Practice Areas

Child Custody & Visitation

In Utah, child custody laws and statutes pertain to the care of children who have not yet obtained the age of 18 or graduated during their normal expected graduation date, whichever is latest. A great deal of fear and uncertainty in family law cases revolves around the welfare and custody of a client’s children. This usually stems from each parent’s desire to do what is best for his or her child(ren), as well as a desire to keep strong bonds with the child(ren) while dividing parent time with the other parent.

There are two types of custody in Utah

  1. Legal custody (authorizes a parent or the parents to make major decisions for a minor child(ren), including for medical, educational, and religious decisions);
  2. Physical custody (the actual schedule for the care and parent time with the child(ren)). In many cases, parents are able to reach an agreement regarding both legal and physical custody over their children, including the more specific provisions to govern the parties in a parenting plan. Notwithstanding the foregoing, some custody cases are so complex or contentious that the parents are not able to resolve custody and parent time issues. Some of the emotions that create the higher conflict custody litigation includes: unpleasantness from the breakup of a relationship; shift in work hours; changes in lifestyle choices; and significant personalities or new spouses.

In Utah, when a trial of a custody dispute is necessary, judges have broad discretion over custody awards. A judge can award legal custody, physical custody or visitation rights, and can set permanence or length of time for his or her ruling. The best interest of your children from the court’s perspective will be the primary consideration and concern of any custody ruling. In considering the best interests of the child, significant concerns that are factored into a judge’s decisions might include:

  • Significant family circumstances and history, like domestic violence, anger management issues, substance abuse issues and/or mental health
  • Ability of the parents to support the other parent’s relationship with the children
  • Age and needs of the children
  • Schedule of the children and parents
  • Ability of the parents to care for the children
  • The environment of each parent’s household
  • Any other factor that the child finds relevant.

Children grow and change, and, in turn, their needs change over time. Due to this ever changing environment, child custody agreements or orders can be modified if a change in circumstances has occurred that affects the children.

Our attorneys are skilled in seeking the best orders possible for a family’s needs, considering the unique circumstances of each family, parent, and minor child in each case.

We look forward to advocating for you

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Experts in family law

Legal Advocates & Strategists

Our attorneys at Adair Evans are client focused family law attorneys who are dedicated to achieving the best possible results for their clients in divorce, divorce modification, custody, alimony, child support, and other family law matters. Our attorneys at Adair Evans are skilled and respected leaders in the Utah legal community who use their skills for the benefit of their clients.

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