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Utah Child Custody Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Can my ex's sister, temporary guardian of our 16 month old daughter, legally restrict my visitation?

She has had our daughter temporarily for 7 months while we have fallen on hard times. We signed over temporary guardianship. He and I broke up and he's now at ODYSSEY house trying to get into the parent program with our daughter. Once she is there, the program will determine visitation. In the... Read more »

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Feb 16, 2020

I’m sorry that you are going through these problems with your daughter. Any time you are dealing with custody issues, I suggest having an attorney. The initial decision is crucial and you want to make sure it is done right. It is always harder to change down the road.

Generally speaking,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Utah on
Q: My ex has full physical but we share legal custody, does she have to tell me where my child is?

My ex has full physical custody but we share legal custody. My daughter has been living with her grandparents for the past 3 years. About a month ago my ex and the grandparents stopped communication with me. Is this legal?

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Jan 25, 2020

This is likely a violation of one or more provisions of the court order. You should consider filing an order to show cause to enforce the order. You may also want to seek a modification of the order.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Sexual Harassment for Utah on
Q: Order to show cause?

I filed an order to show cause over a month ago and he never filed an answer. He does have an attorney and has since thw beginning. My court hearing is in 8 days and he just barely sent me a response today. In was just wondering if he's allowed to do that? Because in was told I had to file a... Read more »

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Jan 3, 2020

I think that you may be confusing the time to respond to a Petition (likely for custody or divorce) and the time to respond to an order to show cause. The 21 days to respond applies to a Petition or complaint that is served upon you. On the other hand, an Order to Show cause has different... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Would I be able to move out of state with my daughter?

I have full custody and he has standard visitation. I was wondering if I'd be able to move out of state with my daughter and what steps I'd need to take to do so? Can I move if I give him notice and have a parenting planning place for when I move or do I have to get approval from the court? Can... Read more »

Brian Craig
Brian Craig answered on Jan 3, 2020

Utah Code section 30-3-37 governs relocation if the controlling decree does not address relocation.

At least 60 days before the planned move, the parent who plans to move more than 150 miles from the other parent must send the other parent a Notice of Relocation that tells the other parent...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Utah on
Q: My son is not on the birth certificate, and wants to get custody , what is the 1st things he should do?

His daughter is 4 and he is not on the birth certificate since he was not there at the time of birth.

She is currently with her mothers mother, with temporary custody.

My son wishes to gain custody of her and wants to know what is the 1st things he should do to get this started,... Read more »

Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Dec 19, 2019

Custody cases can be very complex. What to do often depends on the specific facts of the case. A paternity test may or may not be required. You indicated that the mother's mother has temporary custody in place. If that is a court order, you son may already have had his rights adjudicated, at least... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Divorce for Utah on
Q: I just finalize my divorce and my ex has parent time but I have a protected oder against him with no contact at all.
Lane Wood
Lane Wood answered on Dec 16, 2019

You should contact an experienced attorney about this issue. You will want someone to review both the Decree of Divorce and the Protective Order and advise you on how those 2 orders interact. Without seeing both orders, it is impossible to tell you what you can and cannot do moving forward.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Is a guardian ad litem legally required to provide both parties in a custody case a report on his findings

The GAL assigned to my case refused to see me until I paid him in full which I could not do. He did not investigate claims made by other party to see if they were accurate did not ask me my side or allow me to present my evidence to him that claims made were a lie. At our temporary custody hearing... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 2, 2019

You really, REALLY need an attorney on your side. If you have not contacted Utah Legal Services to see if you can get pro bono assistance, you truly should . . . Monday. A guardian ad litem SHOULDN'T favor a party who pays over one who does not, but that doesn't mean it might not happen. If you say... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Is a paper signed out of court a legal guardianship doc? How do I find my children? Where do I start?

Aprox. 5 years ago my 3 children were taken by their father while I was in jail a couple days due to my children not having a guardian in which I had signed a paper of temporary guardianship to my daughters best friends mother which was in effect the day they were taken. Since they were taken they... Read more »

Brian Craig
Brian Craig answered on Jul 13, 2019

That sounds like a challenging situation. A parent could first report the children missing with the police. If you can afford one, you might consider hiring a private investigator to help locate the temporary guardian and children. Skip tracing services are also available (Google "skip tracing... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Need to find a family law attorney asap to represent myself in divorce invil ing a child born in the marriage not by hus

Husband and I did not live together between 2006 and 2016 never reconciled and he wants custody of second child not his he ordered child support for but he never paid cuz she's not his kid and claimed her on his taxes four yrs in a row and I want this resolved. Custody returned to her natural... Read more »

Brian Craig
Brian Craig answered on Jul 8, 2019

This sounds like a complicated matter where you need an experienced family law attorney. The best interests of the child test governs child custody matters. You can find lots of family law attorneys here on Justia.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Can I get 50/50 custody or any legal rights of my non biological son?

I got with my ex when she was pregnant, found out she cheated on me at least twice since he was born. I left two months before his third birthday in April 2017, had him every other weekend until October 2018 when I offered to pay half his daycare to get 50/50 custody and have had him every other... Read more »

Brian Craig
Brian Craig answered on Jul 5, 2019

A person other than a biological parent, such as a grandparent or a step-parent, may petition the court for custody and visitation of a child in Utah. But there must be special circumstances for the court to award custody and visitation to a person who is not a parent.

Utah Code Ann. sec....
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Utah on
Q: I have to go to court for temporary relief?? Not sure what for or what to expect?
Jaclyn Jane Robertson
Jaclyn Jane Robertson answered on Jun 28, 2019

Hi. Happy to help, but first need a little more information. I'm assuming this is for a pending divorce action. If so, you should have received a Motion for Temporary Relief as well as other supporting documents. That Motion will outline the relief being sought.

We have a video that...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: What can I do?

My oldest son lives with his father. His father has sole custody (I have sole custody of our other child). My son was abused by his stepmother. DCFS is involved. Justice court is involved. I was not given information about the trial nor was I informed that the prosecutor had been changed. I thought... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jun 20, 2019

Regardless of what was SUPPOSED to have happened, you should take an active interest in this case if you are willing to take custody of your oldest son. If you are NOT willing to take custody and just have hurt feelings because you were not notified, I believe you are out of luck. Hopefully you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: I have recently found out my son's dad is never home with his son and his dad girlfriend has been taking care of my son

Since his dad is failing on taking care of him can I pick up my son to live with me no custody has been established

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on May 24, 2019

It sounds like you have some type of informal, verbal agreement for custody. You would be ill-advised to just "pick up your son to live with you" regardless of a formal custody agreement.

The first step, in my opinion, would be to have a conversation with the child's father, express your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Can I record mine and my step-child's in person conversations?

The childs father and I are trying for full custody, as we believe the child is being neglected, emotionally and physically. I am currently taking pictures of what I can and writing down everything he says it's happening there. He's not getting fed, and he's rarely in clean clothes. He usually... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Apr 18, 2019

Utah law only requires one party to the conversation be aware a recording is being made, so, yes, you may legally record the conversations with or without his knowledge. As far as helping your case, requesting the appointment of a guardian ad litem would probably be more advantageous than your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Joint custody and child abused in other home... do we have to take her back there?

My husband has joint custody of his daughter. We recently found out that she is being mentally, Physically, and sexually abused in her mothers home. We have already filed a case with child protective services but we fear her mother will retaliate against her if she goes back home. Can we keep her... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Apr 18, 2019

You would need to file a petition in Juvenile Court. See https://www.utcourts.gov/abuse/child.html for the form or seek advice from a licensed attorney who practices in the Fifth District (Washington and Iron Counties).

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Civil Rights for Utah on
Q: I am trying to get my son back from my ex boy friends sister. She will not release him to me. How can I get my son

My ex was arrested for murder. My son is in custody with my ex boyfriends aunt. There is no custody arrangement. I just want to get my son I have been trying for the last 2 years but the father would not let me see him and left with my son to another state. I have spoke with law enforcement and... Read more »

Wesley Winsor
Wesley Winsor answered on Mar 4, 2019

Hi,

I am not a family law attorney, but as I understand it, as long as your parental rights have not been terminated, your custodial rights should trump anyone else's except for maybe the father.

So if you just picked him up and took him home, it would be in within your rights. I...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Can my ex take our son out of state if we have joint legal custody / sole physical
Wesley Winsor
Wesley Winsor answered on Feb 1, 2019

this is not really my area of law here, so I would encourage you to seek more advice, but to my understanding, if the ex has sole physical custody, then they can decide where to live independent of your preferences. You still have a say in medical decisions and other areas, but they have... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Utah on
Q: I have raised my nephew as my son, my sister has been collecting child support for him do i have a right to sue her?

he has been with me since he was 2 1/2 ( all verbal agreement)

Wesley Winsor
Wesley Winsor answered on Feb 1, 2019

If you are doing it voluntarily, then no you don't have a right to sue her. She is supposed to be using the funds she is collecting to take care of her son. If she isn't, then the son has a claim or the father has a claim against her. If you are the guardian of the son then you might as well.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for Utah on
Q: I need to get a separation and don’t know where to start? Worried about income differences?

My husband has anger issues, pornographery issues w/cross dressing. Is it possible for me to file for a legal separation and somehow demand that he complete therapy before having overnight visits with our kids? Also, since I make more money, do I have to pay him?

T. J. Jesky
T. J. Jesky answered on Sep 24, 2018

Generally speaking, those who choose legal separation instead of divorce is usually based on religious beliefs, a desire to keep the family together legally for the sake of children, or the need for one spouse to keep the health insurance benefits that would be lost with a divorce.

A...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Does my ex have the right to refuse me taking my kids overnight just because he wants to meet my boyfriend?

My ex says "I'm not having my girls over there (my place) until I meet him and talk to him for 2 minutes." And he also doesn't want me around while he does this.

Paul Waldron
Paul Waldron answered on Jun 8, 2018

It depends on the terms of the court orders. Generally, the other parent cannot control who the other fparent allows to be around the children. However, if there are no court orders, whoever has the children has custody and you are stuck with what your boyfriend may agree to until you get court... Read more »

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