Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Family Law Archives

Talk to a family law attorney before walking down the aisle

Generally, a person may not think about talking to a family law attorney until they are considering divorce, changing a custody order or seeking to modify alimony or child support. However, Utah residents may be surprised to learn that consultations with a family law attorney prior to marriage can be a useful and even a money-saving step. After all, it is a much better time to handle asset and family decisions when both parties are amicable. And, one of the most important topics is the utility of a premarital agreement.

What can a prenuptial agreement do?

Sometimes prenuptial agreements are regarded as something for the wealthy or for those marrying for the second time or with children. While it is true prenuptial agreements can be beneficial for individuals and couples in those circumstances, prenuptial agreements can offer benefits for individuals in any circumstances. Couples considering one may wonder what prenuptial agreements do. Prenuptial agreements provide legal protections in circumstances of death and divorce.

The benefits of prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements can do many helpful things beyond simply protecting a wealthy spouse. It is a helpful tool for couples entering a marriage to be familiar with for a variety of reasons. In addition to protecting the assets of one party, prenuptial agreements can protect one party from assuming the debts of the other party; direct how property will be passed if one spouse dies; clarify rights and responsibilities of the spouses during marriage; and avoid lengthy and costly disputes in the event of divorce.

Can I modify a child custody order in Utah?

This blog has previously discussed post-divorce modifications to child support. In addition to modifications to child support orders, child custody modifications may also be needed following a divorce as life and circumstances change. Post-divorce modifications of child custody orders may be possible in certain circumstances but to begin with, it is helpful to understand the different types of child custody arrangements in Utah.

Understanding the impact of a paternity action

A determination of paternity has a number of important legal and emotional impacts for families. It can be an important to determine for child support and child custody purposes, as well as for purposes related to medical concerns or inheritance. A paternity action is a legal action to determine the legal identity of the father of a child. Paternity is determined by a DNA test that can be ordered by the court which will then legally establish the identity of the child's father.

Premarital agreements have many important uses

Premarital agreements serve a variety of important uses. In addition to the important purposes a prenuptial agreement can serve such as the protection of soon-to-be spouses and property, premarital, or prenuptial, agreements can also help protect families in circumstances of a second marriage and in circumstances of blended families. Premarital agreements can help protect assets but also can help control the distribution of property in circumstances of separation, divorce or death.

What is separate maintenance to pay alimony in Utah?

Not all marriages that end in Utah do so with a couple deciding to get a formal legal divorce. Along with that, there are certain family legal issues that are applicable to different types of situations. For example, certain cases can allow a spouse to request that alimony, property division, health care, custody, support of children and other factors that would arise at the end of a marriage be ordered without an actual divorce filing. This petition is for separate maintenance.

Family law and dividing marital debts after a divorce

When a Utah couple chooses to end a marriage, there are multiple legal issues that will come to the forefront. One that often recedes into the background but is important in its own right is how debts that were accrued during the marriage will be divided. Even if the other spouse purchased the property, both parties might be viewed as responsible. Not understanding the intricacies of this aspect of the situation can lead to problems. This is true whether it is a high asset divorce or not and whether there is a dispute over property division or not.

Can an informal trial help settle family legal issues in Utah?

For people in Utah who are experiencing family legal issues related to child support, custody and visitation but do not yet want to move forward with a full and formal trial to settle them, an informal trial is an option to consider. Before moving forward with this procedure, however, it is smart to understand how the informal trial process works to see if it is the right choice. With a formal trial, the Rules of Evidence will take precedence. On the other hand, they do not with an informal trial.

Understanding a Utah administrative paternity order

As most parents can attest, life can bring with it some challenges. And some of these situations lead to legal conflicts. Utah parents that are dealing with family legal issues regarding the paternity of a child have to be aware of certain laws that are designed to help them resolve the case. When seeking to establish the legal father for the child, the Utah Administrative Procedures Act or UAPA can help toward this end.

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