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Life Changes: Divorce (child custody)

Getting Divorced in Utah: How is Child Custody Determined?

counselingDetermining child custody is one of the most critical decisions and complicated decisions that spouses will be faced with in a divorce. In Utah, child custody can be determined as part of a divorce hearing or it can be addressed in a separate hearing.

Basically, there are two issues to be addressed: Legal Custody and Physical Custody. Legal Custody determines who will make major decisions (medical care decisions, education, etc.) on behalf of a child. Physical Custody addresses where a child will live. There are a number of combinations that can be considered by the parents and the court.

  • Sole legal and Sole physical custody: One parent has both legal and physical custody of the children.
  • Joint legal and Joint physical custody: Children live with both parents, and both parents make important decisions for the children.
  • Joint legal and sole physical custody: Both parents make important decisions on behalf of the children, but the children reside with one parent.
  • Split custody: Where there is more than one child, each parent is given sole physical custody of at least one of the children. Legal custody can still be sole or joint.

If the court must decide custody arrangements, factors are considered to determine the child’s best interest. The following is taken directly form Utah Courts Website:

best interest

In addition to custody, designations can be made for “parent time” and custody arrangements can be revisited by the court at the parents’ request.

Good luck in your search for answers. I hope this is helpful.

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**I am not an attorney and am in no way trying to give legal advice or practice law. The information on this website is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

Two attorneys in St. George, Utah that practice family law are Sam Draper and Adam Caldwell. The primary source for information on this site has been the Utah Courts Website.

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