Child custody is a legal term regarding guardianship which is used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent or guardian and a child in that person’s care. Child custody consists of legal custody, which is the right to make decisions about the child, and physical custody, which is the right and duty to house, provide and care for the child. Married parents normally have joint legal and physical custody of their children. Decisions about child custody typically arise in proceedings involving divorce, annulment, separation, adoption or parental death. In most jurisdictions child custody is determined in accordance with the best interests of the child standard.
Following ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in most countries, terms such as parental responsibility, “residence” and “contact” (also known as “visitation”, “conservatorship” or “parenting time” in the United States) have superseded the concepts of “custody” and “access” in some member nations. Instead of a parent having “custody” of or “access” to a child, a child is now said to “reside” or have “contact” with a parent.
People commonly believe that the issue of child custody of the minor children in a divorce case will always go in favor of the Mother unless she is shown to be “unfit.” Our child custody lawyers in Utah know that this just isn’t true. Unfitness is what the state must prove (and by clear and convincing evidence) before it can take children away from their parents permanently, or what Grandparents must prove if they want to try to get custody instead of one or both parents, and that process usually plays itself out in the context of a child welfare proceeding in the Juvenile Court where both parents have been accused of abuse or neglect of the minor children.
In the divorce context, where the decision is almost always between the Father and the Mother, both of whom are probably good parents, the question becomes what would be in the children’s “best interest,” i.e., who is likely to be the better parent for these children going forward. There is no legal presumption that this will be the Mother. This “best interest” standard takes into account a myriad of factors, from who has been the children’s primary care provider in the past, to who is more compatible with the children. The bottom line is that child custody is generally awarded to the parent who appears best able to provide the stability, nurturing and training that the children need to help them grow up to be happy, well-adjusted adults and contributing members of society. The attorneys at Ascent Law LLC have the expertise and years of experience as Utah child custody lawyers to help you and your children find and implement the best solution for your unique family dynamic.
The different forms of physical custody include:
• Sole custody, an arrangement whereby only one parent has physical custody of the child. The other non-custodial parent would typically have regular visitation rights.
• Joint physical custody, a shared parenting arrangement where both parents have the child for approximately equal amounts of time, and where both are custodial parents.
• Bird’s nest custody, a type of joint physical custody whereby the parents go back and forth from a residence in which the child always reside, placing the burden of upheaval and movement on the parents rather than the child.
• Split custody, an arrangement whereby one parent has sole custody over some children, and the other parent has sole custody over the remaining children.
• Alternating custody, an arrangement whereby the child lives for an extended period of time with one parent and an alternate amount of time with the other parent. This type of arrangement is also referred to as divided custody.
• Third-party custody, an arrangement whereby the children do not remain with either biological parent, or are placed under the custody of a third person.
• Are you facing a difficult time in your life going through issues such as: Separation, Divorce, Child Support, Child Custody or Alimony? You need to act fast to protect your assets, your rights and the people you love. Porter Law Firm is an experienced Family Law Firm that is dedicated to resolving your Family Law issues. We are compassionate and understand that nothing is more personal than legal issues relating to your family. We strive for excellence in our representation with contested and uncontested Divorces, Child Custody, Alimony, Paternity, Child Support, Paternity, Modification of Decrees, Adoption and any other Family Law need you may have.
• Are You Going Through A Difficult Time In Your Life Facing Issues Such As: Divorce, Separation, Child Custody, Child Support, Or Division Of Property? Do you need divorce or family law representation? Are you losing sleep over your divorce, child support or child custody concerns? Are you worried about the division of property?
• If the answer is “YES” then you need the help of a caring and competent legal professional! I have helped many clients in situations similar to yours and we may be able to help you through this difficult time and protect your rights and the rights of your loved ones. I am absolutely confident that we may be able to help you in your time of need. Call me today for a free consultation.
• We have experience representing clients in family law, bankruptcy and personal injury matters in the state of Utah. We have provided numerous clients with personalized legal results relating to Family Law. This includes matters such as Divorce, Child Custody, Mediation, Paternity, Adoption, Child Support and Guardianship.
Divorce Lawyer in Utah
Family law disputes, especially divorce, are among the most stressful and challenging legal issues someone can encounter. When certain issues arise as part of a divorce – for example, child support, custody, asset division, and alimony – the divorce may take several months or longer. When these factors arise we work with his clients to ensure they receive aggressive and candid representation regardless of the divorce’s complexity.
When divorcing parties have children, custody-related matters are often the most important topics to resolve. “Physical custody” refers to the allocation of time a child spends with his or her parents. “Joint physical custody” refers to the common situation in which both parents are entitled to spend at least 111 nights with the child. Joint physical custody does not necessarily mean an equal division of parent time with the child. A parent holds “sole physical custody” when he or she is awarded more than 254 nights with the child. Courts consider many factors of varying significance when assessing custody scenarios. It is important to assess the applicability of these factors and evaluate which ones will lead to a favorable outcome for the parent. Examples of these factors include keeping siblings together, the stability of the child’s environment, and considering which parent was primarily responsible for taking care of the child.
Unlike physical custody, “legal custody” refers to a parent’s decision-making authority and access to information regarding the child. Joint legal custody is presumed in most cases. Legal custody empowers parents to participate in decisions regarding religious worship, medical treatment, education, and extracurricular activities. On the other hand, day-to-day decisions (for example, what the child eats or wears) are usually determined by the parent taking care of the child at the time. A dispute resolution process should always be included in parenting plans to ensure parents can reach a final decision in the event of disagreement.
Whether you’ve decided to divorce or are still considering your options, call Ascent Law LLC today for a no-obligation consultation and case review at 801-676-5506.
“Alimony” refers to payments made from one party to his or her former spouse. Alimony is not automatic. It is awarded only after considering the recipient spouse’s financial need and both parties’ ability to produce income. The primary goal of an alimony award is to ensure the parties continue to enjoy, as much as possible, the standard of living experienced during the marriage. Whether alimony is awarded is highly dependent on the individual factors of a case. Alimony is most likely awarded in cases in which one party is capable of earning a higher income than the other. Considering these awards can exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars, neither party can ignore the importance of alimony.
Utah courts routinely order parents to make regular “child support” payments to the other parent. Child support is not a fixed amount; instead, child support is determined by applying specific guidelines to the parties’ unique situation. Specifically, child support is calculated by considering the number of children involved, the number nights spent with each parent, and the parties’ respective incomes. The child support amount can be adjusted as any of these factors change. For instance, if the noncustodial parent’s income decreases then his or her child support obligation will likely decrease as a result. In addition, child support payments decrease or discontinue entirely when a child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later.
Property and Debt Division
Divorcing parties must regularly examine their situation in order to determine the best way to divide ownership of property and responsibility for debt after the marriage. If the property is deemed non-marital property, then it is easier for the owner to retain the property after the divorce. The same principle applies to whether a debt is the responsibility of one or both of the parties. Assets and debts included the marital estate must be divided among the parties “equitably.” This often requires a combination of mediation or litigation to determine the exact method that assets and debts will be allocated. Marital assets often have both economic and sentimental value, which means that disputes over these assets can be frustrating for parties without an attorney.
Winning strategies for custody & divorce
Families thrive in places where they can work together and communicate properly. If your family has a focus on long-term growth, all members will feel that they become natural parts of something much bigger. However, when communication breaks down, strategies can be implemented to keep the family ‘fabric’ together although there may be several different venues, such as mom’s home and dad’s apartment.
No hard and fast rule exists to fix divorce, which is why I work on dispute resolution and getting custody of children agreed upon.
Protecting the Best Interests of the Child
In determining child custody matters, the law places the best interests of the child above all other considerations. However, parents do not always agree on what is in the best interests of the child. Certain issues may make custody complex. If you are getting divorced or separated and your ex is requesting more access than you feel is in the child’s best interests, it is very important to consult with an experienced child custody lawyer.
Our knowledge of Utah child custody laws allows us to facilitate the development of the required child custody and parenting plan in an effective and efficient manner. We can also assist you with modifications to child custody orders should the need arise.
If you are engaged in a child custody dispute, our aggressive trial lawyers are here to fight for your rights. While a prostrated legal battle is hardly ever in the child’s best interests, operating from a position of strength is a key element in achieving what is best for you and your child.
Contact a Utah Child Custody Law Firm
Are you facing a divorce in the state of Utah? Contact us today online or by telephone at (801) 676-5506 to arrange a consultation with a knowledgeable Salt Lake City divorce lawyer. We have offices throughout the state of Utah.
Salt Lake City Utah Child Custody Attorney Free Consultation
When you need legal help with child custody in Salt Lake City Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506