Assertive Child Custody Representation For Salt Lake City

Child custody disputes are difficult cases that involve charged discussions about where a child will live with and how much time they will spend with a parent. In addition to determining who the child spends their time with, there is also the issue of financial child support.

At Lokken & Associates, P.C., we help our clients maintain their parental rights while balancing the best interests of their children. Our Salt Lake City lawyers have over 25 years of combined legal experience and a commitment to helping clients throughout Utah create the best possible child custody agreement.

How Is Child Custody Determined In Utah?

The courts determine child custody based on many factors that boil down to what is in a child's best interest. These determining factors are relatively subjective and include who will best focus on their child's well-being. For an unmarried father to claim child custody, he must also prove legal parentage (paternity).

The courts use several factors to decide child custody, including:

  • Which parent will let their child continue contact with the other parent
  • The quality and depth of the relationship between a parent and child
  • If a parent can encouraging a positive relationship between the child and other parent
  • If both parents participated in raising the child before divorce
  • The child's preference (if a child is old enough to participate)

Child custody is divided in two primary ways:

  • Physical custody: Which parent the child will primarily or always live with
  • Legal custody: Which parent will have the right to make major decisions about a child's life, including education, medical care and religious upbringing

Joint physical custody means that a child will spend at least 111 overnights a year at each parent's home. Joint custody parents often contribute to the expenses of their child's care, on top of child support.

Relocation And Child Custody

If either parent decides to move out of Utah or over 150 miles from the court-specified home, the parent must give notice of the relocation to the court and other parent. The court or parent may then ask to schedule a hearing to review the custody agreement and ask for modifications.

The factors used in a relocation modification can include:

  • The relationship of the parent and child
  • The reason behind a parent's need to move
  • The added costs and difficultly of exercising parent-time after a move
  • The monetary considerations of both parents

Depending on the hearing's outcome the court may order the parent who wants to move to pay for the cost of transportation, extra visits, vacation travel and other charges.

Child Custody Motions To Modify

While child custody modifications are possible, courts often want to keep things as they are and changes are a difficult proposition. To propose a child custody modification, a parent must prove that there are substantial reasons for change that are in a child's best interests. These reasons can include if a parent violated a court order or if there were significant changes to a parent's circumstances

Utah Has Strict Child Custody Guidelines. Call Us Now.

An order can prevent heated disputes and make co-parenting easier for everyone involved. Our comprehensive attorneys will help you learn the process and take proper legal action. Call 801-924-9211 to schedule a free consultation. You may also fill out our online form. Hablamos Español. Falamos Português.