Often the most emotionally difficult issues in a divorce are custody and parent time issues. While many parties are able to agree upon a custody and parent time arrangement and effectively co-parent their children, other cases cannot be resolved so easily and may require custody evaluation litigation to resolve these issues. We have handled all types of custody and parent time disputes, including, but not limited to issues such as parental alienation, denial of parent time, physical and sexual abuse, child neglect, educational difficulties, and children with physical, emotional or psychological special needs.
Many arrangements are possible when spouses with children make the decision to divorce. A decision must be made about physical custody: whom the child will live with. Parents can split physical custody evenly or unevenly, depending on their needs, preferences and work schedules. When a child spends more than 111 overnights with each parent, the arrangement is called joint physical custody. If a child spends almost all of his her time living with one parent, that parent is said to have sole physical custody, even if the other parent has rights to parent time.
When one parent has parent-time rights, the minimum visitation/parent-time schedule is every other weekend and one evening each week. Utah law also provides for an increased parent-time option for the non-custodial parent to have 145 overnights per year. Unlimited parent-time arrangements are available to the parents and the courts depending on the needs of the parties and their children.
In addition to physical custody, legal custody must also be determined. Parents who have legal custody over a child have the right to make decisions about his or her education, as well as physical and mental health and well-being.
Non-married parties can file an action to determine custody, parent-time, and child support. The process is nearly identical to a divorce action. Child custody is determined by the same standards as in divorce.
Parent-time is determined by the same standards as in divorce. Minimum parent-time standards, including holiday division has been codified in the Utah Code as follows: http://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title30/Chapter3/30-3-S35.html?v=C30-3-S35_1800010118000101
Child support and related expenses including medical insurance, medical costs, and child care expenses are determined by the Utah Child Support Act, which gives a baseline for expenses that must be shared: http://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title78B/Chapter12/78B-12.html?v=C78B-12_1800010118000101
Child support is determined by a standardized calculation under the Utah Child Support Guidelines. The amount is determined by the gross monthly income of the parents, the number of children, and the custody arrangement. In nearly all cases, the ordered child support amount must be calculated by using the Child Support Worksheet. The Utah Child Support Calculator can be found at: https://orscsc.dhs.utah.gov/orscscapp-hs/orscscweb/action/public/custodyWorksheet/show
We understand that the primary focus of divorcing parents is often the well-being of children. When working with our clients in Salt Lake City, Ogden and beyond, our child custody attorneys handle all litigation involving children in a manner that ensures that children’s best interests are protected.
The child custody lawyers at Jennings and Medura proudly serve clients in Salt Lake City, Ogden, and surrounding Utah areas all along the Wasatch Front. If you need representation or advice, get a free consultation by filling out the quick form to the right.
The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts is the premier interdisciplinary and international association of professionals dedicated to the resolution of family conflict. Go to the AFCC site for information and expert resources on family law.