Parents who have had their Utah custody orders entered into a court of law do not have the right to withhold parenting time from the noncustodial parent. Both parents must obey the order of the court. Even if child support is not being paid or being paid irregularly, custodial parents do not have the right to withhold parenting time. Likewise, a parent may not withhold child support payments because they are being denied parenting time.
Sharing custody is never an easy process. If you are facing custody issues in Utah, contact our Salt Lake City child custody attorney now to determine your best course of action moving forward. Some ways that you can work out your custody issue include getting a show cause order in the case, seeking a modified order, working with a parent coordinator, or undergoing a custody evaluation.
Enforcement of Parent Time and Child Custody Orders
When one party does not follow the order of parent time or child custody issued by a Utah judge, then the other parent can file a Motion to Enforce Domestic Order (Order to Show Cause) that asks the court to enforce its previously entered order. This enforcement order can also include a request for extra parent time. It is possible that the court will hold the non-compliant party in contempt of court, subjecting them to the payment of fines or even a jail sentence.
Modifying a Custody Order
Sometimes custody arrangements just don’t work as intended, usually due to changes that have occurred since the order was entered. Either parent can ask the court to modify a previous custody or parenting time order provided there is a valid reason to do so. The court requires that parents have a substantial material change in their circumstances since the issuance of the original order before requesting the modification. The modification must also be in the best interest of the child(ren).
Working with a Parent Coordinator
The Utah courts sometimes help parents resolve conflicts regarding parenting issues and custody problems by appointing a parent coordinator. This person is a mental health professional who has a background in child development. It is the job of the parent coordinator to provide advice for parents to help them resolve their differences and establish a more workable parenting plan. Parents are not under obligation to accept the suggestions of the parent coordinator, and all discussions with the coordinator are held in confidence.
Either parent can request a professional custody evaluation through the court. This evaluation looks at the custody issues being experienced and determines whether or not the current custody arrangement still makes sense for all involved.
Issues with custody can create a huge source of stress for parents and children. Salt Lake City child custody lawyer Emy A. Cordano understands that you have a lot riding on the case that you present to the judge in your custody matters. Reach out to our team at 801-804-5152 now to discuss your options or to schedule a consultation.