Utah bill proposes changes to current child custody law

When a marriage breaks apart, one of the most challenging issues for a Salt Lake City couple to come to agreement on is the custody arrangements for the children. Generally, one parent takes primary custody of the children and then a visitation schedule is hashed out with the other parent. This can lead to disagreements and raised tempers if the non-custodial parent feels that they not being given equal quality time with their children. In such cases, if the child custody issue cannot be worked out, it falls upon a judge to make the final decision.

A proposed bill in Utah seeks to give judges the ability to set up a joint custody ruling so that both parents have an equal role in their children's lives. Under the current law, a judge may decide that the parent who does not have physical custody can have their child with them on different holidays, every other weekend, and one day during the week.

However, many feel that it is important for children to feel that they have a real home and are not just constantly moving between parents' places of residence. The new bill would enable judges to grant equal parenting time so that a child will have more access to the non-custodial parent. It is unknown whether there is any opposition to the bill.

Many couples already try to do this in Salt Lake City and the bill, if passed, will serve as a reminder to judges that there is another option when they are deciding what is in the best interest of the child, or children. Parents trying to determine a fair child custody agreement may want to talk to an attorney for advice.

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