When there is a divorce in Utah, child custody and parent-time can be common sources of discord. This is true whether the couple is at odds over every issue in the case, if they are on reasonably good terms, and anywhere in between. There are fundamental aspects of parent-time that must be addressed, including where the child will live, how school will be handled, vacations, holidays, and more. As differences escalate, it can be easy to go back and forth. The situation may increase in intensity and turn acrimonious. To try and avoid this and keep the parties on the same page, the state puts provisions in the Parenting Plan to resolve disputes.
Key facts about the dispute resolution process
As part of the process to resolve parent-time issues, Parenting Plans can include provisions that the parents take part in counseling, attend mediation or arbitration, or go to court. When the parents attend counseling, mediation, or arbitration and are able to come to an agreement, the agreement must be kept as a written record.
During the dispute resolution process, the provisions that are laid out in the Parenting Plan will be given preference. Parents are expected to abide by the dispute resolution process. If a party interferes with the process without a viable reason, the court may order that financial restitution be paid to the other parent. Financial restitution may include legal fees, the other party’s attorney’s fees, and other costs.
Experienced advice is useful with disagreements over parent-time
When it comes to disagreements in child custody and parent-time, parents should try to find reasonable resolutions and come to a mutual agreement. However, if they are unable to do so on their own, the law is in place to ensure the children’s best interests are served and the parents’ rights are adhered to. When the court becomes involved, understanding the basics is critical to achieving the desired outcome. This is why it is important to seek professional advice from an experienced family law attorney.