What Parents Need To Know In Utah About Physical Custody

The biggest question that many parents have when filing for divorce is, "Who will my child live with?" The second most frequent is, "How much time will I get to spend with my child?" Both questions are actually connected to physical custody, which is a very critical aspect of a child custody agreement.

At Kristopher K. Greenwood & Associates, LC, our attorneys help people in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area and across the state of Utah with their child custody matters. We have offices in Ogden, Salt Lake City, Park City and Lehi in order to provide you with the best possible outcome for your children and your child custody arrangements. Call our firm now at 801-317-8968 to schedule your same-day, initial consultation.

What Is Physical Custody?

The law divides child custody into two aspects, legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the right that a parent receives to make important decisions about a child's life. Physical custody lays out who the child will live with, which then connects to how much time the child will spend with each parent.

Here are a few key terms you should know about physical custody:

  • Custodial parent: The custodial parent is the parent that a child lives with most of the time.
  • Parent-time: Parent-time, also called visitation, is the amount of time that a child spends with the noncustodial parent.
  • Joint physical custody: Joint physical custody means that both parents will have a fairly equal right and say to their children. It also connects with parent-time time. Many people believe that parent-time must be 50/50 in order to have joint physical custody, which is not true. Under Utah Law, a parent must have at least 111 nights per year, at which point in time he or she can make a claim to have "joint physical custody."

How Do The Courts Make Decisions About Physical Custody?

Every child custody decision must be made in light of the child's best interests. However, the court will consider many critical factors when deciding physical custody as articulated in Rule 4-903. Some of these factors include the quality of the parent-child relationship, the parents' ability to work with one another and the proximity of one parent to another. This can be a very complicated, and also confusing process, where you need a skilled attorney to help you maximize your potential end results.

Talk To An Experienced And Understanding Lawyer

Because of the complexities involved in a physical custody dispute, parents should work with a skilled family law attorney. We will work to get you a fair custody agreement so that you can develop a strong relationship with your child. Our attorneys have years of experience in the family courts and understand how to fight for your rights. We will also help you with a divorce, a child custody modification, a parental relocation and other family law matters.

You can speak with one of our skilled attorneys about physical custody in a same-day consultation by calling 801-317-8968. We are also available by email.