What are the Utah Child Custody Laws?
Custody laws in the United States are constantly changing so that the most effective practices and laws can be applied to child custody. Such laws may have a slight variation between the states in America. Hence, it is imperative for the co-parents to understand the present child custody laws in Utah so that they have a good knowledge of the things to expect when their custody case comes up.
If a couple having kids decide to go their own ways, both the parents should ideally share the responsibility of taking care of their offspring. A key aspect is with which parents the kid will live or child custody, as well as the visitation right of the noncustodial parent. Another major component of this responsibility would be financial support to assist in the growth of the child.
An Overview of Utah Child Custody Laws
Family courts in Utah similar to those in a majority of other states decide matters related to child custody on the principle of what works out best for the child. The judge considers the following factors while determining so:
- Demonstrated moral standards and past conduct of the parties
- A parent who has a greater chance to act in the child’s best interests such as permitting more frequent contact between the child and noncustodial parent
- Emotional, psychological, and physical needs of the kid
- Bonding between the child and each parent
- Preferences of the child
- When a parent has purposely shared pornography or other damaging sexual-related materials with the child
- The ability of both parents to arrive at shared decisions for their child, as well as, to prioritize on the welfare of the child
- In case both parents took part in raising their kid prior to divorce
- The ability of the parents to protect the kid from their arguments and conflict
- How close are the parents’ houses from one another?
- Background of kidnapping, domestic violence, or child abuse if any
- Present and past ability to cooperate in making decisions and parenting
- Other relevant factors
If parents fail to set up a parenting schedule of their own, the court in Utah may establish a schedule based on the best interest of the kid factors listed below:
- Accusations of child abuse
- Distance between the home of the noncustodial parent and the kid’s home
- Whether parent-time should impact the emotional development and physical health of the kid in a negative manner
- Preference of the child, if they are mature enough
- The noncustodial parent’s financial inability to offer shelter and food during parent-time
- Inadequacy of exhibited parenting skills if there is no protection mechanism to make sure of the kid’s safety
- Incarceration of the parent
- Shared interests, if any of the noncustodial parent and the child
- Involvement of the noncustodial parent in the religious, community, school, or some other related activities
- Availability of non-custodial parent to care for the kid if the custodial parent has other obligations or is working
Kinds of Custody
Child custody laws in the state define the kinds of custody that are permissible in the state. For instance, legal custody in the state denotes crucial responsibilities and decision-making rights for the kid such as health, religion, and education issues. On the other hand, physical custody means which parent has the important responsibilities and caretaking rights for the kid such as shelter, clothing, and food. Both these kinds of custody should be properly described in the parenting plan.
According to the child custody law of the state, it is possible for the state to enjoy joint custody. Joint custody can be physical custody i.e. where the kid stays and legal custody i.e. who will make educational, medical and other life decisions for the child.