When a couple with children breaks up, the responsibility to care for the children must be shared by both parents. An important aspect is child custody or with whom the child will live with and what visitation with the other parent will be like. Another part of this responsibility is financial support, in the form of child support.
Best Interest of the Child
Utah family courts, like those in most states, determine child custody matters using the “best interests of the child.” The factors considered by the judge include:
When parents can’t develop their own parenting schedule, the court can establish an appropriate schedule more or less than the statutory minimum parent-time based on the following best interest of the child factors:
The following chart outlines the child custody laws in Utah.
|Code Sections||Utah Code Title 30, Chapter 3: Divorce, Chapter 5: Grandparents, and Chapter 5a: Custody and Visitation for Persons Other Than Parents Act|
|Uniform Child Custody Act||The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) was enacted in Utah in 2000. This Act superseded the previously adopted version, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA).|
|Joint Custody||In Utah, parents can have joint custody, including joint physical custody (where the child lives) and joint legal custody (who can make life, medical, educational, etc. decisions for a child).|
|Grandparent Visitation||Grandparents can get visitation rights to see their grandchildren. Additionally, a grandparent or any other adult relative by marriage or blood who raised a child could get custody or visitation of the child, if it’s found to be in the child’s best interests.|
|Child’s Wishes||A child’s wishes are considered by the court when the judge feels the child is sufficiently mature and has the capacity to reason to form an intelligent preference.|
If you need to create or modify a parenting plan in a Utah court, than you should speak with an experienced local child custody lawyer about your options.
Note: As state laws are constantly being updated, it’s important to verify these child custody laws by contacting an attorney or conducting your own legal research.
Research the Law
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