What Factors Do Courts Consider When Granting Custody?

Dena Morgan Utah divorce lawyerQuestion:

My wife and I have been separated for 18 months and have both recently spent time in rehab clinics. She recently moved out of state to live with her father and has admitted in court papers that she supports herself with his help. 

She wants to gain custody of our 5-year-old son, who is under my parents’ guardianship, but she hasn’t seen him since December 2013 and rarely calls because he doesn’t want to speak to her. 

She is also a registered sex offender. She is representing herself and my parents have a lawyer. What chance does she have of gaining custody?


I am not licensed to practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of that state and can only provide you with general information concerning child custody.

When considering who should have custody/guardianship of a minor child, the court will consider several factors including: the age of the child, who has been the primary caregiver for the child, the relationship the child has with each parent (and guardians, in this case), the parent’s distance from the other parent, and the parent’s ability to care for the child. The most important determination the court will make is what is in the best interest of the minor child?

The difficult part will be proving these allegations to the court. One possibility might be for your parents to ask the court for a child custody evaluation. They cost a bit more money, but such evaluations are an in-depth study of which parent/guardian is in the best position to provide a good and well-balanced life for the child. 

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than general custody tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your circumstances.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Utah divorce lawyer Dena L. Morgan, contact Cordell & Cordell.



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