Can Child Custody Change?
I am David R. Hartwig, Esq., a Salt Lake City attorney with extensive experience helping parents resolve high-conflict custody issues and reach arrangements that work for children and parents. Changes in child custody almost always go hand in hand with child support modification, as well as changes to parent-time and visitation schedules. In some cases, enforcement may be necessary to effect an amendment to a court order. I can assist in all of these areas, providing the comprehensive service clients need to achieve their custody goals.
Factors In Child Custody Decisions
As an experienced Utah child custody modification lawyer, I understand that custody cases may become a contentious issue even years after an order is finalized. The trend in Utah toward joint custody often creates messy, unworkable situations, which ultimately lead to enforcement issues when parents do not abide by their custody orders.
Furthermore, if there is a request to change any form of joint legal or joint physical custody, special factors must be addressed. The best interests of the child must be considered, as well as a material and substantial change in circumstances. The following may be considered:
- Whether joint legal or physical custody will benefit the child’s physical, psychological and emotional needs, or the child’s development
- The parents’ ability to give first priority to the child’s welfare, and reach shared decisions in the child’s best interest
- Whether each parent is capable of encouraging and accepting a positive relationship between the child and the other parent
- Whether both parents participated in raising the child before the divorce
- The distance between the parents’ homes
- The parents’ maturity and their willingness and ability to protect the child from conflict that may arise between the parents
- The parents’ ability to cooperate with each other and make decisions jointly
- Any history of, or potential for, child abuse, spouse abuse, or kidnapping
- Any other factors the court finds relevant
Despite the complicated and sensitive nature of custody matters, I have helped many clients successfully modify custody orders, and I address child support modification in the process.
Will Parenting Time Change?
Changing a custody order generally means that parent-time and visitation schedules must also be amended to reflect the custody modification. This is because parent-time awards in Utah directly relate to custody arrangements. When assisting clients with child custody modifications, I also help with parent-time and visitation modifications.
Navigating Complex Relocation
I have special expertise in child and parent relocation cases, which may involve complex jurisdictional laws, such as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). I have helped parents modify child custody orders in cases where the controlling order was entered in a state other than Utah, and I have facilitated custody modifications in cases where a child or parent moved to another state or country. I am also one of the few Utah child support modification attorneys who is a Special Master, which means I am especially qualified to handle high-conflict situations. Courts often call on me in difficult situations, but parties in conflict will often seek me out on their own as well.
Get Help With Your Child Custody Modification
If your child custody order no longer reflects your current situation or the needs of your children, please contact me, David R. Hartwig, Esq. I am an experienced Salt Lake City custody modification lawyer dedicated to helping clients resolve complex custody issues and implement necessary change to custody orders. For high-conflict cases, I am also one of the few Utah child custody modification attorneys trained as a Special Master for ongoing dispute resolution.