Fighting for Your Parental Rights
Are you a parent going through a divorce?
If so, who gets custody of the children is likely the biggest question on your mind.
At Preston Day Law, we understand just how important your children are to you. After all, there is no greater love than that between a parent and their child. That's why you need a capable child custody attorney on your side—Attorney Preston Day and his legal team stand ready to help.
Legal Custody Versus Physical Custody
There are two types of custody available:
- Legal custody — Which parent will be responsible for making decisions for the child and taking care of their well-being. It consists of determining where the child will go to school, what kind of medical care the child will receive, what religion the child will practice, and more. It is common for both parents to share legal custody.
- Physical custody — Where and with whom the child will live. The parent the child will spend most of their time with is the custodial parent, whereas the parent the child spends less time with is called the noncustodial parent.
How to File For Custody in Utah
To file for child custody in Utah, you will need to follow these steps:
- Determine the type of custody you want to seek: Choose one of of legal custody or physical custody is best for your situation.
- Complete the necessary forms: You will need to fill out the required forms to file for custody. You can find these forms on the Utah Courts website or at your local courthouse. Depending on the type of custody you are seeking, you will need to complete different forms.
- File the forms: Once the forms have been completed, they need to be filed with the county court where the child lives. When you file the forms, you will have to pay a filing fee.
- Serve the other parent: Following the filing of the forms, you will need to serve a copy to the other parent. Process servers, friends and family members, as well as the sheriff can serve process.
- Attend a hearing: A hearing will be scheduled after the other parent has been served. Both parties will be heard at the hearing and a custody decision will be made.
In order to ensure that your rights are protected and the custody arrangement is in your child's best interest, our Utah child custody attorneys recommend that you seek the assistance of an attorney.
If you and your spouse cannot determine how to share custody, the court will do so on your behalf.
Here are some factors the court may consider when making a custody determination:
- Relationship between each parent and the child
- Parents’ ability to cooperate and co-parent together
- Child’s preferences (when appropriate)
- Each parent’s participation in raising and caring for the child before the divorce
- Child’s physical, emotional, and psychological needs
- The overall health of each parent
- History of alcohol and/or substance abuse
- Any instances of domestic violence
- Additional factors the court deems would be in the child’s best interests
What Age Can a Child Decide a Custodial Parent?
A child’s preference is one of the factors the court will consider when awarding custody. While there is not a set age for when a child can determine a custodial parent, the court will consider the child’s preferences if they are over the age of 14.
It is important to note that age is not the only factor, and the court wants to do what is in line with the child’s best interest. Therefore, if a child wishes to live with a parent that abuses alcohol, the court may not agree with the child’s preferences.
There are two ways to ask the court to change child support: a Motion to Adjust and a Petition to Modify.
Under Utah family law, for the court to grant a change of custody, you must present enough evidence to show that a material and substantial change of circumstances has occurred and that a change in custody would be in the best interests of the child.
At Preston Day, PLLC, our Utah County child custody lawyer understands the importance of securing a custody order that puts your child’s interests first. We have the experience, knowledge, and skills to help you determine what choices will protect you and your family and help everyone involved move forward with their lives in as amicable a way as possible.
Extensive Knowledge With Litigation.
When legal matters become contentious, having an attorney in your corner who is comfortable in the courtroom and well-versed in litigation can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. For your family law and criminal defense needs in the greater Salt Lake City, Utah area, I am ready and willing to stand up and fight for you.
Calm & Caring Guidance for Your Case
I understand that your legal issue, whether family-related or involving criminal charges, may be the most stressful and difficult experience of your life. Having an attorney who is focused on protecting your best interests and making sure you are put in the most favorable position available will give you peace of mind as you move forward.
We Will Work Together to Seek a SolutionWhen the result will have such a long-lasting impact on your life, you deserve to be involved and included in each step of the legal process. I will meet with you to hear your story, listen to your input, and answer all of the important questions you may have along the way. When the outcome is important to you, it's important to me.
Take advantage of a free consultation with our team.