED TO PAY ALIMONY OR SPOUSAL SUPPORT IN UTAH?
Unlike child support, alimony does not have a formula. The court has very broad discretion in what it can order. Unlike child support, there is not an automatic right to alimony, which means the court will sign off on a divorce decree in which the parties simply waive alimony. By contrast, a party will not be allowed to waive child support on behalf of their children except in rare circumstances. Read More
WHAT FACTORS DOES THE COURT CONSIDER DURING DIVISION OF PROPERTY IN A DIVORCE?
The principles behind the division of property are straightforward in Utah. The court needs to be equitable and fair and is empowered to consider virtually any information about why an even split isn’t equitable or fair. Legally, once married, everything that either spouse earns is owned 50/50 by both parties. The parties are free to decide how hard to fight over how much each item is worth. A lot of people do not put in that kind of work because they don’t think it would be worth it. Instead, they just split things up however they informally agree on it. Read More
Peter A. Kern, Utah Family Law Attorney
No one gets married intending to experience divorce. Most people are unprepared for it. The end of your relationship, especially after a decade or more of marriage, means making decisions about your children, home, and assets. Having legal representation in a divorce assures that you protect what’s most important to you and that it is done in a way that creates long-term viability.
The laws of Utah that govern divorcing individuals envision a fair and equitable division of the marital estate. For numerous reasons, this doesn’t end up happening in a lot of cases. The protections that the law affords are available to all litigants, whether or not they are represented by counsel. However, hiring an attorney, like Peter Kern, is the best way to ensure that your case doesn’t end up with an unfair and unjust outcome. In law, you don’t know what you don’t know, and oftentimes, the unfamiliar language and surroundings that accompany a court case can overwhelm an unrepresented individual. This makes them more likely to give in, give up, and walk away from assets or claims that they are legally entitled to receive or pursue.
Having an attorney also helps you avoid having to come back to modify your divorce decree. It is vital for you to get it right the first time, while the cement is wet, so to speak. A good divorce decree contemplates, anticipates, and incorporates potential changes to your circumstances as life goes on. Self-represented family law cases usually end up back in court, because their divorce decrees did not anticipate new circumstances that have now rendered their decree inoperable. These parties almost always hire an attorney the second time around. This is an unfortunate reality because it is harder to reopen a closed case and making modifications to existing decrees is harder than getting it right the first time. It’s going to be harder to get to litigation, and more challenging to get what you want. It is better to hire a qualified attorney on the first go around and solidify what’s best for you in the midst of a horrible situation. Read more about Peter Kern.
Request a Consultation
Worst Case Scenario: Self Representation
- Agree to give away financial assets you would have been entitled to receive.
- Once the divorce is final, discover the need to revisit the legal settlement, costing more money and upsetting what little stability had returned to your life.
- Make some of the most important decisions of your life without knowing what the law allows you to do.
- Lose parental time or custody rights.
Best Case Scenario: Qualified Attorney Support
- Protect your assets.
- Avoid having to come back to modify the divorce decree down the road.
- Know the law: Peter Kern & Associates provides you with the expertise to know what the courts do and don’t allow.
- Retain custody and parental rights.
- Keep time with your children intact.
Schedule your legal consultation now!