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Child Custody in Utah
When the parents of minor children split up, they'll have to make some critical decisions related to child custody and child support. A Utah District Court judge will review these decisions to ensure that they are in the best interests of the child. Because it's a complicated legal process, each parent is encouraged to hire his or her own child custody attorney to assist with the negotiations and to handle the legal paperwork and court appearances.
Child Custody & Child Support in Utah
Under Utah law, child custody is divided into two parts: Physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to where a child lives the majority of the time. Legal custody refers to which parent makes major decisions that affect a child's life. Physical and legal custody can be handled in one of several ways:
- One parent has sole legal and sole physical custody of a child
- Both parents have joint legal and joint physical custody of a child
- Both parents have joint legal custody of a child and one parent has sole physical custody
- One parent has sole physical custody of one child and the other parent has sole physical custody of another child, in an arrangement known as split custody
Typically if one parent has sole physical custody, the other parent will have visitation, also known as parenting time in Utah.
If parents are getting divorced, then child custody and child support issues will be decided as part of the divorce proceedings and detailed in an agreement known as a parenting plan. Unmarried parents who are splitting up may have to first establish paternity of the child before creating a parenting plan.
Both parents are also expected to contribute to the financial costs of raising a child. This means that one parent will typically have to pay child support until the child is 18 years old or graduates from high school. The Utah Office of Recovery Services Child Support Services can help parents establish and enforce a child support order.
Find & Hire Local Utah Child Custody Attorneys
Utah's child custody and child support laws can be complicated and confusing. That's why it's a smart decision to hire a child support lawyer to guide you through the process of creating a parenting plan and establishing a child support order. Your lawyer can also help you modify or enforce these agreements if you have problems down the road.
If you need help locating child custody lawyers in your area, you've come to the right website. Whether you live in Salt Lake City, Provo or elsewhere in Utah, Attorneys.com can quickly connect you with local lawyers. To use our free service, call us at 877-913-7222 or complete the form on this page.