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What Are Some Difficult Aspects of Custody Battles A Lawyer Deals With?

The most difficult aspect is parents’ unreasonable expectations, like a father coming in and saying he wanted sole custody because he lived out of state and hadn’t seen or spoken to his kids in five years because he was busy working far away, because that is just not going to happen. It is an unreasonable expectation because he had not exercised the minimum parent time that he would be required to have spent with his children.

A parent will not be able to change custody if they do not fulfill the terms of the decree that is in place or if they are not going to be a responsible parent now. A lot of people think the courts are just biased towards women, and the women will always get sole custody, whereas that is simply not the case. The courts really do the best they can to make sure the children will be properly cared for in the best way possible. The best thing a parent can do is try and do what is right for the kids and not just give in every time. Not having an unreasonable expectation and doing what is best for the children are the best things to do in a custody situation.

If The Parent Who Has Custody Was Not Spending Enough Time With The Child, Would The Other Parent Be Able To File For A Review Of The Custody?

They would definitely need to contact an attorney at that point. Based on the history and what they had done in the past, it would be advisable for them to file a petition if they wanted to move forward so they could enforce their rights.

What Happens If Several Children Are Involved?  Can A Parent Spend More Time With One Than The Other?

Most of the time, the courts do not like to split up the kids. They want the kids to stay together however the custody is determined, unless there is one kid who is a problem child or who specifically wanted to be with a parent or the parents worked out a different agreement, so the order will affect them all equally in the same way.

During Mediation Can The Parents Agree For The Child To Spend More Time With The Mother Or The Father?

Yes, absolutely.  In mediation, the judge will pretty much sign off anything that is fair and reasonable.

Is It Okay To Work Something Out Over The Weekend With The Mother, If A Particular Job Does Not Allow The Father To Spend As Much Time With His Child As He Should?

Yes, absolutely. The courts actually encourage the parties to try and resolve those types of things on their own because they will either follow a custody evaluator recommendation or follow the statute. The courts will very rarely, on their own, invent a custody plan or a parenting plan for the parties, but if the parties can decide on a unique situation that works for them, then the court will most likely approve of it.

How Are Summer Holidays Handled?

There is a holiday statute in the state of Utah called the Utah Code 30-3-35 which basically allows certain parent time for the holidays. It basically splits the month and is also done based on age. If one parent got the first half of Christmas day until noon, the second parent would get Christmas day from noon onwards and the day after Christmas and it would be the same for the next year. They would basically split holidays. If the child was not within driving distance and was outside the radius, then the court would usually alternate holidays. So, if one parent got Thanksgiving, the other parent would get Christmas and they would alternate those types of things. The same thing also goes for spring break and other holidays.

Could A Person Adjust Visitation Through A Verbal Agreement With The Spouse, Or Would This Violate A Statute?

The courts really frown upon parties making oral agreements because all it takes for a problem to arise in an oral agreement is for one party to deny what they said, and this causes a lot of problems for the court. If someone was going to alter it, the best practice would be to get it in writing from both parties and have both parties sign it, but they would need to go through court to actually change the custody order if one party feared that the other party would change their mind.

Would A DUI Or A Drug Charge In The Past Affect A Person’s Ability To Have Equal Custody?

The court will look at this factor if it is brought up, but it would really matter how long ago it was, and if it was a continual problem or the problem was resolved. It would not matter as much if it was a 10 year old DUI, as if it was two weeks ago or two months ago. It can affect custody but the real problem is whether or not it is a continual habitual problem.

Sometimes, the court will want the person to go through some type of an assessment, get a psychological evaluation and then follow any counseling recommendations from that assessment, but it really depends on if the charge was a one-time thing or if it was a repeating thing.

Does It Get More Difficult When The Child Is Older And Wants To Skip Time With One Parent Because They Want To Go Out And Do Something Else?

It can be. The courts really want each parent to encourage the child to spend parent time with the other party when it is their turn, so if a child does not want to go visit their father, the courts would want the mother to encourage the child to go. The studies that the courts have reviewed show that both parents are essential for bringing up a well-balanced child. A father’s influence on a child is just as important as the mother’s influence, so parents are encouraged to support their child in visiting the other parent.

Do Parents Ever Disagree On Education Plans Like Schools?

It happens on occasions but most of the time, if the kids are a little older and are already attending school, they usually just continue going to that same school.

What Are Some Things That Are Always Agreed Upon During Mediation When It Comes To Child Custody?

The entire case can be resolved in a mediation if it is a divorce case, so everything from a parenting schedule to child support can be resolved, and as a matter of fact, child support will be resolved in the mediation because it is a calculator. Unless there is a discrepancy in income, most of the time it would be calculated using the state child support calculator and it would give a number so that it would be decided.

What About If Someone Had An Affair Or Something Like That?

The state of Utah is a no fault divorce state so it really would not matter if the person had an affair. The court would see whether the person was teaching the children moral principles but the mere fact that someone had an affair would not matter, as long as the kids were not involved in it. The court will be more concerned about what the children were being exposed to or if the couple was having sexual relations in front of the kids or whether they let the kids view R-rated movies when they are two or three years old. The court would care about that sort of thing, not that the person had an affair.

What Rights Do Grandparents Have, How Does That Work And Who Can Give Them Permission?

The Utah code 30-5-2 is a statute in the state of Utah that grants grandparents visitation rights in a pending divorce proceeding. The grandparents essentially have to intervene in a divorce case, so they would need to get their own attorney, file a petition and request parent time or grandparent time. The courts look at how much time the kids have spent with the grandparents, so it is really based on what has been happening in the past, whether the parents were working all the time so the grandparents stepped in to take care of the kids before and after school, or are they the kind of grandparents who never saw their grandkids and want to get to know them. The visitation schedule really depends on what the history has been. They might get to see them once or twice a year if they have not really been involved with their grandkids, but grandparents who had been taking care of the kids all the time might be able to get a weekly visit out of it. It is varied and is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Is It Possible For The Stepparent To Have Custody If The Original Parent Of The Child Was Not Available Or Was Deceased?

Stepparents will not have any rights unless the child has been adopted by them. They might get some visitation rights if they had perhaps raised the child for a certain amount of time or if they had been the caregiver, but by essence they do not have rights, only the parents do.

What Happens When During The Divorce Process One Parent Seeks Out A Boyfriend Or A Girlfriend And The Other Parent Objects And Says They Do Not Want Their Child Staying With That Parent And Their Partner?

This does happen and in the state of Utah, the court will not do anything about it unless that new boyfriend or new girlfriend has some type of felony in their background or is a child molester or child abuser. The court assumes that the parent will expose their children to people who they feel are good wholesome people, so unless there is something horrible or negative about them where they clearly violated the law, are violent or pose a threat to the child, it will be assumed the parent is doing what is in the best interest of the child when they are in their care and custody. There is not a whole lot that can be done about it unless there is clearly something wrong.

For more information on Custody Of Children, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (801) 676-5506 today.

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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