Child Custody Attorney Salt Lake City | Custody Battle Lawyer | Joint & Sole Custody
Attorney Melvin A. Cook has extensive experience in child custody issues in Salt Lake City, Utah. For a free consultation call us at (801) 746-5075.
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9571 South 700 East, Suite 104 Sandy, , UT 84070
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Salt Lake City Child Custody Attorney

CUSTODY AND PARENTING TIME ARRANGEMENTS IN SALT LAKE CITY

Children are by far the most important asset in any marriage. Studies consistently show that children fare much better when they have consistent contact with both parents, provided they can each maintain a loving, supportive environment. Utah law recognizes this principle and encourages joint custody if at all possible. I understand that divorce is hard, and I try to make it a little easier for you.

My name is Melvin A. Cook and I am a Salt Lake City child custody attorney. In my practice, I answer a great many questions about custody and parenting time. “Joint custody” is not the same thing as “equal custody.” For example, the parents may be joint conservators, but the children may live with their father. I strongly prefer the term “parenting time” over “visitation.” It is not enough to visit your children and watch them play video games. Being an effective parent means that you spend time with your children and not around your children.

WHAT IS CHILD CUSTODY IN UTAH?

Child custody laws apply to both biological and adopted children. Custody includes both legal custody — who makes important decisions for the children — and physical custody — where the children live. Child custody also affects who pays child support and how much is paid. Grandparents’ rights may also come into play, as grandparents can sometimes be awarded visitation. As an experienced Salt Lake City child custody attorney, I place an emphasis on educating each client on what to expect.  Below are additional facts about custody arrangements:

  • Joint custody — Unless the parents live far apart, domestic violence is an issue, a child has special needs or some other extenuating factor exists, the judge considers joint custody to be in the children’s best interests. Joint custody means that the children spend at least 111 nights per year with each parent and that the parents share in the decision-making process. Obviously, joint custody works best when the parents get along reasonably well and live close to one another.
  • Joint legal and sole physical custody — In this arrangement, the children live with one parent more than 225 nights per year and the other parent receives parenting time. If the parties cannot agree on a schedule, there is a default schedule in Utah Code 30-3-35 and 30-3-33.5. The standard parenting time schedule allows the parents to split weekends and holidays. The parents also share legal custody. A father who has recently proved paternity might expect this type of custody arrangement.
  • Sole custody — A family court judge may award sole custody in some circumstances. In extreme circumstances, the court may even order supervised parenting time.
  • Split custody — With split custody, the children do not all live with the same parent.

WHAT ARE OTHER FACTORS THAT MAY AFFECT CHILD CUSTODY IN SALT LAKE CITY?

If a parent is guilty of some form of parental negligence, the court may consider such a factor in determining either custody, parenting time or child support. A court may also restrict the residency of the children to a particular location, such as Salt Lake County and the contiguous counties.

CONTACT A SALT LAKE CITY CHILD CUSTODY ATTORNEY FOR YOUR FAMILY LAW NEEDS

The right child custody arrangement can give your family the stability it needs in this transitional period. Contact the Law Office of Mel A. Cook at 801-746-5075 or online to schedule your free consultation with a Salt Lake City Parenting Time Lawyer. Hablo español.

 

Contact a Salt Lake City Attorney Committed to Protecting Your Rights

When it comes the family law and social security disability , each client and case is different. It is also important to select an attorney with the experience, skills and professionalism required to address your legal issues. To learn more, contact the Salt Lake City law offices of Melvin A. Cook and schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.

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