Separating from a spouse or partner is a painful experience for each of you. Whether the separation is mutual or not, there are all kinds of feelings to work through. Separating when there is a child involved not only becomes more painful but that much more intricate from a legal stand-point. Child custody arrangements must be worked out and agreed upon immediately, and for many parents this isn’t always a smooth process.
Utah in fact has one of the highest birth rates in all of the United States, which means there are a whole lot of families who may potentially go through a separation at some point. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about asking for sole child custody. Before you go ahead it’s important to understand what sole child custody Utah means and if in fact it’s what is best for your child.
What is Sole Child Custody?
When you hear the words sole child custody, usually you assume that it refers to where the child will be living. While this is true, there is also sole legal custody which gives one parent the legal authority to make any major decisions on behalf of that child. That parent doesn’t have to consult with the other one, as they are free and within their legal rights to make the decision on their own.
So this means there is physical custody and legal custody, both of which are very different. You can have sold physical custody but choose to co-parent the legal custody, which is quite common.
The physical custody of your child literally refers to where they live. If you have sole physical custody it means that your child lives with you and simply has visits with the other parent. They will not sleep at that parent’s house or stay there for any long length of time.
Is Sole Physical Custody What’s Best for the Child?
For parents who are wrapped up in a bitter divorce or separation from one another it can be very difficult to separate their own feelings from that of the welfare of their child. Each one wants the child with them, can’t picture their daily life without their child there, and will fight to keep their child. The problem with this viewpoint is that it’s not really taking into consideration what is best for the child?
- Sole physical custody can make sense in a lot of situations, and can prove to be the very best set-up for a child under certain circumstances. Some situations where it makes sense includes:
- One parent will be relocating to a different city/town, which would force the child to uproot – find new friends, go to a new school, etc.
- Living with just one parent on a permanent basis allows for the schedule to stay fairly normal, as the child will have just one residence. This can make things smoother on kids.
- If one parent has to travel often for work, it can make having a child there very difficult.
- If there is a parent that has a history of neglect, abuse, is mentally unstable, or has an issue with substance abuse, then sole custody with the other parent makes sense.
It really should come down to what is best for the child’s health, well-being, and happiness.