Generally, married parents exercise the same authority over their children, including joint custody. There would be no issue if the family is intact and is living under one roof. Complications arise when parents divorce or separate ways. In most jurisdictions, issues of child custody are questions resolved in the same proceedings where marriage was dissolved or declared void. In most cases, the lawyer who handles the marriage issues is the same lawyer in charge of all other legal matters that come with it. That said, a child custody attorney in Provo, Utah – place known for its low divorce rates and awarded as State with good family values, could also handle court proceedings on marriage dissolution and vice-versa.
Determination of Child Custody: Best Interest of the Child
When the court resolves issues of custody, it takes into account various factors. In most jurisdictions, including the US, the best interest of the child is the yardstick. According to BuhlerLawOffice.com, this means taking into account the totality of circumstances to determine the best option and set up for the child. The best interest test rest on the idea that each child custody issue must be taken on a case-to-case basis, with all its unique circumstances weighed in. This approach was constructed to provide courts an elbowroom and accommodate a unique circumstance they may encounter, since it is nearly impossible for family law statutes to squarely address all kinds of scenarios.
The courts are also directed to listen to what the child has to say – that means, considering which parent the child prefers. But, this should never be the prime consideration. It should also be noted that the weight accorded to a child’s preference differs across different jurisdictions. In Utah, for instance, the family statute directs courts to give heavier weight on the child’s preference if the child is 14 years old or older. Courts also consider other things like the availability of the parents who are working or their moral uprightness and fitness to raise a child.