Navigating a divorce can be overwhelming and stressful for everyone involved, especially when children are in the equation. Custody and visitation issues are extremely sensitive and complicated, and determining who gets custody of your children is a serious matter that the courts do not take lightly. So, which parent will get custody of your children?
Continue reading to learn more.
The Basics of Child Custody in Utah
Generally speaking, there are two types of custody, legal child custody, and physical child custody. Legal child custody involves the parents’ right and obligation to participate in making decisions regarding your children’s upbringing, such as medical care or their education. Physical custody refers to where the children will reside. There are several variations of custody, including sole physical and legal custody, joint physical and legal custody, sole physical and joint legal, and split custody. Because each case is unique, it is essential to find a legal team that will carefully examine your specific situation and determine the best options for your family when it comes to custody.
Which Parent is More Likely to Get Custody?
In years past, many states would follow the “tender years” doctrine and give custody to the biological mother if their children were five years old or younger. It was assumed that mothers were better equipped to care for their children. This doctrine was often put into place in many custodial proceedings, regardless of whether or not the mother was actually fit for the responsibility of caring for the kids.
Nowadays, while mothers’ are still more likely to get custody of their children than fathers (83% versus 17%), Utah courts will look at what is in the best interest of the kids instead of automatically assuming it’s the mother and not the father.
How is Custody Determined in Utah?
There are no set rules on which parent will automatically get custody of your kids. There are many factors that Utah courts take into account to determine what is in the child’s best interest, such as:
- Which parent is the primary caregiver (both past and present)
- Which parent has a closer emotional connection with children
- Keeping siblings together
- The parents’ desire for custody and their financial resources
- Either parents’ past conduct and actions such as substance or domestic abuse or a criminal record
- Parents’ moral standards, lifestyle, and religious compatibility with children
- Are the children happy, thriving, and well adjusted
- Location of extended family members
- The child’s preference
Contact The Ault Firm
Child custody is a complex and sensitive matter. Suppose you are getting divorced or ending your relationship and have children. In that case, it is essential to know all of your options and seek an experienced family law attorney’s counsel. The professionals at The Ault Firm are here to help you navigate this complicated process and give you the legal representation you deserve. We have offices located in Salt Lake City and West Jordan for your convenience. Schedule your initial consultation to discuss your case by contacting The Ault Firm today.