Serving Clients in Utah County, Salt Lake County, and throughout Utah

July 28, 2016

Utah Child Custody Explained


When facing a divorce, there are many different factors at stake. One of the most important issues to be discussed and resolved is child custody for your children. It is difficult to navigate a divorce, but considering what is best for your children will help the process proceed with less hiccups.

A custody case may be brought separately or are part of the divorce case. Regardless of the initiating case, the Utah laws for child custody will govern each child custody issue. This holds true for un-married parents.

In Utah there are two types of custody that must be considered: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to the living arrangements for the child, while legal custody focuses on who will make the legal decisions for the child until he or she turns 18 years old. In addition to the types of custody, Utah recognizes and uses several different custody arrangements. They are as follows:

Sole Legal and Sole Physical Custody

Sold custody means that one parent is given physical and legal custody of the child or children involved. The children will live with the parent who was granted sole custody and that parent will be charged with making all major decisions about the child’s welfare. The non-custodial parent will be given parent time, also known as visitation.

Joint Legal and Join Physical Custody

This arrangement is a bit different as the child or children will live with both parents, usually at least 111 nights per year in each home. In addition to the shared physical custody, both parents will need to work together to make decisions regarding the child or children’s welfare. Major decisions must be made together.

This arrangement works best when both parents live close to each other and are willing to communicate with one another.

Joint Legal and Sole Physical Custody

This is a combination custody agreement. Both parents will have a say in major decisions about a child’s life but there is a custodial parent and a non-custodial parent. While, the child will live with one parent, the non-custodial parent will have regular parent time with the child.

Split Custody

When more than one child is involved, each parent may be awarded physical custody of one or more children. The court will determine what is best for each child and assign a custodial parent for each child. The legal custody may or may not be shared, as determined by the court.

If you have facing a divorce and have children, let the experienced Provo family law attorneys at Reneer & Associates help. We can help you create a parenting plan that will work best for your children. Call our office for a consultation today.

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