There is nothing more important than protecting children during the divorce process. While divorce is hard on everyone involved, minor children should have the Family Court’s full attention.
Recently, the Office of the Legislative Auditor General for Utah released a report that discusses the protections in place for children during a divorce. They also discussed improvements that could be made to speed up the court processes involved in these cases. Today, Salt Lake City child custody lawyer Emy A. Cordano wants to discuss some of the findings of this audit as well as some of the child custody basics you need to be aware of.
Protecting children is the goal
The audit completed by the Legislative Auditor General for Utah gives us an interesting insight into the other side of the system. From 2014 to 2018, there were 65,786 divorce cases in Utah. Out of those cases, 323 involved child welfare concerns.
The audit reviewed 10 of those cases and looked at both the Utah Code and Utah State court rules and found that there were proper protections in place for children in divorce cases. However, they did say that improvements could be made to speed up cases in which there are child welfare concerns.
“We found that the presence of child disputes in divorce proceedings drastically increases the time to disposition,” the audit report says.
- The average divorce in Utah takes 6 months from filing to final disposition.
- When there is a child custody evaluation, the time increases to an average of 16 months from filing to disposition.
- If a Guardian Ad Litem (attorney for the child) is appointed by the court to represent the minor due to allegations of abuse or neglect, the cases take an average of 22 months to resolve.
The auditors found that custody evaluations were ordered more often than necessary. They recommended that cases should be placed on certain paths based on certain factors:
- Length of the marriage or separation.
- Marital property and debt.
- Age of minor children involved
What does child custody mean?
When discussing child custody in Utah, we are looking at two kinds:
- Physical custody determines with whom a child will reside.
- Legal custody determines which parent is ordered to make the big decisions regarding the child’s welfare (schools, medical, religious.)
For both types of custody, parents can be awarded sole or joint custody, though this does not necessarily have to be the same for both types.
Let us get to work helping you today
If you are going through a separation or divorce and there are minor children involved, you need to ensure you have an attorney by your side who understands all aspects of this process. You can count on Emy A. Cordano to ensure you are treated fairly and that your most precious assets – your children – are protected. The goal is to ensure you are in the best position to gain custody of your children or that you have a fair visitation schedule in place when the divorce is finalized. When you need a Salt Lake City child custody attorney, you can contact us by clicking here or call us at 801-804-5152 for an initial consultation.