Divorcing parents must decide how they want to split custody of their shared children. Those unfamiliar with the process may have questions and uncertainties.
American Bar Association answers FAQs about child custody. Parents deserve to know how to make sound decisions about their children and their future.
How do parents decide on custody?
Preferably, parents work together to decide on visitation and a custody schedule. Specific agreement terms work most favorably, as they become easier to enforce. If parents cannot compromise on their desires, the court creates the visitation and child custody schedule for them.
Where do parents file for custody?
Utah parents file for custody in the county where their shared child lived for the past six months.
How do sole and joint custody differ?
A parent with sole custody cares for a shared child most of the time and handles vital life decisions for the child. Parents with joint custody work together to address their shared child’s major life decisions. Both parents spend a lot of time with their shared daughter or son.
Depending on the state, courts may use terms such as “conservatorship,” “timeshare” and “possession” when talking about child custody. The court may also call a parent’s decision-making power “legal custody” and time with a shared child “physical custody.”
What do courts consider when assigning child custody?
Courts hold a child’s most favorable interest in high regard when deciding child custody arrangements. Other factors include what the child needs and both parents’ ability to address those needs.
Courts and parents must work together to ensure children have everything they need to succeed in life. The right child custody plan acts as a guide and a source of relief.