James B. Hanks

Attorney in Salt Lake City, UT

Recognized for excellent legal knowledge and high ethical standards

Salt Lake City family lawyer James Hanks has been licensed to practice law for nearly 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 & Mortensen, P.C.

The knowledge and skills you need for complex family law matters

Attorney 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 & Mortensen, 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 & Mortensen, P.C. offers an effective alternative to impersonal and expensive big firms. Call us today at 801-895-4431 or contact us online.

Practice areas

Child custod
Child support/Alimony
Marital torts (Alienation of Affection)
Personal injury
Criminal defense
Wills and trusts


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


J.D.,Gonzaga University School of Law, 1984
B.S.,University of Utah, mining engineering, 1981Professional associations

Professional Asssociation

Utah State BarFamily Law Section, Executive Committee
Davis County Bar AssociationHonors


AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
Browning Engineering Scholarship
Regularly recognized as one of Utah’s Premier Family Law Attorneys by Utah Business magazine
Listed as Mountain States Super Lawyer in 2007
Served as a Judge Pro Tem, West Valley City, Utah, 1987 — 1988Reported cases

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 117 (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 - Served as Moderator in a Judicial Forum:
Credit Cards Accepted

Areas of Law

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support/Alimony
  • Marital Torts - Alienation of Affection
  • Adoption
  • Personal Injury
  • Criminal Defense
  • Wills and Trusts


Overall Client Rating

in Family Law and Trusts and Estates
5.0 out of 5.0

Communication Ability
Quality of Service
Value for Money

  • Data based on 8 reviews
  • Recommended by 8 Clients
  • Last reviewed on 07/09/13
Posted by a Consumer on 07/09/13
5.0 out of 5.0
James Hanks and his office staff helped me through my horrible situation with their expert advice and professionalism, but the kindness they showed throughout my ordeal went above and beyond anything I expected from them. I would highly recommend them if you are looking for people who will work for you and care about you.
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Posted by a Consumer on 06/12/13
5.0 out of 5.0
Mr. Hanks and his staff are very professional and exceeded my expectations. Very pleased with their services.
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Posted by a Consumer on 06/12/13
5.0 out of 5.0
James Hanks was a pleasure to work with on my case. His team of experts/associates assisted in all my needs and were able to provide a an outcome for my legal issues. I would recommend him and his team to anyone who is looking for professionalism, value and legal expertise.
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Posted by a Consumer on 06/07/13
5.0 out of 5.0
I simply thought he was a down to earth good person that was very patient and never got agitated with me even though I was pushing him pretty hard through my own stresses. He knows his stuff obviously but more importantly was kind and patient.
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Posted by a Consumer on 06/06/13
5.0 out of 5.0
Attorney Jim Hanks came highly recommended to me, and I in turn recommend him as well. His attention to detail, knowledge, determined loyalty, and calming disposition, made my experience with him very positive.
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Posted by a Consumer on 06/06/13
5.0 out of 5.0
James Hanks is tremendously helpful and effective in a very difficult and potentially painful process. Jim and his associates were all responsive, kind and eager to fight for the welfare and rights of my children as well as mine. Jim was knowledgable of the law, legal process, courts and other firms contenders and how to wok with them on my behalf and to my advantage. I recommend James Hanks to anyone who needs legal advice and help of any kind.
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Posted by a Consumer on 06/03/13
5.0 out of 5.0
Mr. Hanks was extremely helpful in assisting my husband and I in our estate planning. He prepared wills, medical directives and a trust for our family. He was knowledgeable and professional and we were thrilled with his work. I feel safer knowing that our estate is in order for our children.
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Posted by a Consumer on 06/03/13
5.0 out of 5.0
When my grandfather passed away, we needed help with a probate issue. We came to Mr. Hanks and he was able to help us file the appropriate documents to get my grandfather's estate out of probate. He helped us quickly and efficiently. We were so grateful for his kindness and expertise at that difficult time.
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Experience & Credentials



Admission Details

Admitted in 1984, Utah
1984, U.S. District Court for the District of Utah
2009, U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
2011, U.S. Supreme Court

Credit Cards Accepted
American Express
Additional Payment Information
  • Fixed Hourly Rates
  • Fixed Fees Available
  • Law School Attended

    Gonzaga University School of Law
    Class of 1984

    University Attended

    University of Utah
    Class of 1981
    Mining Engineering

    Birth Information

    Born in 1955
    Salt Lake City, Utah, May 15, 1955



    Associations & Memberships

    Davis County Bar Association; Utah State Bar (Member: Family Law Section; Family Law Section Executive Committee; Unlawful Practice of Law Committee, 1992-1997).

    Representative 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 117 (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).

    Contact Information


    801-363-0940 Call Now


    Send email to James B. Hanks

    Office Information
    James B. Hanks
    Judge Building, Suite 740 8 East Broadway,
    Salt Lake City, UT 84111-2204


    Hanks & Mortensen, P.C. (Salt Lake City, Utah)

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