Sole Custody


When parents of young children are divorcing or if the relationship between an unwed couple fails, those children share the same fear and uncertainty their parents are experiencing. Utah courts prioritize the best interests of children. This is particularly true when it comes to awarding sole or joint custody.

Child custody is one of the most complicated and delicate issues in a divorce or paternity/custody case, which is why you need a skilled Salt Lake City child custody attorney by your side throughout the process. The court must take several factors into consideration to determine what is in the best interest of the child. This includes factors such as the parents’ past conduct, child-rearing skills, as well as their mental and physical health, amongst others. When sole custody is the best solution, it is vital that the parent seeking sole custody meets the requirements set by the Utah legislature to qualify as a sole custodial parent.

I am Salt Lake City sole custody attorney Emy Cordano, founder and managing attorney at EMY A. Cordano, Attorney at Law. When you retain my law firm, you retain me. I will handle all aspects of your custody case. I will listen to you and inform you of your options in the pursuit of custody. From the very first meeting, I develop tailored strategies that match your needs and goals in pursuit of the best resolution on your behalf.


When working to understand sole custody, we need to look at the two types of sole custody that may be awarded in your case – sole physical custody and sole legal custody.

  • Sole physical custody: This typically refers to where a child will reside. When sole physical custody is ordered, it means a child lives with one parent full time. However, in most sole custody situations, the other parent will enjoy parent-time rights. The other parent will also be required to pay child support based on the Utah Child Support Guidelines.
  • Sole legal custody: This refers to which parent has the right to make specific legal decisions regarding their child, that is, educational, medical, and religious decisions.

If a parent is awarded sole physical custody, it does not mean they will automatically be awarded sole legal custody, and vice versa. For example, one parent could have sole physical custody while both parents share legal custody of the child. Conversely, one parent could have sole legal custody of the child while both parents have shared physical custody of the child.


There are various reasons why sole physical custody and sole legal custody may be the best option in the aftermath of a divorce or termination of a relationship.

Many considerations will come into play when considering whether or not to award sole custody to a parent. This will include whether the mother or father served as the primary caregiver during the marriage or relationship. If one parent is addicted to alcohol or drugs or has a criminal background, this could be a strong motivating factor in awarding sole custody to the other parent. Additionally, the courts may be compelled to award sole custody in the event one parent is physically abusive.


Salt Lake City child custody lawyer Emy Cordano understands that unmarried couples deal with similar child custody issues that married couples do. That does not make the child custody process any less important or difficult. We are ready to help you get through your custody issues regardless of your marital status. It is vital that the child and the parents end up with a stable custody situation, so please reach out to us for a review of your case regardless of whether or not you are married.

Contact us for review of your case. If you are going through a divorce or separation and are struggling with child custody-related issues, you need to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Salt Lake City child custody lawyer Emy Cordano will work to investigate every aspect of your child custody case in order to secure the best possible outcome for you and your child. When you need a Salt Lake City divorce lawyer to handle your custody matters, please contact us by clicking here or call us at (801) 901-8159 for an initial consultation.

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Draper, UT 84020