Child Custody Lawyers in Utah work to protect your and your child’s best interests
Fillmore Spencer LLC child custody lawyers in Utah have more than 20 years’ familiarity with Utah child custody and child support law. Child custody in Utah may be brought as a separate case or as part of a divorce, separate maintenance, temporary separation, annulment, parentage, adoption, neglect and dependency or termination of parental rights case. It is governed by the custody sections of Utah’s divorce statutes.
There are two types of custody: physical and legal. “Physical” refers to where your child will live. “Legal” refers to who will make decisions for the child.
In a contested divorce, either type can be awarded on a sole or joint basis, so there are four ways a judge may rule when it comes to custody:
Parent time refers to the time the noncustodial parent spends with a child. When parents cannot agree on a parent time schedule, state law provides for a minimum parent time schedule.
Family law in this situation can get pretty complicated, with differing definitions of just what constitutes “parent time.”
When a divorced parent needs to move more than 150 miles away from the other parent’s residence, he or she must provide 60 days’ written notice. The court will consider whether the proposed move is in the child’s best interest.
The courts rarely permit relocation of the children. They tend to side with the custody evaluator, who typically considers a move not in the child’s best interest.
Utah law requires that both parents financially support their child’s or children’s needs.
The court assays each spouse’s adjusted gross income from nearly all sources, including bonuses, rents, trusts, capital gains, alimony from previous marriages, Social Security benefits and unemployment compensation. It also counts the amount of time each parent will spend with the child.
As with alimony, temporary child support may be requested as soon as a petition for divorce is filed. Be prepared to substantiate your request and be sure to include a completed Financial Declaration.
Once child custody and child support orders are issued, Fillmore Spencer LLC and their child custody lawyers in Utah stand ready to petition the court for assistance with enforcement matters.
If the terms of custody, visitation and child support become onerous or insufficient, Fillmore Spencer LLC can petition the court for their modification. Child support cannot be modified until three years have passed. Reasons for modification can include emancipation of the minor, a change in custody, the child’s medical needs, a change in a parent’s legal responsibilities for the support of others, or a significant change in a parent’s income, wealth or employment potential.
In child custody matters, your divorce order probably will indicate what type of dispute resolution you and the other parent must attempt before a modification can be considered. Legitimate reasons to justify custody modifications include remarriage, parental relocation, or the need for a child to change schools. As ever, the child’s best interests will underlie the court’s decision.
One of the most gut-wrenching aspects of divorce can be its effect on children. Invest in an attorney who knows Utah child custody and support laws inside and out and who will vigorously pursue all avenues to ensure your and your child’s or children’s rights are protected. Call Fillmore Spencer LLC at (801) 426-8200 or contact us online to arrange your free initial consultation.