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What Are the Options Under Utah Child Custody Laws?
Utah child custody laws distinguishes legal custody from physical custody. Legal custody is the right to make important decisions for the child. This right includes decisions regarding the religion, education, and health issues of the child among other issues. Physical custody refers to the primary care-taking rights and responsibilities of the child such as food, clothing, and shelter. Both of these types of custody must be either determined by the court or defined in a parenting plan.
There are four different options available regarding child custody:
Split custody is splitting up sole physical custody of multiple children among the parents. Courts in Utah generally disfavor split custody; they prefer to keep the children together.
Joint legal and Joint Physical
Under this custody arrangement the child will live with both parents and both parents will share decision-making on important issues like religion, medical treatment, schools, marriage and more. It is important that the parties can communicate well with each other and are willing to work together. Because the child will live with each parent at least 111 nights per year, it is also important that the parents do not live too far apart.
Sole Legal and Sole Physical Custody
This means that the child lives with one parent most of the time. That parent also has the right to make major decisions regarding the child’s life. The non-custodial parent will be awarded parent time with the child.
Joint Legal and Sole Physical
Under a joint legal and sole physical custody arrangement, the child will live with one parent over 225 nights per year. The parents will then share decision-making on important issues like religion, medical treatment, schools, marriage and more. It is important that the parties can communicate well with each other and are willing to work together.