Dealing with child custody issues is never an easy process. It gets even harder when a parent's living situation changes. Sometimes a parent needs to move to a different area for a job opportunity, or for familial obligations. When this happens, the relocation can cause problems for the current child custody order. However, all hope is not lost when a parent needs to leave town. Utah's family court system has a process in place to resolve child custody issues in this type of situation.
First Things First
The rules of Utah only apply in situations where the state still has jurisdiction over the matter. Thus, the Utah court process will be applicable when both parents are still residing in the state. If one parent has moved away with the children prior to Utah's handling of the case, the situation can be more difficult. This is due to the fact that the child is now located in another jurisdiction. In this scenario, it's possible the laws of another state may apply. It is important to get the help of a custody lawyer in this situation.
If no relocation provision exists in the current custody agreement, you'll need to follow the court's process. Note that this process becomes applicable when a parent needs to move at least 150 miles away. First, the moving parent needs to file a Notice of Relocation. This notice tells the other parent about the relocation, and can suggest an alternative custody plan. The court and the other parent must agree to the proposal for it to take effect. This type of filing also needs to be done at least 60 days prior to the event.
What Happens With Disagreements?
When parents can't agree on a relocation plan, the court will step in. The court's main role will be to review the Notice of Relocation and determine the best interests of the child. In doing so, the court will look at the reason for the move, the financial burden and anything else that is relevant. It's possible that the court could also impose a change of custody. Thus, it is important to get help from a custody lawyer to present your case.
Many different issues can arise in these types of proceedings. For example, determining which party will bear the burden of travel costs. Therefore, it is advisable to work with a custody lawyer to make sure a fair resolution is achieved.
If you need help with a child custody matter, contact Spencer and Jensen, PLLC. A custody lawyer can assist you with any child custody issues, including guardianship or visitation rights.