At the Law Office of David Pedrazas, PLLC., we understand the complexities and challenges that come with family law cases. With over 20 years of experience in Utah Family Law, we have helped countless couples in Salt Lake City, Utah navigate the legal process with expertise and professionalism. Our award-winning family law firm is dedicated to providing you with the support and guidance you need to achieve a successful outcome. Whether you are seeking a fair settlement out of court or need representation in a courtroom battle, we are here to serve as your trusted advocate.
Don’t hesitate to Call the Law Office of David Pedraza to Schedule a Family Law Case Review in Salt Lake City, Utah
Family Law Attorney in Salt Lake City with Over 20 Years of Experience
At the Law Office of David Pedrazas, our team of experienced Family Law Attorneys in Salt Lake City, are dedicated to providing exceptional legal representation. We understand the complexities and emotional challenges that come with divorce, custody disputes, and property rights. Our primary objective is to guide our clients through the process efficiently, ensuring that every aspect of their legal situation is meticulously addressed. We strive to secure the best possible outcome for our clients, allowing them to embark on a new chapter in their lives with confidence.
As a leading family law attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah, attorney David Pedrazas is equipped to handle a wide range of family law matters. Our legal team in Salt Lake City can provide expert legal guidance and representation in divorce cases, helping couples navigate the complexities of dividing assets, determining spousal support, and establishing child custody arrangements. We also assist clients with matters related to child support, paternity disputes, and adoption. Additionally, we are skilled in handling cases involving domestic violence and protective orders, ensuring the safety and well-being of our clients and their families.
No matter the specific family law issue you are facing, our team is dedicated to protecting your rights and achieving the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Divorces in Salt Lake City do not end with an automatic award of alimony under Utah state law, and either spouse may request an order to pay alimony. Several factors go into determining whether the court will order spousal support payments such as the financial condition of each spouse and how long it will take the recipient to become financially self-sufficient.
The division of property is often the most contentious issue in a divorce, as the spouse’s fight to determine who will get the house, the cars, and other assets, as well as who will be responsible for paying the credit cards and other debts. Utah applies the principle of equitable distribution, so the division of assets is supposed to be fair even if it is not equal.
When parents divorce, it is of great importance to ensure that the case does not unravel into a heated custody battle that inflicts unnecessary emotional trauma on the children. Divorce is already hard enough on kids, the Law Office of David Pedrazas will work to shield them from additional distress while also fighting to protect your rights as a parent.
Whether you are ordered to pay child support or if you will be receiving it as the primary custodial parent, the amount of child support will directly influence your financial stability and your ability to enjoy an acceptable standard of living. Both parents are responsible for paying child support, but you shouldn’t be ordered to support an unfair share of the burden of providing for your children.
Your divorce can be resolved in either of two ways. It can be a contested divorce, in which you and your spouse go to trial and fight to defend your rights to property and custody of your children, or it may be an uncontested divorce, in which you and your spouse work a fair and mutually beneficial settlement out of court.
Many couples choose to legally separate, whether as a precursor to divorce or instead of divorcing. Legal separation offers the opportunity to bring about the conditions of divorce — with court orders concerning custody, property division, and child support — without the finality of completing a divorce and being subject to a permanent divorce decree.
LGBT, Same-Sex Couple Family Law & Divorce
Although the laws regarding LGBT rights are in a state of change due to the recent Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2015, that now allows all same-sex couples to marry in all 50 states, we are dedicated to providing the most up-to-date services in line with current Utah law.
If you and your spouse want to avoid litigation in a messy courtroom divorce, you may benefit from using our mediation services. The attorney who serves as the mediator does not represent either party, but instead, helps to clarify legal questions and to facilitate discussions so that you and your spouse can work out a settlement before setting foot in the courtroom.
Court orders that are issued at the conclusion of divorce are permanent and have the force of law for the parties, but this does not mean that they cannot be changed. If you can demonstrate that a change is necessary and in the best interests of everyone involved, the judge may approve your request for a modification to the terms of custody, child support, or other matters.
Whenever possible, the family law courts in Salt Lake City will award joint custody of children, but this is not always practical or in the best interests of the children. Even when one parent is denied custody, he or she will often receive reasonable rights of visitation such as on alternating weekends and an extended period during the summer vacation.
When a child is born out of wedlock, Utah state law does not make any assumption as to the identity of the biological father. Only the mother has any legal rights with respect to the child, and the father is not held liable to pay child support. Either party may bring a paternity action to establish the relationship between father and child, with the goal of obtaining rights of child custody and visitation or to receive child support payments.
Even if you have custody of your children, you cannot move any great distance away from your current residence without first obtaining the consent of the other parent and/or the approval of the court, and you will need a formal modification to the court orders concerning child custody and visitation. Whether the other parent is in the agreement or if the case must go to trial, at the Law Office of David Pedrazas we can help you.
Non-custodial parents are entitled to parent-child time, with some extreme exceptions. When estranged parents are unable to agree on the specifics of when and how much time can be facilitated, the court steps in and creates a visitation order. Utah has minimum guidelines but the court will also consider the best interest of a child when issuing an order. Should one parent relocate, the court has guidelines that account for long distances? It is generally in everyone’s best interest to develop a practical and amicable parenting plan that supports the child.
There are several types of adoption that include children who are independent, in foster care, and infants. The most prevalent form of adoption in Utah is step-child adoption. This often occurs in blended families and it can benefit a child in many ways. These include:
- Family commitment
- Binding relationships between siblings
- Providing the child with a sense of permanence
- Affording the child legal status and protection
Adoption is a major life change that will require permission from living biological parents or the revoking of parental rights of an unfit one. It’s important to explore the full breadth of the legal and life ramifications of adoption with an experienced attorney.
Contempt of Court
Anytime a judge makes a ruling and issues an order, both parties are expected to follow it. When people don’t, you can be held in contempt and there can be serious consequences. In family law, for example, a custodial parent who withholds visitation can be cited. This can open the door for a non-custodial parent to ask for a change of placement. It’s imperative that you follow the court’s ruling.
Unlike divorce, an annulment means a marriage never legally existed. There are a very limited set of circumstances that meet this standard. These include being underage, blood relatives, and bigamy. However, the court could issue judgments for alimony, child support, and other post-marriage items when a marriage is annulled.
These marriage-related agreements outline how assets and wealth would be distributed in the event of divorce or death. Because they may deal with a spousal dispute or family estate, it is wise to have them crafted by an attorney before or during a marriage.
Termination of Parental Rights
A court may vacate a parent’s rights to make decisions for a child under some extraordinary circumstances. These include things such as abuse, neglect, criminal behavior, mental illness, and drug addiction. Court’s make this uncommon move when it is in the child’s best interest.
A legal guardian is someone who the court appoints to care for the needs of another, usually a minor. This often happens when a child’s parents pass away or are unable to care for the minor. Any adult can request guardianship and the court will undergo a process of consideration based on fitness and the child’s best interests. The arrangement generally continues until the child reaches 18 years old or is no longer necessary.
The harm to children is unacceptable to our community. Things such as physical injuries, mental anguish, molestation, or neglect need to be reported promptly. In family law cases, child abuse can result in a change in child placement and termination of parental rights. Failure or the false reporting of child abuse may be considered a criminal act.
Are You Near Salt Lake City & Need a Family Law Attorney? Schedule a Family Law Consultation with our Top-Rated Family Law Attorneys in Salt Lake City!
Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law Attorneys
A family law attorney is a lawyer who specializes in legal matters addressed in family court. Such cases may include divorce, child custody, parent time, child support, alimony, adoption, prenuptial agreements, and others. A family law attorney guides the client through the legal process and protects his or her rights.
Family lawyers in Salt Lake City Utah advise on the relevant points of state law, negotiate with the opposing party, and build the best possible case for their client’s interests and a fair outcome. A family law attorney further manages the client’s compliance with the legal and procedural requirements of the state and the court and helps the client through the stressful divorce process.
A family law attorney specializes in a very broad area of legal practice, handling many different types of legal matters for clients, such as these, among others:
- Divorce and legal separation
- Court-required mediation during divorce
- Child custody, parent time schedules
- Child support
- Domestic violence
- Property division and debt assignment
- Paternity claims, visitation rights, and related actions.
- Prenup and postnup agreements
- Adoption and guardianship
- Protection orders or requesting reversal of an existing order
If you are facing a contentious divorce, child custody conflict, property division, or other difficult matters in family court, you need a skilled family law attorney at your side. Your lawyer will make sure all of your rights are fully protected throughout the process. An experienced family law attorney provides clients with the major advantages of access to the best consultants, experience in court, familiarity with state laws and court systems, alternatives to trial, and many others.
A family law attorney is usually needed when there is a legal matter that involves members of a family on both sides of the issue. People are often not clear on whether they should get a lawyer or just go into court on their own. Here are some key indicators that you should not try to manage your legal case yourself and that you need to have an experienced family law attorney protecting your interests and managing the legal process for you:
- Child custody dispute
- Complex marital property divisions and debt divisions
- Writing a prenup or postnup agreement
- Child support dispute
- Estate planning
- When the other party gets a lawyer for the case
Having a lawyer on your side who is especially well experienced in resolving the family legal problem you’re having, and who is willing to work within your financial limits for the case can be an extremely valuable benefit to your and your family’s future. Your family law attorney knows all the ins and outs of operating in the Utah court system.
That includes ensuring compliance with the court’s rules and procedures and providing all necessary documentation accurately. Your lawyer further ensures that all deadlines for required filings and responses are met, manages virtual appearances, and much more. If you’re in a contentious divorce, if children are involved, assets are complicated, etc., you will need the best family law attorney Utah has available to you.
If you are getting a divorce, in a conflict over child custody, child support, alimony, property division, or other matters involving your family, contact the Law Office of David Pedrazas using our online contact form or by calling 801-263-7078. For over two decades, we have been helping people through these kinds of cases successfully and seeing them move on toward much happier years.
Some of the general questions you should ask prior to retaining a family lawyer in Salt Lake City include:
- How long have you been practicing family law?
- How many cases similar to mine have you represented?
- How do you handle updates and other communications with clients?
- How do you handle child custody conflicts?
Looking for Family Law Attorneys in Salt Lake City, Utah?
Strictly speaking, you are not required to have a lawyer represent you in your divorce. In fact, you have every right to represent yourself in your divorce and you can even purchase free forms over the Internet or use the tear-out forms in the back of a do-it-yourself book. Taking this course of action is not, however, at all advisable. Even cases that appear to be relatively straightforward and in which both spouses are willing to work together to achieve an amicable resolution can benefit from working with a Salt Lake City Utah Divorce Attorney.
The legal complexities and courtroom procedure can cause a person in your situation to make mistakes that have the potential to cost a small fortune in the long term, in addition to the possibility that you will end up with a parenting plan that does not allow you to play a meaningful role in your children’s lives. If, as is usually the case, you and your spouse do not get along well and have difficulty avoiding arguments, the likelihood that the situation will get out of control and devolve into a bitter legal battle is far greater. Don’t take any chances with the outcome of your case. The situation is already stressful enough without making yourself worry about meeting court filing deadlines and arguing your case in front of a judge. There is too much at stake for your future. Let us guide you throughout the process and fight for a settlement that works for you!
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