Salt Lake City Child Custody Lawyers
Protecting the Best Interests of Children in Utah
In Utah, courts emphasize the well-being and best interests of children during the divorce process. A parenting plan is designed to outline where the children will live and spend their time. This can be the most contentious part of a divorce. When you need child custody attorneys in Salt Lake City, Nelson, Taylor & Associates offers skilled legal representation to help devise a parenting plan that works for everyone.
How Custody Is Awarded
When parents make the decision to divorce, both are responsible for the care of their children. One of the most important decisions that must be made is with whom the children will live and how the visitation schedule should work. When parents can’t come to an agreement, the court will make the decision based on the standard of the best interests of the child.
In custody cases, courts may consider:
- Moral standards and conduct of both parents
- Bonds between the child and each parent
- The child’s physical, emotional, and psychological needs
- Parents’ ability to cooperate in making decisions
- Ability of the parents to reach shared decisions
- Participation of each parent in raising the child before the divorce
- The child’s preferences (if appropriate)
- Any history of abuse, including alcohol or drug abuse
When possible, it is better for parents to come to an agreement, rather than allowing the court to make the final determination regarding custody. Our Salt Lake City child custody lawyers can work with you to develop a parenting plan that includes custody information and a visitation schedule. When a peaceful agreement is not possible, you can count on us to fight for your rights and best interests in court.
What Age Can a Child Decide Which Parent to Live With in Utah?
While there is no set age to when a child can set preference on child custody, a Utah court will give more weight to a child's decision if they are older (14+). A judge will also examine the reasons as to why the child wants to live with one parent over the other. The best interests of the child are the priority and custody will be awarded to the parent who gives that child the safer and more comfortable environment.
What Makes a Parent Unfit in Utah?
if you are attempting to gain custody from what you feel is an "unfit" parent, then there are several scenarios that you must prove:
- Has there been any sexual abuse towards the child?
- Do you have proof of child neglect?
- Has the parent been convicted of a crime that inhibits their ability to care for the child?
- Has the parent attempted to threaten the life of the child?
If you are unable to prove any of these, you can still file against them for being unfit if they have not shown the ability to adjust to their role. This essentially means that the parent hasn't taken the bare minimum to protect or care for the child. Our experienced attorney can assist you through this process if any questions come up.
Get Legal Advice for Your Custody Case
We use our extensive knowledge and experience in divorce and family law to provide realistic advice to our clients. We will assess your situation and explain how the law pertains to your circumstances so you know what to expect. Our attorneys offer free consultations to give you the opportunity to get advice for your situation and have your questions answered.
Please call (801) 901-7046 to schedule an appointment with an attorney in our office.