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How Will A Common-Law Marriage Affect Child Custody in Utah?

On behalf of Emy A. Cordano, posted in Family Law On Thursday, April 8, 2021

People who never obtained a marriage license or fulfilled the state’s statutory marriage laws, but live together as if they are married and present that they are married could be considered “common law” married.

There are a few states that will recognize common-law marriages, and they each have their own credentials. However, when those common-law marriages end, every state handles them very similarly. If you are common-law married and are worried about how it will affect the end of your relationship and the custody of your children, you need an experienced family law attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah. Emy Cordano has successfully operated in Salt Lake City for years. When you need a knowledgeable and skilled family law attorney, you need Emy Cordano.

What is Common Law Marriage in Utah?

Utah does not automatically recognize a couple as being ‘common law’ married after a certain number of years. Instead, for a couple to qualify as common law, they must petition the court. Certain conditions must be met to qualify;

  • The couple must be of legal age and able to give consent
  • Both parties must be legally capable of entering a solemnized marriage
  • The couple must live together
  • Both parties must treat each other as though they were married – including financially
  • They also must present themselves to the public in such a way that people believe they are married

If all the qualifiers are met, a judge may allow a couple to be recognized as married without a ceremony. There is a time limit to petition the court. Please consult an experienced family law attorney.

How Common Law Marriage Affects Child Custody in Utah?

If you have had children under common law marriage, custody can be a complicated matter. When a common-law marriage ends, one or both spouses must file a divorce petition. Custody of children will fall to the best interests of the child. This is where having an experienced family attorney is crucial.

Often, both spouses disagree on what is best for the child or children. While the courts prefer joint custody, sometimes that isn’t agreeable for both parties. A family law attorney can advise you on the best course of action and help protect your parental rights.

Some factors that can influence custody are:

  • What are the child’s wishes, depending on the age of the child?
  • How much time one parent has over the other for parent-time (Do you have a time-consuming job, or is your schedule open?)
  • Which parent was the primary caregiver of the child when the relationship was intact?
  • Does the child have any special needs?
  • Is there a history of drug use or domestic abuse?

Common law marriages are just as messy and complicated as any other marriage, whether you walked down the aisle or not. Do not assume custody will fall to the natural mother automatically. There are many influences and challenges that a successful family law attorney will guide you through. Contact Emy Cordano today.

Why Emy Cordano?

Emy Cordano takes pride in attention to detail. She and her staff place the well-being of your family above all else and will successfully see you through your divorce and custody battles. Don’t roll the dice on your attorney. This is no time to gamble with your life. When your family is at stake, you need one of the best family law attorneys in Salt Lake City, Utah. You need Emy Cordano. Contact us by clicking here or call us at 801-804-5152 for an initial consultation.

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