Pearson Butler Team

Child Custody Laws in Utah

How Have Child Custody Laws in Utah Changed?

Recent changes in the Utah Statutes affecting custody in Utah have created a presumption of joint legal custody. Joint legal custody means the “sharing of the rights, privileges, duties, and powers of a parent by both parents.” Utah Code Ann § 30-3-10.1.

The presumption of joint legal custody is outlined in Utah Code Ann § 30-3-10:

“There shall be a rebuttable presumption that joint legal custody, as defined in Section 30-3-10.1 is in the best interest of the child, except in cases where there is:

  • (i) domestic violence in the home or in the presence of the child;
  • (ii) special physical or mental needs of a parent or child, making joint legal custody unreasonable;
  • (iii) physical distance between the residences of the parents, making joint decision making impractical in certain circumstances; or
  • (iv) any other factor the court considers relevant including those listed in this section and Section 30-3-10.2.”

How Do the Child Custody Laws in Utah Affect Parental Rights?

The statutory changes in the state of Utah for legal custody have helped many divorced parents ensure that they will have a contributing voice in the important decisions made for their children. The statutory presumption of joint legal custody has been beneficial for many people going through the difficult process of divorce. A shared decision can many times help in reducing the manipulation that one spouse uses over the other spouse in some sole legal custody situations.

Parents need to create a parenting plan as part of the custody case. A parenting plan is required for any case that has shared joint custody, be it legal or physical. To establish ground rules, and a game plan for helping the children receive care and consistency, and to encourage parents to work together, a parenting plan is drafted and then implemented in custody cases.

Contact a Child Custody Attorney

With offices in South Jordan, Bountiful, and Utah County, the Utah Divorce Lawyers at Pearson Butler assist with child support and family law issues. Our firm has experience in drafting Parenting Plans that are beneficial to you and your children. Feel free to call us at (800) 265-2314.