Utah Child Custody and Child Visitation
Utah parents often must go to court to resolve child custody and child visitation issues. Utah courts hope that parents can amicably come to a resolution on child custody and child visitation rights issues, but Utah courts will intervene to make these difficult decisions when necessary. If courts are forced to make these decisions, then they will do so in accordance with the child's best interests. This determination is made by assessing a number of factors provided by Utah law. These factors and other relevant provisions of the Utah Code are provided below. It is highly recommended that you consult a Utah child custody attorney before going through child custody or child visitation proceedings.
Utah Child Custody
Utah courts will grant a parent either joint or sole legal custody. In appointing child custody, courts will follow the child's best interests standard. The following factors are reviewed under this standard to make the best custody determination for the child:
If a Utah court decides to grant joint custody, then it will require that both parents submit parenting plans proposing the details associated with the joint custody. These details must provide for how the child will be cared for and what mechanisms will be in place to ensure that the child's physical, mental, and emotional well-beings are advanced.
When a parent vying for child custody in Utah has allegedly committed child abuse or child sex abuse, the court may not award that parent custody until a complete investigation into the allegations have been made and confirmed or denied.
A court order for child custody may not be modified unless the modifying party can show that the parents' or child's circumstances have substantially changed so as to alter the child's best interests.
Before entering child custody proceedings, it is imperative that one be fully prepared to address the court's relevant questions or concerns. This requires a comprehensive understanding of child custody law in Utah. In order to be best prepared for such proceedings, it is recommended that you consult a Utah child custody attorney.
Utah Child Visitation Rights
A noncustodial parent or nonparent who desires to visit and spend time with a child may apply for child visitation rights in Utah. A noncustodial parent will generally be entitled to receive reasonable visitation rights unless it is against the child's best interests.
When making child visitation decisions, Utah courts will initially defer to parents and direct them to create a visitation schedule. If the parents are unable to agree on a visitation schedule, then the court will create a visitation schedule that is in accordance with the child's best interests.
Grandparents may apply to receive visitation rights. There is a rebuttable presumption that visitation rights for a grandparent are in the child's best interests. This presumption can be rebutted if the objecting party shows that awarding custody to the grandparent is not in the child's best interests.
When it comes to awarding child visitation to nonparents other than grandparents, Utah courts find that there is a rebuttable presumption that the parent's decision regarding whether or not to grant visitation rights is in the child's best interests. This presumption can be rebutted if the nonparent attempting to gain child visitation can rebut the presumption and show that granting him or her child visitation is in the child's best interests.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding child visitation rights, it is in your benefit to consult a Utah child custody attorney.