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James B. Hanks

James B. Hanks

Recognized for excellent legal knowledge and high ethical standards

Salt Lake City attorney James Hanks has been licensed to practice law for over 30 years. During that time, he has garnered experience in nearly every major area of law. Prior to beginning his own practice in 1992, Mr. Hanks practiced in labor law, personal injury and insurance defense. Mr. Hanks has practiced family law throughout his career and it now constitutes a major proportion of his work at Hanks & Peterson, P.C.

The knowledge and skills you need for complex family law matters

Mr. Hanks has extensive trial and appellate experience and is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®. In 2007, he was recognized as a Mountain States Super Lawyer in the area of family law and has received accolades in Utah Business magazine for many years. He has been an effective advocate in a number of complex family law cases, including divorces involving substantial marital assets and alimony awards and contentious custody and termination of parental rights cases. He also handles adoption cases and successfully defended a lawsuit challenging the validity of a Utah adoption case through the United States Supreme Court.

Trustworthy, tenacious, and respected Salt Lake City attorney

If you need an experienced, competent, and ethical divorce attorney, Mr. Hanks and the attorneys at Hanks & Peterson, P.C. are here to help. They will apply tenacity, sound judgment and high ethical standards to every area of their practice. If you are going through a legal dispute in your personal or business life or if you need legal counsel for an upcoming transaction or venture, Hanks & Peterson, P.C. offers an effective alternative to impersonal and expensive big firms. Call us today at 1-855-888-5608 or contact us online.

Practice Areas

  • Personal Injury
  • Wills and Trusts
  • Business and Commercial Litigation
  • Real Estate Litigation




  • Utah, 1984
  • United States District Court for the District of Utah, 1984
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, 2009
  • United States Supreme Court, 2011


Professional associations

  • Utah State Bar
    • Family Law Section, Executive Committee
    • Chair of Family Law Section Executive Committee, 2014/2015
  • Davis County Bar Association


  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Browning Engineering Scholarship
  • Recognized as one of Utah’s Premier Family Law Attorneys by Utah Business magazine (2004 – 2009)
  • Listed as Mountain States Super Lawyer in 2007
  • Served as a Judge Pro Tem, West Valley City, Utah, 1987 – 1988

Reported cases

  • Alexander v. Alexander, 737 P.2d 221 (Ut. 1987)
  • Avila v. Winn, 794 P.2d 20 (Ut. 1990)
  • Moffitt v. Barr, 837 P.2d 572 (Ut. App. 1992)
  • Wells v. Wells, 871 P.2d 1036 (Ut. App. 1994)
  • Nielsen v. Ketchum, 640 F.3d 1117 (10th Cir. 2011)
  • Nielsen v. Ketchum, 132 S.Ct. 2429, 182 L.Ed. 2d 1061, 2012 U.S. Lexis 3808, 80 U.S.L.W.3646 (U.S. 2012)


1996 - National Business Institute: Equitable Distribution in Divorce Settlements in Utah: Valuation, Tax and Other Issues
1999 - National Business Institute: Child Custody and Visitation in Utah.
2000 - National Business Institute: Family Law Litigation in Utah.
2000 - National Business Institute: Spousal Support in Utah Divorce Proceedings.
June 21, 2000 - National Business Institute: Family Law for Social Workers, Counselors and Other Helping Professional in Utah Layman Education Services.
April 14, 2005 - National Business Institute: Divorce Law in Utah.
2005 - National Business Institute: Domestic Law in Utah.
June 16, 2006 - National Business Institute: Negotiating Favorable Divorce Settlements.
2009 - National Business Institute: Child Custody Basics.
May 25, 2010 - National Business Institute: Preventing Critical Financial Mistakes During Divorce.
May 19, 2011 - National Business Institute: Advanced Family Law.
September 15, 2011 - Utah State Bar Family Law Section: Nuts and Bolts of Family Law in Utah: Rule 101 and Motion Practice.
May 21, 2012 - National Business Institute: Current Challenges in Family Law.
April 12, 2013 - National Business Institute:

 Served as Moderator in a Judicial Forum

October 1, 2015 - National Business Institute:

Family Law From A to Z

Client Testimonial

Working with the Hanks and Peterson firm was very satisfying. We were able to get good works accomplished. I was very happy with the final result. - A.G.

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