The standard used by Utah’s family court judges when it comes to kids is to determine what is in their best interests. These days, many courts decide that giving parents joint custody of their children the most appropriate manner to meet that standard. Even though sole custody is not awarded as often anymore, it remains a viable child custody option when the ensuring the best interests of the children warrants it.
If the court determines that one parent is not fit to share custody of the children, the other parent could be given sole legal and physical custody. This means that parent makes all decisions regarding the children’s lives, and that the children reside with that parent exclusively. However, that does not mean that the other parent does not get to see the children. Visitation rights may be awarded based on the circumstances. The visitation could be supervised or the court could require that certain conditions be met in order for visitation to take place.
Sole custody may be awarded in situations where one parent was abusive. In other cases, one parent may have a substance abuse problem that makes him or her unfit to parent. Any number of reasons could make sole custody a better choice for the child, but the point is that coming to that decision is not always easy and requires sufficient proof to substantiate it.
Coming to the realization that the other parent is unable to be a parent for whatever reason can be difficult, but the first priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of the children. If sole custody appears to be the better option, it will be crucial to gather the appropriate evidence for the court, especially if it looks as though a child custody battle could be on the horizon. A Utah attorney who regularly deals with family law matters could help a parent accomplish what the parent feels is best for the children involved.
Source: FindLaw, “Sole Custody“, Accessed on June 25, 2017