The 4 Types of Child Custody: What Utah Parents Need to Know

When Utah parents choose to separate or divorce, one of the most significant concerns for their entire family is the protection and care of any children involved in the case. Determining child custody can be a tedious, emotionally charged process that takes a toll on the parents and children.

Fortunately, with the right legal guidance, determining child custody and managing parenting plans can be successful. As is the case with most family law matters involving children, the best interests of the children will be the most significant concern for the court as child custody is determined.

The 4 Types of Child Custody in Utah

Determining child custody arrangements is a process that requires a careful review of the individual family’s situation. There are four primary types of child custody in Utah, which can be somewhat modified in order to meet the best interests of the children and the security of the family as a whole. The four types of child custody include:

Sole Legal/Physical — Sole legal and physical custody is custody granted to one parent (custodial parent) who will have complete control over decision-making regarding the children. The other parent may be awarded visitation time, but in most cases of this nature, the children will reside with the custodial parent.

Joint Legal/Physical As the name suggests, joint custody allows both parents to be responsible for decision-making concerning the children. In most joint custody cases, the children “live” with both parents for varying durations throughout the year. The details of joint custody vary according to the needs and details of the individual case.

Joint Legal/Sole Physical Like joint custody, in these cases both parents have decision-making power; however, the children will be ordered to live with one parent full time and have visitation with the other parent. This is a common form of child custody, especially if one or both parents are employed, or if the children are in school and need a stable schedule.

Split Custody Split custody is a form of custody designed for parents who each want individual custody of different children. Split custody may be ordered when the court believes it in the best interests of the children to separate them between separate households. In such cases, each parent may be granted sole custody of a different child, which includes full decision-making power.

Legal Guidance Is Important in Child Custody Matters

Child custody matters can be complex and challenging for any family. The most important step to protecting your family and securing the best outcome possible is choosing to work with a child custody attorney who is knowledgeable in Utah’s child custody laws.

At the Law Office of Kelly Peterson, complex child custody matters can be successfully resolved in a manner that ensures familial security and trust. Working through the child custody process does not have to be an overwhelming or negative experience for any family.

Kelly Peterson
About the Author

Experienced Divorce Lawyer Kelly Peterson handles child custody, visitation, paternity, grandparent rights and mediation cases.

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*Child Welfare Law Specialist Nat’l Assoc. of Counsel for Children