An overview of custody evaluation in Utah
According to the Department of Workforce Services, Utah has an above-average rate of divorce when compared to the rest of the country as well as a higher birth rate. Additionally, while residents of Utah are more likely to divorce, they also have an increased likelihood of remarriage. As a result, many people are dealing with child custody matters in Salt Lake City, and across Utah. Parents who are preparing for divorce should focus on developing a solid understanding of child custody issues, such as custody evaluation, and remain committed to achieving an outcome that serves the best interests of the child.
As stated on the Utah Courts' site, courts use custody evaluations to make a decision on parenting time or child custody. During an evaluation, a number of factors will be taken into consideration by the evaluator, such as an individual's parenting abilities and a child's needs. Other factors include the preferences of the child, their connection to each parent, a parent's financial well-being and whether they abuse drugs or alcohol, instances of abuse and a parent's religious beliefs, among others.
Each party is able to hire an evaluator (so long as they meet certain requirements) or ask for a court-appointed evaluator. Once the evaluation is complete, evaluators will provide the court with a verbal report of their findings. For parents who are involved in a custody dispute or getting ready to file for divorce, being fully prepared and having a solid understanding of what to expect next is very beneficial.