How Long Does It Typically Take A Custody Case To Resolve?

Once a petition is filed, there is a discovery period, which is a period that the court allows subpoenas and depositions and other forms of discovery to take place. It is generally less than a year that the court allows discovery to occur. Once the discovery period is completed, then the court expects the parties to either settle the case or be preparing to go to trial\. The discovery schedule often sets the pace of the case. As a general rule, once the discovery period has ended, the courts will start pushing the matter forward more quickly to trial.

Can A Custody Agreement Be Modified In Utah?

There is no particular time period for WHEN custody may be modified, but there are two factors that the court will deem necessary in order to file a legitimate petition to modify. The first is whether there has been a material and significant change in circumstances from the date that the custody decree entered. Second, they consider whether it’s in the best interests of the child to make a change. If there was a trial before the original custody determination was made, the court is going to take the first factor more seriously; whether there has been a significant and material change in circumstances.

But if the divorce decree entered because of a default (that is, one side didn’t answer the petition so they were defaulted), or because the parties reached an agreement, the court will be more lenient on whether there has been a significant and material change in circumstances before allowing the best interest determination to be considered. Obviously, the more time that passes, the easier it is to meet the burden of whether there has been a significant change in the circumstances. However if the parties have joint legal or joint physical custody and it’s determined that they are unable to co-parent together, m, that inability to co-parent with one another in and of itself creates a sufficient basis for the court to re-look at what is in the children’s best interests.

What Sets Your Firm Apart In Handling Custody Matters?

Preparation and experience. I was a district court attorney Guardian ad Litem for approximately eight years. That means that I routinely handled the worst of the worst custody cases. The cases I’ve seen included the most complicated types, like domestic violence or mental health issues, disabilities of children, substance abuse issues, alienation, and so on. Because I was involved in those types of matters and nothing but those types of matters for so long, I have much more trial experience than most attorneys who have been practicing law as long as I have and even longer. There are many attorneys that have been practicing law for a decade longer than me that haven’t had the degree of custody or child-related trial experience as I have.

With the advent of mediation, cases settle a lot more quickly. So you have attorneys coming out of law school who can get a case geared towards mediation preparation but then they fail at mediation. Because of their lack of trial experience, these attorneys really don’t know what to do and they pass the matter off to somebody with more experience. I make a good effort to settle the case, but I’m very comfortable and experienced with Plan B if settlement negotiations fail. Preparation beats brilliance every time. I have the reputation and a habit of being very prepared because I don’t just assume the matter is going to settle. I hope for it and I prepare for it, but I also prepare for trial from the very beginning in case it doesn’t settle.

The amazing staff at my firm also helps to set us apart.

There is an organization called the National Association Of Counsel For Children, or “NACC.” They have a rigorous program for attorneys to become nationally certified as a child welfare law expert. I have undergone the process and have the certification of a Child Welfare Law Specialist. There are very few attorneys that have that distinction.

For more information on Resolution Of Custody Cases In Utah, a n initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 616-3301 today.

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