If you are facing a child custody legal battle in Utah you need a divorce lawyer that understands how to establish what is in the best interest of the child (or children) and what parenting plan would work best for your situation. The Court is going to evaluate the parents and decide what is in the best interest of the child or children and which parent bests decided what is in their best interest;
“Determination of children’s best interests turns on numerous factors, each of which may vary in importance according to facts in particular case” Sanderson v. Tryon, (Utah 1987).
This is what you will be facing in your divorce case when it comes to child custody. You will need to convince the court that after your divorce is completed that you having primary or sole custody of your children will be in their best interest. The factors of what is in the best interest of the children is not always clear cut. During your divorce you will need to argue the case and point out the various factors of how the court will determine what is in your children’s best interest.
“Some factors the court may consider in determining the child’s best interests relate primarily to the child’s feelings or special needs:” Therefore, if you have children with special needs such as Down’s Syndrome, Autism, ADD, ADHD, or any other special need you need to make sure that such is communicated to the court correctly and thoroughly. These special needs of the children will be important in your divorce and child custody action. If you have been the parent that has been at home and taken care of the children then you need to make sure that the family law court in your county understands and considers that factor. The court will need to know about your children and which parent will seek the children’s best interest when determining both the parenting plan and child custody.
“(2) In awarding custody, the court shall consider, among other factors the court finds relevant, which parent is most likely to act in the best interests of the child, including allowing the child frequent and continuing contact with the noncustodial parent as the court finds appropriate.”
Utah Code Ann. § 30-3-10 (West)
As a parent to your children you know what is in their best interest. You have been involved in every aspect of their lives. Having been part of all of their development, including physical, mental, social, and emotional, puts you in a better position to decide what is in your children’s best interest.
In Utah, there is a presumption that joint legal custody is in the child’s best interest. Joint legal custody is not the same thing as joint physical custody. In order to have joint physical custody a parent must have at least 111 overnights a year with the child. This is overnights, not days. This is important to remember when establishing your parenting plan and child custody case.
For more information about Utah child custody laws, click here.
Contact me today to discuss your options in regards to your child custody case.