What To Know About Child Custody, Parent Time And Paternity

Do you know your rights when it comes to child custody, parent time, visitation and paternity? The attorneys at Lokken & Associates, P.C., are here to help you.

We have more than 25 years of experience helping parents explore their options and finding solutions when it comes to family law issues involving their children in Salt Lake City and throughout Utah.

Give us a call if you do not have an order in place. It is important to establish a child custody and parent-time order. It will help address any disagreements or concerns and make sure you have a way to protect your rights in the future. Many times parents get along and are able to informally arrange custody and parent time. Most times, a dispute arises. If an order is not in place, there are no means to force compliance with custody or parent time.

What To Know About Child Custody

There are two types of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody involves making decisions about the child's upbringing. Physical custody involves where the child will live.

Child custody can be divided in two primary ways, sole physical and joint legal:

  • Sole custody: one parent has both legal and physical custody of the child
  • Joint custody: parents share legal custody, physical custody or both

If the court awards joint legal custody, it means that both parents share the rights, privileges, duties and powers. It is important to know that joint legal custody does not affect physical custody. Joint physical custody requires that a parent have a minimum of 111 overnights each year, and both parents contribute to the expenses of the child in addition to paying child support.

Legal custody does not affect the amount of child support paid. However, physical custody does affect the amount of child support paid, as it is based on the number of overnights that a child physically spends with a parent.

Parent Time Or Visitation — Let Us Help You Protect Your Rights

The parent time and visitation laws in Utah are complicated. Parents who do not have physical custody are entitled to parent time in most situations. Parent-time arrangements can be very different in each case depending on the needs of the child and the type of court order. Our lawyers will help you understand the different arrangements to consider when it comes to your children.

Handling Paternity Issues

Utah has very strict laws that a father must follow to establish paternity. Paternity is established through agency action, by voluntary declaration or by court determination.

Failure to follow these laws may result in the loss of your ability to assert any rights as a father. You need to act to preserve your rights. Custody and parent-time problems can quickly arise if no orders are in place, even if your name is on the birth certificate.

Contact Us To Learn More

It is best to get a custody order in place now before there are any disagreements. An order can prevent heated disputes and make co-parenting easier for everyone involved. We will help you learn the process and take appropriate legal action. Call 801-924-9211 to schedule a free consultation. You may also fill out our online form.