In Utah, depending on the terms of the situation, either parent may choose to file a petition to modify the custody agreement with the appropriate court. In order to proceed with the attempt to modify a custody agreement, one should make sure that the Utah court has the jurisdiction in order to grant a modification. For instance, if the agreement was made in another state, that state generally has jurisdiction over the Utah courts.

Other than assuring proper jurisdiction, the person in question must understand the type of custody they have. Physical custody refers to where the child lives, and legal custody defines which parent has the right to make important decisions for the child. If the parent in question does not have sole legal or sole physical custody, it is likely that they want to modify the court-

If the parent has joint legal and/or joint physical custody, it is possible that the parent filing for a modification wants sole custody over the other parent. Other forms of custody can include a combination of these agreements, or split custody, which could result in a more complicated modification petition.

Before petitioning to modify, many parents opt for an alternative dispute resolution, to settle outside of court. In order to do this, the petition to modify, along with the other required forms, must be submitted for judgment.

If the parents cannot settle their differences in ADR, they may choose to take the petition to court, to modify the custody agreement. The court must decide if there has been a material and substantial change to the circumstances from when the agreement was instated. If there has been, it is then up to the court to decide what would be best for the child.

For additional advice on having a child custody agreement modified, it may be beneficial to speak with an attorney before proceeding.

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