a father holding his daughter on his shoulders

Is a Child Custody Arrangement Permanent?

A child custody arrangement can be the most difficult part of a divorce process for some couples. It can seem overwhelming to think that you may go from seeing your children all of the time to only some of the time.

As such, parents may worry that whatever child custody arrangement is established during the divorce process is permanent.

Learn why this is not the case and how to go about modifying such an order.

How is Child Custody Determined in Utah?

When deciding upon a child custody arrangement, the court will make a ruling that is in the best interest of the children involved. To that end, there are many different factors that the court will consider when establishing an agreement, including:

  • Each parent’s involvement in the child’s life prior to the court proceedings
  • Which parent has more time available to spend with the child
  • Which parent is more likely to promote the other parent’s relationship with the child
  • A child’s preference for which parent to live with (this is given more weight if the child is older than 14)

There are several different types of child custody arrangements that may be reached, including the following:

  • Legal custody: Who has the right to make important decisions about the children
  • Physical custody: Who the child lives with

Such custody may be sole or joint. Sole custody means one parent has legal and/or physical custody of the children while the other parent is given visitation rights. Joint custody means the children live with both parents, and both parents make important decisions about the children. This type of custody works best when both parents can communicate well with each other.

How to Adjust a Child Custody Arrangement in Utah

Child custody arrangements may be modified as children age and circumstances change. The criteria to modify such an arrangement are as follows:

  • There have been “substantial material changes in circumstances”; and
  • The modification would be in the best interests of the child or children involved.

Specific examples of changes that may warrant a child custody modification include parental relocation, remarriage, changes in the child’s needs, and more.

Seeking a Child Custody Modification? We’re Here to Help

If you would like to modify an existing child custody arrangement or defend yourself against a proposed modification, our team at Pearson Butler is here to help. Our experienced family law attorneys have extensive experience litigating such matters, and we can help you reach a resolution that best suits your unique needs.

Contact us today at (800) 265-2314 to schedule a confidential consultation.