When you are going through a divorce, and there are minor children involved, one of the most challenging parts of the process may be child custody. You need to secure legal assistance to ensure your rights are maintained concerning your children. You can count on Emy Cordano to help you with all of your Salt Lake City child custody needs, including ensuring you get the parenting time you deserve. Today, we will look at how Utah compares with other states concerning parenting time.
The National Parents Organization report card
The National Parents Organization (NPO) works to “promote children’s well-being by making equal shared parenting the norm when parents are living apart.”
For years, it has been the automatic assumption that mothers will be awarded custody of their children and receive most of the parenting time. That assumption has changed over time, as many states have realized that it is important for both parents to be in a child’s life if at all possible.
The NPO recently released its 2019 report card that grades each state in the US on how strongly their laws promote equal parenting after a divorce. Only two states received an “A,” and seven received a “B.” All other states received “C” grades or worse.
Overall, the NPO gives Utah a “C” grade. They point out that:
- State statutes allow an order of shared parenting if the court finds it to be in the best interest of the child, even if only one parent requests it. (UTAH CODE ANN. § 30-3-10.02)
- Utah law specifies a “friendly parent” factor in determining the best interest for custody decisions, but courts are not explicitly required to consider it. (UTAH CODE ANN. § 30-3-10)
The NPO points out that many states have introduced and signed into law shared parenting bills since 2014. Utah is one of those states (UTAH CODE ANN. § 30-3-32).
The NPO does, however, say that Utah has room for improvement. Utah has no statutory preference for equal, shared parenting (concerning physical custody).
As you go through your divorce, you will need to figure out:
- Legal custody. This determines which parent has the right to make certain legal decisions for the child (religious, education, medical). This can be joint legal custody between the parents, or one parent could have sole legal custody.
- Physical custody. This refers to which parent the child will live with. Parents can have equal joint physical custody, or one parent can have sole physical custody – which in Utah means 110 or fewer overnights a year.
Let us get to work on your custody case today
If you are going through a divorce and need help figuring out child custody issues, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance. You can count on skilled and experienced divorce attorney Emy Cordano to be by your side throughout this process. She understands the importance of shared parenting time or in certain circumstances, sole custody, and will work to ensure your rights are maintained or returned. 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.