Keeping in line with traditional thinking and, what some would say, are outdated laws, courts have predominantly awarded custody of a couple's children to one parent -- the mother in the majority of cases. However, a significant amount of research done in recent years shows that children tend to do better when the parents share custody. This belief is behind a new child custody law that was recently passed in Utah that encourages the courts to award shared custody to divorcing or separating parents.
Of course, if awarding sole custody to one parent is in the best interests of the children, a Utah court can still do so. However, there is now an option to divide parenting time more evenly. The recommended schedule would give the non-custodial parent at least 145 overnights. Holidays would also be divided, and the non-custodial parent would be able to make specific elections.