When a divorce involves a child, there will be a part of you that selfishly wants to keep the child in your home, no matter what the best interests of the child are. Now is the time to put aside what you want and really think about what your child needs. Is it to stay with you? Or is it to be with your spouse? Only you can answer these questions. If you do decide to fight for custody of your child, the court will listen to your attorney as he or she tells your side of the story, but ultimately, the court will be making the decision, not you.

The judge will consider many different aspects of the custody arrangement, such as what type of conduct and moral standards you displayed as a parent and married person. The judge will also decide, based on evidence and testimony, which parent is most likely to put the child first and see that the child’s interests are on the front burner. The other parent will have visitation rights, but the child will live with one of you as a permanent resident.

The court will do its research and determine which parent is likely to meet the physical, emotional and psychological needs of the child. Have you been supportive and listened to your child? This needs to be told to the judge.

It goes almost without saying that if one of you have exposed the child to pornography or harmed them sexually, that parent will not get custody full-time of this child. Your attorney can ensure that your side of the story is made known. There may be some things that you need the judge to know and this individual has been through this situation enough times to know when to say what.

Source: FindLaw, “Utah child custody laws,” accessed Dec. 22, 2015

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