Estate Administration Law

Estate Administration Law

When a person dies, all of his or her possessions – real estate, money, stocks, personal belongings, etc. – become a part of his or her estate. This really isn’t a part of estate planning but it may be a part of probate law, if the person who passed away didn’t leave a will or a trust.

Estate administration refers to the process of collecting and managing the estate, paying any debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining property to the heirs of the estate. The heirs of an estate are determined by will, and if there isn’t a will, by the intestacy (which means dying without a will) laws of each state.

What Is the Process for Administering an Estate?

Put simply, estate administration is collecting, managing, and distributing a deceased person’s estate. Each state has its own probate laws, which govern the requirements and process for administering an estate. In some cases, an estate may need to be administered in more than one state. Generally, the state in which the person lived in at the time of death is where the estate goes through probate. However, real estate is governed by state law, so real estate in another state might have to be probated in that state. Several states have adopted a version of the Uniform Probate Code, which is designed to simplify the estate administration process and provide similarity among probate laws from state to state.

The Duties of an Executor

The executor is responsible for locating and collecting all of the deceased’s property, making sure any debts and taxes are paid off, and distributing the remaining property and money to the entitled parties. Although anyone can be an executor, the executor must perform with diligence and in good faith. Usually the executor is designated in a will. If the deceased didn’t leave a will, an administrator is appointed by the probate court. If the probate process is complicated, the executor is entitled to hire an attorney – at the expense of the estate – to help him or her with the process. While the executor is not entitled to any proceeds from the sale of property of the estate, generally he or she is entitled to a fee as compensation for administering the estate.

Who Is Responsible for a Deceased Person’s Debts?

Generally speaking, once a person dies, his or her debts are paid off from his or her estate, and if there isn’t enough money to repay the debt, the debt dies with the person. Relatives or beneficiaries of the will are usually not responsible to pay the deceased person’s debts. However, if the relative or beneficiary owned part of the debt or received substantial benefits from the debt, he or she would be responsible for repaying the debt. For example, credit card debt belongs to the account holder. If, however, a relative co-signed on a loan or the credit card was from a joint account, the co-signor or other account holder would have to pay the debt. It’s important to note that in community property states – where property acquired during marriage is considered jointly owned – the surviving spouse may be liable for the debt.

Hiring an Attorney

If you’re in charge of administering an estate and have questions about it, you may want consult with an estate planning attorney. It would also be a good idea to contact an estate planning attorney if you have questions or concerns regarding the debt left by a person who has passed away.

Free Consultation with a Utah Estate Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have an estate issue you need help with. Whether you need to probate an estate, do your own estate planning, or administer a trust, call Ascent Law for your free estate law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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from Michael Anderson https://www.ascentlawfirm.com/estate-administration-law/

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Wages and Benefits Law

Wages and Benefits Law

Wages and benefits make up an employee’s compensation package – the key is to find a balance that is both attractive to top talent and sustainable for your business. As an employer lawyer, we see this over and over again. Benefits may include health insurance coverage, retirement plans, or other perks sometimes offered along with salary.

Federal and State Wage Laws

Both the federal government and state governments have laws that are meant to ensure that workers are paid fairly. Probably the two biggest laws relating to wages are laws that set a minimum wage for workers and laws that govern overtime pay. There is a federal minimum wage, and each state is entitled to set its own minimum wage, as long as it’s not lower than the federal minimum. The minimum wage can vary depending on the age of the worker and the category of work. For example, if waiters receive a certain amount of tips per month, they may be paid less than the minimum wage.

The specifics of overtime pay will depend on the laws of each state, but generally, overtime pay is required for workers who work over 40 hours in a week, or more than 8 hours in a day. Not all types of employees are entitled to overtime pay, so it’s important to check the laws of your state to figure out which workers should be paid overtime. In addition to the minimum wage and overtime pay, employers must also comply with meal and rest period laws. Failure to comply with any of these laws can be quite expensive for employers.

Garnishment of Wages

In some instances, a court order may require an employer to withhold a portion of an employee’s wages. This is known as wage garnishment and it occurs when a person is delinquent on a debt – very often with child support – and the creditor obtains a court order to have that debt paid. As an employer, it’s important to know that there are limits to how much money can be withheld per pay period. Generally, the court order will indicate how much to withhold and where to send the withheld amount. Employers should also be aware that they are not allowed to terminate a person’s employment because of one wage garnishment order. But, if the employee has more than one order for wage garnishment, the employer is entitled to terminate his or her employment.

Employee Benefits

Employee benefits can be a way to attract employees to your company. There are certain benefits that are required by law and others that are optional. Two benefits required by federal law are Social Security and workers’ compensation. There may be other benefits that are required by your state or even county or city, so it’s important to check local laws as well. Employers that meet certain criteria are also required to comply with the Family Medical Leave Act and provide health insurance. Non-mandatory benefits include life insurance policies, paid time off, and retirement plans. If you’re not required by federal law to provide health insurance, this can also be provided as an optional employee benefit. Employee benefits can help boost employee morale and performance, and can also allow you to pay less in wages.

Free Initial Consultation with a Utah Lawyer for Employers

We represented businesses, companies and employers in Utah. When you need legal help, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

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from Michael Anderson https://www.ascentlawfirm.com/wages-and-benefits-law/

How Much Child Support Is Right?

How Much Child Support Is Right

Raising children, it is sometimes said, takes an open heart, an open mind and an open wallet. The inevitable financial strains of a Long Island divorce can create some big questions when it comes to sharing the expenses of parenting.

What can I expect for child support?

According to Utah Child Support Standards guidelines, the costs of supporting a child are calculated as a percentage of the combined adjusted income of both parents (after taxes, spousal support and other child support), capped at $130,000 and broken down as follows:

  • One child: 17 percent
  • Two children: 25 percent
  • Three children: 29 percent
  • Four children: 31 percent
  • Five or more children: at least 35 percent

This figure is then divided according to each parent’s share of the total income. Non-custodial parents may also be expected to contribute to child care expenses, allowing the custodial parent to go to work or school, as well as the children’s health care and education costs. The percentages are only guidelines. A settlement agreement made between the spouses, as long as it is fair and in keeping with the technical standards of Utah’s Child Support Standards Act, is acceptable.

What if child support is not paid?

Failure to pay child support results in enforcement proceedings against the non-custodial parent. Your attorney can help you seek enforcement through Utah’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

What if I can no longer afford to pay my court-ordered child support?

Pursuant to the October 14, 2010 update of Utah Child Support laws, if your income has dropped at least 15 percent, your attorney can petition the court to have the support order modified.

Is Mediation a Better Choice than Divorce If You Have Children?

Divorce is hardest on children. Regardless of how young kids are, they know when something is wrong between their parents. However, when a couple uses traditional divorce methods, the process of separating can be even harder on children. In addition to being more cost-effective, mediation enables a family to sustain a divorce in a gentler manner.

Mediation is a positive process that focuses on moving forward instead of arguing over mistakes from the past. The process takes place in a comfortable environment agreed upon by each spouse. While this may not seem like a big change, a venue other than a courtroom can significantly reduce hostility between spouses.

Mediation occurs over several short sessions that focus on cooperation rather than conflict. A third-party mediator guides the couple toward making mutually beneficial decisions. In other words, spouses take control of their future, instead of allowing the court to make decisions for them.

You and your spouse determine the pace of mediation. The process can take as long as you want it to. Additionally, in mediation, you and your spouse can outline a parenting plan for your children. You can discuss custody and visitation rights and determine when each parent will spend time with your children.

The ending of a marriage is an emotional event. However, with mediation, you have the option of reducing the impact the event has on the lives of your children.

Free Consultation with Child Support Lawyer

If you have a question about child support or if you need to collect back child support, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will aggressively fight for you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

What Contracts are Required to Be in Writing?

What Contracts are Required to Be in Writing

Most contracts can be either written or oral and still be legally enforceable, but some agreements must be in writing in order to be binding, says a Utah Contract Lawyer. However, oral contracts are very difficult to enforce because there’s no clear record of the offer, consideration, and acceptance. Still, it’s important to understand which types of contracts absolutely must be written in order to be valid.

Contracts Required to be in Writing

Generally, the following types of contracts need to be executed in writing in order to be enforceable. Contracts in any of these categories entered into verbally are not automatically considered “void,” however. But they are considered “voidable” and may be either affirmed or rejected by either party at any time.

  • Real estate sales;
  • Agreements to pay someone else’s debts;
  • Contracts that take longer than one year to complete;
  • Real estate leases for longer than one year;
  • Contracts for over a certain amount of money (depending on the state);
  • Contracts that will last longer than the life of the party performing the contract; and
  • A transfer of property at the death of the party performing the contract.

The Statute of Frauds

An English law from 1677, the “Statute of Frauds,” provides the basis for current written contract requirements. The goal of written contract rules remains the same as ever-to avoid fraud by requiring written proof of the underlying agreement. This legal goal makes sense as a practical objective as well, since disputes over high-staked verbal agreements typically would lack an objective record of the contractual terms. While state laws generally dictate the enforcement of contracts, all states besides New York and South Carolina have adopted the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) that includes the statute of frauds.

For example, California statute conforming to the UCC explicitly states that contracts for the sale of goods costing more than $500 are not enforceable “unless there is some writing sufficient to indicate that a contract for sale has been made between the parties and signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought or by his or her authorized agent or broker.”

Why It’s Always Best to Get it in Writing

Although other types of contracts may be oral, it is advisable to “get it in writing” to insure both parties understand their obligations. If court enforcement is required, a written contract shows the parties’ obligations and avoids a “he said, she said” dispute. It is easier to check with an attorney prior to signing to see whether a contract is valid than it is to enforce a poorly-drafted agreement after problems arise. While breach of contract lawsuits can be costly to your business, so can unenforceable agreements you thought were cemented by contract law.

Free Consultation with a Utah Contract Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have a question about contracts. If so, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Making a Will FAQs

Making a Will FAQs

Making a will is a part of Estate Planning. In this article, we’ll outline the frequently asked questions about wills. Hope you enjoy!

What is the purpose of preparing a will?

A will is a legally binding document that identifies who should inherit a person’s property after they die. Recipients often include a spouse, children, grandchildren or a charitable organization. Many wills also contain a provision that names a guardian to care for minor children. A person that makes a will is called a testator.

What happens to my property and my children if I die without preparing a will?

If a person dies without a will or another legal distribution device, a state’s laws of intestate succession govern inheritance rights. Typically, a spouse (or in some states a domestic partner) and children are first in line to inherit a decedent’s property. If the deceased did not have a spouse or children, close relatives like parents, siblings, and grandparents will inherit the property. If the decedent has no relatives that qualify under a state’s intestate succession laws, the state receives the property.

If a parent of minor children dies without a will and the other parent is unable to provide care, the state determines who will become the guardian of the children and the property they inherit.

Do I need a lawyer to create a valid will?

No. State laws do not require the assistance of a lawyer when preparing a will. Because most wills only require instructions for the distribution of property and the naming of a guardian for minor children, most people can create a simple will by using software, ready-made forms or instructions from a book.

Can I make a handwritten will?

It depends on whether a state’s law recognizes a handwritten will. In about half of the states, a person may create a handwritten will, also called a “holographic” will. Unlike typed and computer-printed wills, witnesses are unnecessary for holographic wills. Some states require that the testator handwrite the entire holographic will, including the provisions, the date, and the signature. Other states are more lenient — the testator may use a fill-in-the-blank document if it contains handwritten portions, a signature, and a date.

Handwritten wills, however, may create complications. Many probate courts are hesitant to recognize the validity of these wills since they are difficult to verify.

How do I make a will valid?

When preparing a will, most states require the following elements:

  • The testator is at least 18 years old and of sound mind;
  • The inclusion of a statement that the document is the testator’s will;
  • The will is typed or computer-printed, except in the case of a handwritten will;
  • The will must have at least one provision that disposes of property or a provision that appoints a guardian for minor children;
  • The appointment of an executor; and
  • The testator and at least two witnesses signed the will.

The testator should adhere to the following guidelines when signing a will and selecting witnesses:

  • The testator must sign and date the end of a typed or computer-printed will in ink;
  • The signature should match the name that appears in the will;
  • The witnesses must see the testator sign the will;
  • The witnesses must also sign the will;
  • The witnesses should be at least 18 years old; and
  • The witnesses must not be beneficiaries in the will.

It is unnecessary to have a will notarized; however, doing so may simplify probate proceedings.

Can I name a guardian for my children in my will?

Yes. A will can name a “personal guardian” to care for minor children if both parents are deceased or if the surviving parent is unable to care for the children. The personal guardian will have legal guardianship over the minor children until they reach the age of 18.

Can I disinherit my spouse?

In community property states, a spouse is legally entitled to half of the property acquired or earned during the marriage. While a married person may leave their half of the community property to someone other than their spouse, they may not dispose of the spouse’s share of the community property.

In Utah, you really can’t completely disinherit you spouse, says local Utah Probate Lawyer. This is because the surviving spouse can make what is called an elective share and they will get at least the first $75,000 of the estate, plus half of the remaining estate, if they are a second or third spouse. Sometimes, they can get it all. You should call and talk to us if you truly want to disinherit your spouse.

In states where common law governs inheritance laws, a person may choose to disinherit a spouse through a will. However, common law states protect the surviving spouse from complete disinheritance by granting the right of the spouse to claim some portion of the deceased spouse’s property by going to court.

How do I revise my will?

A testator can change a will by preparing a new will or by adding an addition called a codicil. When changes are substantive, revoking a will and starting over may be easier. An express statement in the new will of the revocation of all prior wills legally revokes a will. Minor changes, such as the addition of a new provision or the removal of a beneficiary, are appropriate changes for a codicil.

Free Consultation with a Utah Will Lawyer

If you are here, you should get your free consultation, so call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We want to help you with your will.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Do I Have to Endure a Long Court Battle to Get Divorced?

Do I Have to Endure a Long Court Battle to Get Divorced

There is no easy answer to this question. Every divorce case is different. However, the majority of divorce cases are uncontested. This means that the couple was able to agree on issues like alimony, child support, and custody without the assistance of the court. Uncontested divorces are resolved quickly and no court battle occurs.

People think every divorce ends with a long, drawn-out, and contentious clash that involves ridiculous theatrics. This occurs mostly on television, and rarely in the real world.

Child custody is an issue that may cause a divorce to require litigation. However, having an experienced and aggressive attorney by your side can reduce the chances of conflict with your spouse. If litigation becomes inevitable, the court will determine child custody primarily based on what is in the best interests of the children.

Another issue that may lead to litigation is the division of property and assets. However, in many cases, a couple can sit down with their respective attorneys and discuss who gets what without the need of a trial.

If you must go to trial, the cost and length of your divorce will depend greatly on the lawyers you choose to represent you. Avoid hiring a friend or family member who practices law. There are many different types of attorneys and the wrong kind can actually hurt your case. You need a law firm that has extensive experience handling family law and divorce cases.

Avoiding a Divorce

Divorce is a difficult process fraught with stress, anger, sadness, and grief. It can take a number of years and be costly if you are dealing with a spouse who refuses to be reasonable or who is vindictive. Some things that you can attempt to do to strengthen your relationship in the hope of avoiding the differences that lead to divorce include the following:

  • Communicate with your partner. Listen with an open mind. Have a dialogue about the things that bother you or that you need from your partner. Each partner needs to be able to talk openly.
  • Accept change. People grow and goals change over time. Unless you are willing to grow together, your relationship has a strong chance of dying.
  • Spend time together. You need couple time. The only way to know one another and to appreciate each other is to make time away from the demands of life. Some couples set Friday night or a Sunday morning as their time to talk and catch up.
  • Get the help of a professional. Marriage counseling can provide an opportunity for the two of you to talk openly about the things that are bothering you.
  • Bring back a little spontaneity and romance. Boredom can ruin a relationship. Ask your spouse to help you find something new that you can do together to make life more interesting to you both.

If you find you are unable to rescue your marriage, divorce may be the best option. A skilled divorce attorney is available to discuss your situation and advise you.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will fight for you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Estate Planning Forms and Tools

Estate Planning Forms and Tools

Although no one likes to think about falling ill or passing away, it’s important to plan for it. Preparing a will allows you to make sure your money and property goes to the people you want them to go to. It’s also important to let your loved ones know your wishes if you ever unable to communicate your wishes. The process of estate planning is the way to plan for death or incapacitation. In this section you can find samples for various estate planning tools, such as a sample will, a sample health care power of attorney, and a sample living will. There is also a helpful estate planning checklist and a questionnaire to prepare you for meeting with an estate planning attorney.

Contents of a Basic Will

While there isn’t a standard, legally foolproof will, there are some basic elements that pretty much every will contains. A will should begin by making it clear that it’s meant to be a will and include the full name and residence of the testator (the person who is making the will). It’s also always a good idea to include a statement revoking any previous wills. The will should include to whom you would like to leave your money and property. If you would like to leave specific belongings or amounts of money to various people, you can list these wishes in the will. If, on the contrary, you simply want to leave everything to one person, you could make a general statement conveying that information. A will should also designate an executor to handle estate administration. It’s usually a good idea to include an alternative executor, in case the original executor can’t or won’t take the responsibility of being the executor. Finally, the testator must sign and date the will. While these are the basic elements of a will, it’s important to check the laws of your state to find out the requirements for drafting a will in your state.

Living Wills and Powers of Attorney

All of the states in the U.S. have laws concerning the ability of people to make decisions about their medical care before there is a need for treatment. A living will or advanced directive is a document that allows people to explain the type and duration of medical care they would like to receive if they are in a situation where they can’t communicate those wishes. Each state has its own laws regarding what can be included in a living will, which is why it’s important to check the laws in your jurisdiction or consult with an attorney when drafting a living will.

It’s worth mentioning that a living will and a health care power of attorney concern similar matters, but are very different. As previously mentioned, a living will explains the wishes of the person in the event that he or she can’t communicate the wishes him or herself. A health care power of an attorney can also have the same information as a living will, but it also designates a person to have the legal ability to make medical decision on a person’s behalf. The health care power of attorney is only valid in the event that the person who makes the document is unable to make medical decisions for him or herself.

Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney

Wills can be fairly easy to draft if a person doesn’t have very many assets. However, if you have a lot of assets or a complex situation, you should probably hire an estate planning lawyer to help you with your will. Regardless of the size of your estate, if you have questions or concerns about estate planning, you might want to consult with an attorney.

Free Consultation with a Utah Estate Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have an estate issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free estate law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Why are Mothers Most Often Awarded Child Custody?

Why are Mothers Most Often Awarded Child Custody

Though child custody laws generally no longer presume that children should stay with their mother after a divorce, the fact is that mothers are still awarded custody of their children more often than fathers. So what is the reason for this?

First, courts more often find that the mother meets the qualifications for being considered the “primary caregiver.” This is the parent that is best able to meet the needs of the child and who has been shown to be the one meeting the majority of the child’s everyday needs. In many families these tasks are evenly split between parents, and there are some stay-at-home dads that bear the majority of the responsibility for these types of tasks.

However, there are still many more women in stay-at-home or caregiving roles, even despite the fact that many more women are in full-time jobs than in the past. This means that there is still a disparity between men and women in terms of who is likely to be considered the primary caregiver. I’ve seen this many times as a child custody lawyer.

Because of the importance of the primary caregiver, it’s important that both parents do everything they can to handle daily childcare tasks if they believe that a divorce is coming. Courts are much more likely to split child support arrangements more evenly if they see both parents contributing at near equal levels to everyday parenting tasks.

Another key aspect of custody arrangements is the bond between parent and child. Numerous studies have shown that younger children are more likely to have a closer bond to their mother. This isn’t a reflection of the father’s parenting ability so much as it is the kind of roles that parents have at extremely young ages. Therefore, courts are going to be more likely to place very young children with their mothers.

The Effects of Relocation on Child Custody

When a former spouse or partner wants to relocate with your children, it can have a significant effect on your entire family. No matter the reason for the move, divorced parents must follow certain guidelines set forth by the state and through the couple’s divorce agreement.

Providing notice

Custodial parents cannot relocate with children without first providing written notice to the noncustodial parent. Individuals with custody must allow enough time for the noncustodial parent to raise concerns about the move, or challenge the decision in court.

Objecting to relocation

As a noncustodial parent, you may object to your spouse’s move by filing a motion with the court. During your hearing, you can present your case to a judge who will weigh the impact of the move against the best interests of the children. Judges typically consider the reason for the move, the relationship between each parent and their children, the affect the move will have on the children’s quality of life and the affect the relocation will have on relationships with parents and extended family.

Justifying the move

If you are the parent who wishes to relocate, you must provide solid evidence that your move is in the best interests of your children. Relocation hearings are taken seriously, and the judge will want to ensure that you are not relocating your children to physically or emotionally distance them from their other parent. In certain cases, judges may even consider granting custody to the parent who does not move, in an effort to maintain stability for the children.

If your move is approved, the judge will most likely require that a parenting plan be put in place. Such plans may outline specifics related to visitation, long-distance communication, travel expenses and more.

Free Consultation with Child Custody Lawyer

If you have a question about child custody question or if you need to collect back child support, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will aggressively fight for you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

FAQ about Open Adoptions

FAQ about Open Adoptions

As Salt Lake City Adoption Attorneys, we are often asked questions about adoption. Here are the questions most frequently asked about open adoptions that is an adoption where there is some contact between the birth parents, the adoptive parents and sometimes the adopted child.

What are open adoptions?

Open adoptions are adoptions where this is some contact between the birth parents, the adoptive parents, and sometimes the adoptive child. Open adoptions generally come about when the adoptive parents meet and get to know the birth parents of the child. The adoption agreement generally allows for the child to spend most of the time with the adoptive parents, but gives some right for the birth parents to visit and spend time with the child. Generally speaking, open adoptions are formed when the birth parents and the adoptive parents agree that forming a relationship is in the best interests of the child.

Are there advantages of open adoptions?

Open adoptions have many advantages, such as reducing stress of both the adoptive and birth parents. For the adoptive parents, they can get to know and trust the birth parents, and for the birth parents, they can regularly check on the child. In addition, open adoptions are sometimes beneficial for the child who can grow up knowing more about his or her history than having unanswered questions.

Are there disadvantages of open adoptions?

One of the main disadvantages of open adoption is for the birth parents that wish to remain in contact with their biological child. If a relationship between a set of birth parents and adoptive parents sours after the adoption has taken place, the adoptive parents may decide to eliminate any visits from the biological parents that were agreed upon beforehand. Even though these visitation agreements normally find their way into the legal adoption papers, the biological parents have little to no legal recourse to continue their visits to the child.

How can I get an open adoption?

There are generally two ways to get an open adoption.

  • The first is to use an agency that has procedures set up for open adoption. If you have found an adoption agency that allows open adoptions, be sure to read and inquire about their procedures for open adoptions. However, there are many agencies that only allow closed or semi-open adoptions. Indeed, many agencies prohibit the adoptive parents from knowing the identity of the birth parents, and also prohibit the birth parents from finding out which family the child is going to.
  • The second way to get an open adoption is to opt to take part in an independent adoption. However, setting up an independent adoption can be expensive on the front end as you will have to advertise when looking for birth parents that are willing to enter into an open adoption. If you have found birth parents willing to enter into an open, independent adoption, you should hire an attorney that can assist you with all the paperwork and filings you will need to make in order to have your adoption finalized.

One thing to keep in mind is that both the adoptive parents as well as the birth parents should enter into counseling before deciding on an open adoption. Open adoption can have many emotional impacts on both families. It is important to know about the emotions that you may encounter with an open adoption that may not be present in a traditional closed or semi-closed adoption. If you want your open adoption to succeed, counseling is a key step that you should take.

Free Consultation with Adoption Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about an adoption or if you need a lawyer in Utah, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

False Accusations of Abuse During Divorce

False Accusations of Abuse During Divorce

In some particularly contentious divorces, it is all too common for one spouse to make false allegations of abuse in order to gain an upper hand. The presence of abuse by one spouse can have a huge impact on divorce litigation, especially insofar as determining custody of minor children, and can lead to criminal charges in some cases.

While wise Utah divorce lawyers strive to keep discord to a minimum when negotiating a divorce, allegations of abuse change the entire character of the process. Abuse allegations can be very difficult to conclusively disprove and, as a result, often make divorce litigation unavoidable.

If you are involved in a divorce and your spouse has turned to false accusations of abuse, you need to act quickly to prove your innocence. Our experienced divorce lawyers in Utah have seen nearly everything that can happen during the divorce process. We have the investigation and litigation skills to deal with false accusations of abuse and are prepared to handle anything your spouse can throw at you.

We understand that it is important to confront allegations of abuse immediately. Experience has taught us that negotiations may still be salvageable if we can disprove allegations early.

It is much more common, however, for such allegations to signal the end of any chance at a peaceful resolution. That is why we are always prepared to go to trial if necessary to defend the reputations of our clients and their rights to their children and property.

Splitting Up After a Long-Term Marriage: Why?

In 2010, former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, announced their separation. By all outward appearances, the couple was happy and comfortable, and the announcement came as a shock even to close friends. Many asked why they were separating.

As a firm dedicated to the practice of divorce and family law on Long Island, we hear and understand the reasons men and women of all ages, in marriages of all lengths, decide to divorce. For long-term, stable couples, divorce oftentimes brings few fireworks, no accusations and oftentimes no infidelity. What contributes to the demise of a long-term marriage?

Consider this:

  • Al and Tipper Gore separated after 40 years of marriage. They raised children, sought and found adventure, and following a process of long and careful consideration, they decided to separate. From their statements, it seems clear they still love each other as friends, but chose to pursue their lives separately.
  • While the end of a long marriage can come rudely, it may also come as an emotional relief. As people live longer and healthier lives, fewer people are willing to accept an empty marriage that lost its love and intimacy long ago. In a recent paper from Bowling Green State University, researchers found the divorce rate for those over 50 has doubled between 1990 and 2010.
  • Divorce after decades means careful consideration about wealth, and often retirement monies as well. While two people can live together less expensively than two can separately, more women and men are choosing to go it alone, understanding the financial difficulties and potentially lowered quality of life that may follow.

By all accounts, the Gores remain happy with their decision and the new opportunities pursued by each party. While causes of divorce are many, changes in time and relationship often spell the end of a marriage.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will fight for you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506