What Will the Court Consider When Deciding Custody?

Utah courts consider the best interests of the child when determining custody.  In deciding what arrangement will be in the child’s best interests, the commissioner or judge may consider a variety of factors.  The relevant factors are listed in Utah Code Ann. §30-3-10 and Utah Code Ann. §30-3-10.2.  Factors include but are not limited to the following:

  • The past conduct and demonstrated moral standards of each of the parties;
  • Which party is most likely to allow the child frequent and continuing contact with the other parent;
  • The depth, quality and nature of the relationship between a parent and the child;
  • The ability of the parents to give first priority to the welfare of the child and to reach shared decisions;
  • Whether both parents participated in raising the child before the divorce;
  • The geographical proximity of the homes of the parents;
  • The preference of the child; and
  • Any history of or potential for child abuse, spouse abuse or kidnapping.

In addition to the specified custody factors, the commissioner or judge is permitted to consider any other factor he believes to be relevant.