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Tragically, the phrase “you’re never going to see these kids again” is a phrase that is used and said one too many times. It isn’t uncommon for men to be worried about not getting custody due to biased court systems. Similarly, it isn’t uncommon for mothers to worry about fathers taking over primary caretaking roles that have been primarily their responsibilities. However, most courts have begun to take a more equalized approach to custody battles and child support. This leaves numerous parents wondering, what really does matter in custody cases?

Do Courts Care Whose Fault It Is?

Utah is considered a no fault state, however, you are allowed to claim fault if you meet the criteria. This means that if you can prove your spouse’s actions substantially contributed to the breakdown of the marriage the may use this in the divorce. Fault determinations are typically only granted in extreme circumstances, such as domestic violence. However, when it comes to custody battles, it does not matter who was at fault for the divorce. Even if your husband was a notorious cheater, it will not affect your custody battle. Just because your ex was a bad spouse, does not mean they were a bad parent.

Does Income Affect Custody?

With the cost of daycare soaring through the roof, it isn’t uncommon for a parent to choose to stay home with their children while their spouse is working. So what happens when one party has no education and no work experience? Because of alimony and child support in Utah, income is not often a factor in who is getting custody of the children. The most important thing is that the parent can provide for the child’s basic needs. Judges are most concerned with a parent’s ability to adequately care for their children and provide a safe, clean environment.

Does Moving Affect Custody?

It isn’t unusual for one parent to want to move out of state after the divorce is finalized. But, if you want to move out of state, you cannot take the kids with you if it would interfere with the other parent’s court ordered custody time. Also, most courts do not want to alter custody arrangements since children tend to do better in more stable environments. Unfortunately, some spouses attempt to get around this by abruptly running off with the children. However, suddenly taking the kids to a different state will have disastrous effects on your chances of getting full custody. Running off with the children may also damage your relationship with your children in the future.

How Are Child Support and Custody Related?

There are a lot of things that can change the amount of child-support a parent will have to pay. A lot of parents erroneously believe that they do not have to pay child support if they have 50/50 custody. However, even if you do have 50/50 physical custody of the child, you may still have to pay child support. This typically happens when your spouse does not make enough to provide for the child, while the child is living with them. Even though you do not have full custody, you still have an obligation to provide for the needs of your child.

What Matters the Most in Custody Battles?

The most important thing in a custody battle is the children. When the judges make rulings in custody battles, they attempt to act in the child’s best interests. In order to do this, judges examine whether or not each party can provide a safe and stable lifestyle for the children. Most of the time, it is in the child’s best interest to have a relationship with both parents. Having an attorney who’s experienced in custody battles can be an enormous help. If you have questions about your rights in a custody battle, contact us today.

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