What are My Rights as a Parent?

The United States Constitution protects parental rights.  Absent a showing of unfitness, abandonment or neglect, you have the right to enjoy the companionship, care, custody and management of your child.  However, if you get divorced or were never married, your parental rights have to be shared with another parent.

Utah law presumes that it is in the best interests of your child to have frequent, meaningful and continuing access to both parents.  Minimum visitation is one weekday visit per week and weekend visitation from Friday until Sunday on alternating weekends.  Both parents are also entitled to holiday visitation and extended summer parent-time.  Absent extraordinary circumstances, you will be awarded no less than minimum visitation.  You may be awarded much more than minimum visitation, depending on your historical role in the household and other factors the court looks to when deciding the best interests of your children.

Utah law also presumes that it is your child’s best interests for both parents to be actively involved in parenting.  Decision-making authority and the other rights, privileges, duties and powers of a parent are generally divided between the parents in a way that establishes consistency and stability for the child.