Who Gets Custody?

Who Gets Custody?

One of the hardest decisions that a judge is often called to make during a divorce case is who should get custody of a child. Usually, parents want what is in the best interest of their child. Utah law 30-3-10.1 gives judges a lot of leeway in deciding what is in the best interest of their child but also provides them guidance on things to consider. Here are some of the factors the law suggests that the judge think about.

Needs Met

Utah law says that the judge should weigh who can meet the needs of the child best. The judge must decide who can meet the child's physical needs the best. The judge, however, should also weigh who is capable of best meeting the child's psychological, and emotional needs.

First Priority

The law suggests that the judge determine who is better able to make the child their top priority. For example, both parents may love the child, but if one is required to be gone often for work, then the judge may give preference to the other parent. Additionally, the law suggests that the judge consider giving custody to the parent who is stronger at negotiating for their child's interests.

Attitude Towards Other Parent

Moms and dads can both play influential roles in their children's lives. Yet, if one parent hates the other so much that they cannot see the value of that person's influence in the child's life, they may rule against them. Parents who are divorcing should not speak negatively about the other one.

Who is Caring for the Child

The law in Utah also suggests that the judge considers who was caring for the child before the divorce started. For example, if a mom stays home to take care of the child while the dad works two jobs, moms will often be given preference because they already have established relationships with others.

Child's Choice

Judges are encouraged to consider the child's wishes if they are old enough to make a decision who they want to live with after the divorce. There is no guidance offered to judges on how old the child should be to make this decision. Therefore, judges often rely on others who know the child to make recommendations.

There are many different factors that judges can consider when deciding who gets custody of a child during a divorce. Utah law does not tell judge's exactly how to decide. Therefore, it is important to have knowledgeable Utah attorneys like Spencer & Collier PLLC. on your side.

Tags: custody, divorce, child custody

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