Before you can finalize your divorce, you have to resolve key issues with your spouse. One of the most common points of contention between separating spouses is child custody. In Utah, both parties have Joint Legal Custody of their minor kids by default. If you are seeking custody of your children, understanding the key terms is important. Top law firms like Coil Law help clients reach a resolution that’s acceptable to both sides and is in the best interests of the child. Below is an overview of child custody in Utah. 

The basic pointers

As we mentioned, both parents have joint legal custody of their child as per Utah laws. You can come up with a parenting plan with your spouse, and both of you would be involved in co-parenting and make major decisions about their child’s life together. Since you have legal custody of your kids, you have a say in making decisions related to their religion, education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities. On the other hand, if you have physical custody of the kids, this means that they live with you, and because of the arrangement, you are more involved in the minor decisions. You will still have to cooperate with your spouse as per the parenting plan. 

More aspects worth knowing 

Child custody battles often get ugly because both parents want a 50-50 custody arrangement, which may not be viable or feasible in the long run. If you believe that your spouse should not share legal custody of your kids, you need a solid reason to argue that in court. For instance, if your spouse has a history of physical abuse or substance addiction, you can show evidence and keep sole custody of your kids. Physical Custody in Utah refers to the number of nights you can live with your minor kids every year. If you go for joint physical custody, you can have 111 overnights in a year. The parent with more overnights is the custodial parent. The primary caretaker is the parent who takes care of the kid and their day-to-day needs. 

If you want to be the primary caregiver of your child, you may have to work on your legal strategy. In most cases, it is the mother, but there are many aspects that matter. Talk to an attorney to understand how you can do the best for your child. You should consider hiring a lawyer before going into custody agreements or discussions with your spouse. 

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