I know this is the semiauto forum. Honest, I do. Given the circumstances (42 yo father of 3 who has never owned a gun), I have to go with a .357 Magnum revolver. Yes, Just A Dad, I know that you're interested in a semiauto, but there are some very real reasons to look into a revolver:
Revolvers are not subject to jamming, stovepipes or the same types of FTE or FTF malfunctions that semis are. (They may be subject to other malfunctions, though.)
The .357 Mag is a capable round for HD/SD.
The .357 Magnum is capable of shooting .38 Spl for cheaper practice.
Revolvers can be left loaded for decades without worrying about springs, etc.
Slower reloads -- not really a problem for range use, and speedloaders help.
No external safety (whether this is really a "con" is the subject of some debate).
Wider profile (important is concealed carry is a concern).
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. If you need some honest-to-goodness legal advice, go buy some.