There are very few issues that can be more emotionally taxing, and critical than child custody discussions.  For quite some time, couples have had to endure the battle over their obligations, responsibilities and plans to obtain custody of the couples minor children when a partnership or marriage is dissolved.  The help of a Divorce Attorney Ogden can assist you to claim and protect your rights as a parent.

Times are changing and what used to be the days of simply having the mother granted custody over the kids is gone. Most courts throughout the U.S. now follow the “best interests of the child” standards. The  attorneys and the officers of the court take a look into the lives of the children, parents and family members. There are many factors to help the court and evaluators decide where and how the child or children are to reside. This also includes whose home should be the primary residence.  An experienced Ogden Divorce lawyer who will fight on your behalf will help you understand the details of your case with the personalized care,understanding and above all the privacy and confidentiality that you and your family deserve during this time..

Are There Different Custody Options?

Custody is a two part deal between the parents and is viewed by the court as 1.) Physical custody and 2.) Legal custody.  Lets take a look at each of these for a moment.

So what does Physical custody actually mean? This is where the children will live the majority of the time;

Legal custody is which parent has the right to make different important decisions about their life. This could mean medical, educational etc.  In most cases and considering there is no domestic violence in the home and that the child is not a special needs child, the parents live a considerable distance from one another, or a host of other factors that may be addressed by the court, Joint legal custody is believed to be the standard choice and is in the best interest of the child. A parent may be able to tell the court that evidence with evidence, the court can overturn and provide sole legal custody.. Utah recognizes several custody arrangements for minor children. These include:

Sole Legal and Sole Physical

This can mean that one of the parents is to be granted the sole custody of the children. This is called the Custodial Parent. In this case it means that the children will only live with that parent and only that parent can make the major decisions about their life and care. In this case the opposite parent is called the Non-Custodial Parent and will be able to have parent time with the children according to the courts order.

Joint Legal and Joint Physical

This is commonly known as “half and half custody”. In this arrangement the children will alternate their living with both parents and the best part is that both parents are given the right and agree to make important decisions about their children. Joint custody is tricky for some couples but it is most successful and rewarding when both of the parents are able and willing to talk and communicate for the benefit of their children. If both parents are willing to work together to address and solve their children’s needs this is the choice for them.

Joint legal custody is defines as the right for both of the parents to have the ability to make decisions concerning sensitive and major issues which can and will be affecting the children. This is an agreement that they will make decisions by working together. Some of the issues or concerns that may arise can include,  what type of religion the child will be allowed to participate in,medical treatments that need to be received or for procedures that are necessary,  the school where the child will go, and permission to get a piercing or tattoo, get married at an early age or even to  join the armed forces before legally turning 18. One of the nice things that happens in joint legal custody  is that it does not assign a child’s residence.

A qualifying point in Joint physical custody requires that the children will live at least 111 nights in a calendar year in the household of each parent. For logistical reasons, it is wise to have both of the parents live near to each other for travel, school and equal parenting opportunities.

Joint Legal and Sole Physical

This arrangement requires that the children live with one(custodial) parent over 225 nights per year, and the other parent (non-custodial) has scheduled parent time with the children. However,  both of the parents still make important decisions about their children and their child’s welfare.

Split Custody

This is a rare arrangement. Basically what this would mean is that each parent is granted the sole physical custody of at least one of the children. This is used when there are more than one children in a family. Legal custody has a few different options and the court will determine how it will be awarded for the children by the non-custodial parent which may or may not be shared as ordered by the court.


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