Family law at its most fundamental level involves the creation and termination of domestic relationships. Among these relationships are issues involving marriage, separation, divorce, division of assets, child custody, and child support. However, family law involves other important relationships and/or domestic issues, including, parental rights, adoption, guardianship, and even juvenile law. Because these issues involve family members, spouses, domestic partners, and/or children, they are often highly charged, both legally and emotionally, and the resolutions produced by these cases can have a lasting impact on the lives of those involved. As a result, it is critically important to have an attorney that can help guide you through this complex and emotional process, regardless of what side of the issue you are on.
Making the decision to end your marriage is never easy, and in certain instances that decision will result in costly and lengthy litigation. Naturally, divorce involves far more than just the decision to end your marriage. In fact, divorce raises issues regarding the equitable division of property between the individual spouses, alimony, child custody and support, and visitation schedules. Christensen & Jensen’s divorce attorneys have more than forty years of combined experience handling divorces, representing both husbands and wives in all aspects of the divorce process. Our divorce attorneys provide zealous representation for their clients, seeking to minimize the financial impact and/or stress that a divorce may have on our clients, while at the same time protecting the marital assets our clients are equitable entitled to. Christensen & Jensen’s divorce attorneys are also keenly focused on protecting the best interests of our clients’ children through the divorce process, whether that means fighting for or against visitation, custody, or child support.
Deciding whether or not to adopt a child is one of the most important decisions a person/couple will ever make in their lifetime(s). However, equally important are the decisions made by birth mothers to give their child up for adoption, or to contest an adoption filed by a family member or other person accusing the birth mother of abandoning her child. Adoption issues may even confront grandparents, who may be forced to adopt their grandchildren, or let them be put into foster care, when their parents’ rights are terminated or otherwise compromised. Christensen & Jensen’s adoption attorneys have represented clients on all sides of the adoption issue, whether or not the client is seeking to give their child up for adoption, is seeking to contest the adoption, is seeking to adopt a grandchild or stepchild, or the adoption. Our adoption attorneys are uniquely sensitive to the issues facing the various parties involved in the adoption process, and they are dedicated to providing the best outcome for our clients, no matter what side of the adoption issue the client is on.
Another area of family law is guardianships. Under certain circumstances, a loved one may reach a point in his or her life where they are no longer capable of making important life decisions, and if there is no effective power of attorney in place, it may become necessary to have a guardian appointed by a court to oversee your loved ones personal and/or financial affairs. Guardianships may also be required to manage the financial resources that have been transferred to a minor, or to authorize the parents of a disabled child approaching his or her 18th birthday to continue to care for their disabled child through adulthood, or in cases where a minor child’s parents become deceased.
However, in certain instances, an individual may wish to challenge the appointment of a potential guardian on the grounds that the guardian selected by the court is not eligible, or that the state would serve as a better guardian that the person selected by the court, or that the deceased parents selected a guardian in their will. Christensen & Jensen’s guardianship attorneys have represented parties on the competing sides of a guardianship dispute, whether it be incapacitated adults, the elderly, minor children, or parents of disabled children approaching the age of majority. Our guardianship attorneys are aware of the particular issues that may arise in the guardianship setting, including disputes among family members concerning the safety, living arrangements, autonomy, and financial management of a family member who is elderly or has a cognitive impairment, or the concerns raised by elderly or cognitively impaired family member concerning control of their own affairs.
Juvenile law is another subspecies of family law, which concerns the rights and obligations of minor children. Juvenile law cases are often handled very differently than those cases involving adults. In the criminal context, courts have recognized that minor children are unable to comprehend their actions and understand the consequences of those actions in the same manner as an adult. As a result, the juvenile justice system tends to focus more on rehabilitation and less on punishment. However, while juvenile courts tend to focus on rehabilitative punishments, a juvenile conviction has the ability to follow a juvenile for a number of years following the conviction. Therefore, it is important to have an attorney that understands not only the rehabilitative nature of the juvenile justice system, but one that also understands how a juvenile conviction can impact a child’s future. Christensen & Jensen’s juvenile law attorneys understand the goals of juvenile justice system, but are also aware of how a juvenile conviction can impact a minor child’s life and future.
An additional part of juvenile law involves abused, neglected and dependent minor children. In these cases, there is a possibility that a child will need to be removed from the damaging environment they are living in. Christensen & Jensen’s juvenile law attorneys are committed to helping children in these unfortunate situations, seeking to obtain a resolution that is in the best interests of the abused, neglected, or dependent child.
Family law services provided by Christensen & Jensen include: