One of the hardest things to deal with in the aftermath of a divorce is co-parenting and learning the new roles that each parent must play as a divorced couple. The state of Utah encourages both parents to have a healthy, ongoing relationship with their shared children. Although it is not unusual for a father to be the main custodian of a child, this role typically falls on the mother. It is important for both fathers and mothers to know their legal rights when it comes to child visitation.
Our Salt Lake City child custody lawyer at Emy A. Cordano, Attorney at Law, strongly believes that parents should attempt to have a civil relationship after divorce, if for nothing else, then for the sake of any children involved. If you have child custody or child visitation questions, give our office a call to schedule a consultation with our compassionate team.
In the state of Utah, married fathers are automatically given parental rights on the birth of their children, provided a court has not decided otherwise. An unmarried father must go through the process of proving his paternity before he can ask the court to grant him visitation rights with the child. If the mother of the child is agreeable, she and the baby’s father can always sign a declaration of paternity on a voluntary basis. However, if the mother is not agreeable to the father seeing the child, then the father has no other option than to ask the Utah courts to intervene and help him establish his paternity.
There is a difference between physical custody and legal custody under Utah law. Utah courts have the option of awarding sole custody to just one parent, and the courts also have the option of creating a parenting plan where both parents share both legal and physical custody of the child in question. In Utah, judges are required to render custody orders that are based on the best interest of the child. Should the court grant physical custody to the mother, then the father as a non-custodial parent is also entitled to parenting time. If the mother wishes to limit the father’s visitation of the child, she must get a court order that is based on potential harm to the child such as neglect or abuse.
As part of the divorce process, married parents have the option to ask the court for a custody order. However, an unmarried father must take action on proving parentage in order to assert his rights. After the court’s issue an order regarding the custody of the child and proposed visitation, parents are bound to follow the terms of the order.
Our Salt Lake City child custody attorney at Emy A. Cordano, Attorney at Law, understands how stressful it can be to co-parent. We are here to offer sound advice and representation if your rights have been infringed or if you seek to limit the visitation of an absent parent in your case. Call us at 801-804-5152 or click here to start a conversation with our professional attorneys today.