Experienced St George Utah Child Custody Lawyer
Filing for Child Custody in Utah
Child custody law is a complicated area of law. It can be devastating fighting for child visitation rights in court amid a bloody divorce process. But you don’t have to face it alone. Our experienced St George Utah child custody lawyer can help you get custody of your child and make sure that you can stay involved in your child’s life and decisions on his or her wellbeing.
Are you dealing with a family law issue? Boyack Christiansen Legal Solutions may just be a Southern Utah Law Firm, but we get you world-class results. Schedule an appointment with our experienced St. George family law attorneys today!
Protect Your Family!
Dealing with a family law issue? Boyack Christiansen Legal Solutions may be just a Southern Utah Law Firm, but we get you world-class results. Schedule an appointment with our experienced St. George family law attorneys today!
What Are the Types of Custody in Utah Divorce Law?
St George Utah Legal Custody
Legal custody refers to who decides on a child’s wellbeing (e.g., schooling, medical care, religious affiliation, etc.) Legal custody is no longer required to get access to this information under Utah divorce rules. Years ago, our child custody attorney had to battle for joint custody to make sure that the parent had access to the children’s school and medical records. Regardless of the outcome of these child custody disputes, it is crucial that both parents will have access to all of these documents.
If you are involved in a custody battle, consult a St George family lawyer immediately for legal counsel in your Utah child custody and divorce case.
St George Utah Physical Custody
Physical custody refers to who gets to care for the children, when, and under what conditions. Which parent will the child live with, in other words? Physical custody may either be shared or sole.
If you need legal assistance with your custody case in the event of a divorce, contact our St George child custody attorney to learn more about your legal rights and what is best for your child.
How Do the Utah Courts Decide Physical Custody, and What Can I Do To Strengthen My Case?
In general, courts prefer to grant joint legal custody to both parents. If all other factors are equal, the court chooses parents to engage in their children’s spiritual and educational upbringing. Both parents should be involved in the child’s upbringing.
Consider Elias and Billie’s tragic situation. Following Billie’s diagnosis of schizophrenia, a mental illness, Elias petitioned the court for exclusive legal custody, claiming that his ex-wife had no cognitive ability to make excellent and well-considered choices about the children’s health.
Custody battles over physical possessions are becoming increasingly prevalent. Physical custody is sometimes divided roughly 50/50 by families. Occasionally, one parent is granted exclusive or sole custody.
Katarina and Georg, for example, have two children together. Georg was often abroad on business in Europe, so they agreed that Katarina would be the custodial parent (the one who looks after the children most of the time), and Georg (the noncustodial parent) would spend five days with them each month once he returned from Europe.
People are being encouraged to have as close to 50/50 parent time as possible by family courts. It usually takes one of two ways: a week on/week off schedule, in which the children are exchanged on Monday mornings at the school, or a week on/week off schedule, in which the children are exchanged on Friday afternoons at the school. 2-5-5-2 is another popular one. Monday and Tuesday evenings are always shared by one parent, Wednesday and Thursday nights are shared by the other parent, and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights are shared by both parents.
Whether you want to negotiate via custody mediation or fight it out in court, you must address several factors, and these are:
- Your lifestyle, earning capacity, and work schedule
- Your physical ability to care for your children
- Your mental capacity to make sound judgments and keep them safe
- Whether you or your spouse have a history of physical or mental domestic violence or abuse
- Whether you’ll be able to maintain a secure and caring home
- The ages of the children and (perhaps) their preferences
- Whether you or your partner has previously been the primary caretaker
- Whether or not you and your ex can work together
- Whether you or the other parent has ever broken a custody agreement
Physical custody used to be given to mothers preferentially, but today’s courts are gender-neutral. All they care about is what is best for the children. For additional information on child custody laws, parenting time, child support, and other family law issues, contact our experienced St George, Utah child custody lawyer.
Can Grandparents, Stepparents, and Others Fight To Get Custody of a Child Under Utah Family Law?
It is debatable. Although courts support parental rights, they also wish to safeguard children and guarantee that the child’s welfare and best interests are preserved.
Dora and Raul had been married for three years when Raul abandoned the family, leaving Dora to care for her two-year-old and six-month-old children alone. Dora experienced severe depression and drug misuse problems as a result of this.
Dora’s parents – the children’s grandparents – sought physical custody of the children to ensure they ate well, were safe, and were not exposed to threats due to Dora’s mental condition and impulsivity. For children, having a grandmother come to their aid may be a lifeline.
Her parents – the children’s grandparents – sought physical custody of the children to ensure they got good meals, stayed safe, and avoided dangers caused by Dora’s mental illness and impulsiveness. Sometimes a grandparent coming to the rescue is a lifesaver for kids.
Our St George UT law firm assisted in a case where the mother had died, and the children’s father was transporting them across numerous states while he was a drug runner. Our skilled child custody lawyer could secure the children’s custody and safeguard them from their criminal father.
Stepparents may also go to court to get custody if the biological parent is in prison or has abandoned the family.
You must resolve any child custody with the assistance of an experienced St George family law attorney. Don’t hesitate to contact our skilled Utah child custody lawyers if you have questions about visitation schedules, spousal support, or child support payments.
What Are The Factors Affecting Child’s Best Interests in Utah?
When parents can’t agree on child custody, the courts in Utah make the decision. Judges examine custody agreements to ensure they are in the best interests of the child. The following factors must be considered by Utah’s family courts while deciding on child custody:
- A child’s emotional and physical needs
- The parent-child relationship
- Their home’s separation
- Both parents’ well-being
- Parental interactions and the child’s social connections
- A desire for a child-parent relationship
- Either parent has a history of domestic violence
- If the child is old enough, a child’s decision
- Any other cause the court deems substantial
How To Establish Visitation Schedules
Your custody decree must provide weekly, monthly, holiday, and summer visitation schedules. Both parents have a right to frequent contact with their children. Even if a parent has suffered from drug addiction or physical violence, a court may grant supervised visitation.
Utah’s custody rules provide for minimal visitation for noncustodial parents who lack joint custody. It translates to one weekday with the child and one weekend overnight stay. A court may grant more but not less visitation time. Child custody and parent-time in Utah are explained on the Utah Courts website.
When a child’s safety is at risk, a court may only allow one parent supervised visitation. Supervised visits occur at a predetermined site. Until a court is satisfied that a child is secure in a parent’s care, the parent’s visits will be monitored.
When parents share legal custody, the custodial parent has the last word on decisions.
How Much Will Child Preference Affect Utah Custody Cases?
When deciding on a Utah child custody dispute, a court will consider the youngster’s preferences, among other things. A court will give greater weight to the child’s choice the older he or she is. If the child is under the age of ten, the court is unlikely to give their choice any weight.
The court will take into account the explanation for the child’s choice as well. A father who had custody of two children evicted them in one instance. The children were opposed to the move and wanted to remain with their mother to be near their friends and familiar surroundings. The court decided that not wishing to move was a reasonable cause and that the child’s desire should be given greater weight when determining custody.
The court will be unconcerned whether the child’s reasons for their choice are immature. If the children prefer to live with one parent because that parent enjoys giving them presents or is more lenient with discipline, the choice will have no bearing on the custody of the children.
The loss of all your belongings, property, and children is a common theme in divorce horror tales. Make sure you get to spend time with and be active in your children’s lives with the aid of our professional child custody attorneys in St George, Utah.
Do Children Have To Testify in Court About Custody Preferences?
In Utah, children cannot testify in court unless there are mitigating circumstances. Most judges interview children in court to evaluate custody choices. Typically, the court will seek the parents for permission to interview a child. Still, the judge may decide that an interview is the only method to determine the child’s custody preferences.
The in-chambers are not open to parents. He may or may not invite the attorneys for the parents to attend. An interpreter usually does it.
Courts may also assess a child’s ways. In one instance, a court reviewed letters from two boys expressing their desire to live with their mother. In some cases, courts may enable custody evaluators or mental health specialists to testify about what children have said.
What Is Child Custody Modification in Utah?
Life changes may necessitate adjusting your custody arrangement. Utah custody rules enable any parent to make a custody adjustment request if the child or parents’ circumstances have changed materially or if it has been more than three years since the prior custody order was entered. In any case, the parent seeking a custody change must establish that it is in the child’s best interests.
A court will examine the same best interests reasons outlined above when determining whether a change is warranted. A judge will hear undisputed evidence. Your case will be decided based on your child’s needs, not yours. Relocation for work, for example, may not be sufficient to warrant a custody change. Medical emergencies of custodial parents may merit moving custody to the other parent.
Determining the result of your custody lawsuit depends on several variables. For further information, contact our experienced St George Utah family law attorneys to help you.
Get Legal Assistance With Our Experienced St George Utah Child Custody Lawyer Today!
The best interest of the child must be established in every child custody case in Utah. At The Boyack Christiansen Legal Solutions, we work hard to secure you and your child the best child custody and visitation arrangement possible.
Individuals going through an uncontested divorce, alimony, or child custody disputes may turn to us for compassionate legal counsel. We are also persistent in our pursuit of your rights in court. Our experienced St George Utah child custody attorneys will be there for you as legal representation throughout the process and will fight for your child’s custody. Schedule a consultation with our St George Utah family law firm today!