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Stavros Law P.C. is a Utah law firm providing legal services to individuals and businesses in Utah, the Mountain West and across the United States, including Salt Lake City, Draper, Sandy, South Jordan, West Jordan, Lehi, Provo, Orem and Spanish Fork. Our lawyers provide civil litigation, trial and appeal work to clients in federal and state courts throughout the United States. We provide litigation and counseling services for clients in the areas of business and commercial law, employment and labor law, health care law and family law.
Relocation, Visitation and Parent Time
When a parent wishes to relocate with a child after divorce, it can be difficult to reach a compromise with the other spouse. Often these cases end up before a family law judge. At Stavros Law, P.C., we know what is at stake when a parent moves away with a child. You can rely on our abilities to help you achieve the best possible outcome. We represent parents who wish to relocate with children, as well as parents who are opposed to the planned move.
Your existing child custody and parenting time order may govern whether a parent can relocate after divorce. "Relocate" in Utah means to move 50 miles or more from the residence specified in the court's divorce decree. If your existing order does not address the issue, and you and your spouse cannot agree, the court will decide on: 1) whether the parent with primary custody can remove the child; and 2) if the move is approved, a child custody arrangement based on what it perceives to be the best interests of the child.
The court will consider the reasons for the move, the effect on the other parent's visitation rights and how the move would affect the child. If possible, relocating parents must provide the other parent 60 days notice of the intended relocation. The court may order the relocating parent to pay visitation travel costs.
Visitation & Parent Time
In most situations, children are best served by spending time with both of their parents. Unless there are concerns about parental fitness or ability to care for the child, the court will award parent time (visitation) to the noncustodial parent.
In Utah, child custody and parent time are determined by what is in the best interests of the child. Parents will write a parenting plan that specifies how they will share responsibility for child rearing, including how parent time will be allotted. The standard schedule of minimum parent time for the noncustodial parent includes three hours on a weeknight, alternating holidays, half of the child's summer vacation and alternating weekends. Typically, this schedule is used by the court when parents cannot agree on a parent time schedule.
Parents are encouraged to create a parent time schedule that meets their family's unique needs. The court generally approves schedules as long as they are in the best interests of the children. You may want a family law attorney to assist you with the creation of your parent time schedule. We can ensure your rights and the rights of your children are protected. In addition, we are skilled negotiators who can argue for your position when necessary. If a parent does not follow the court-ordered parent time schedule, we can file a motion to find that parent in contempt of court. You cannot withhold parent time from a parent who is not paying court-ordered child support, however. The parent time schedule may be modified if the needs and circumstances of the children or parents change significantly. We can represent you if you are seeking or contesting modification.
Interference With Visitation
If your ex is not providing you with visitation according to the terms of your custody/parent time agreement, our lawyers can help. In Utah, it is illegal for a parent with primary child custody to interfere with the other parent's visitation rights.
Both parties are required to obey child custody and visitation court orders. Parents with primary residential custody may not withhold parent time, even if the parent being denied visitation is behind on child support payments.
If your ex-spouse is interfering with your visitation rights, our lawyers can file a motion asking the court to enforce the order. The enforcement order can include a judgment for legal expenses and additional parent time. The court may also require your spouse to pay a fine or serve jail time in jail.
Willingness to provide visitation to the other parent is also a factor courts can consider in awarding or modifying primary residential custody. If your spouse consistently interferes with your visitation rights, we can also seek to change child custody.
Our family law attorneys are easy to talk to and will listen carefully to you.
To schedule a free initial telephone call with one of our family law attorneys to discuss relocation, visitation or interference, please call (801) 758-7604 or contact us online.