If you’ve recently gone through a divorce or are currently going through one, then you might probably have many questions about custody laws. Custody laws can greatly impact your ability to have a role in your child or children’s lives.
In this article, you’ll find out 3 characteristics of an unfit parent according to custody laws. We will specifically look at custody laws as they’re outlined in Utah.
Keep in mind that while this article provides useful information about custody laws, it should not be used as a substitute for qualified and experienced legal advice. At the Rocky Mountain Law Office, we can help you in your journey to gaining custody of your children.
Custody Laws in Utah
In Utah, as with all other states, there is joint and sole custody. With sole custody, one of the parent’s is granted custody while the other parent is regarded as a non-custodial parent with limited rights. As a non-custodial parent, you will also get limited access to the child.
On the other hand, parents who share custody share similar rights. This sharing of custody is called joint-custody. In order to qualify for joint custody, both parents must be able to qualify as a fit parent. On the other hand, in order to qualify for sole custody, one of the parent’s must be deemed as an unfit parent. The parent classified as unfit will then lose the right to the child.
In the state of Utah, custody laws are impacted by divorce laws regardless of whether or not the parents were legally married. So, it’s very important to have an experienced attorney who has a strong background in family law.
3 Qualities of An Unfit Parent According to the Law
Now that you have a basic understanding of custody laws in our state. Here are 3 of the qualities that might disqualify you from getting custody of your children. These qualities may determine whether or not you’re deemed an unfit parent.
1. You may be deemed an unfit parent if you have a severe mental illness or condition that prevents you from functioning as a parent.
Utah laws recognize that mental illnesses and other conditions operate on a spectrum.
Some illnesses are mild, while others may be more severe. For example, an individual may have depression so severe that they can’t fully take care of their child. Doing things like taking them to school, maintaining the child’s hygiene, and making sure the child is not neglected may be more difficult for this parent. However, there may be another parent with depression, but is able to take care of their child. As you can see, every situation is different. The law will factor this into whether a parent gains custody of a child or not.
When you have a qualified and experienced attorney, you’ll be able to go over the nuances of who’s defined as a “functioning” parent. There are many aspects that shape the laws concerning the term “unfit” so it’s important that you’re made aware of them.
2. You may be deemed unfit if you have abused the child or another person emotionally, sexually, physically or in any other way.
Any past or present abuse of the child can impact your ability to gain custody of your child. Because the child’s wellbeing matters to the court, you may be deemed unfit if you’ve abused the child or children in general. Additionally, you may lose custody if you’ve abused another person including an adult. This include things like domestic violence or sexual assault. It’s important to note that abusing a child in our state is also defined as exposing the child to adult content.
Contacting an attorney like Scott G. Wilding, who has years of experience in divorce and custody laws can help you figure out how your past and the law can impact your goal of gaining custody.
3. You may be deemed unfit if you actively engage in substance abuse.
As we mentioned before, the Court’s goal is to make sure that the child is safe and will be taken care of. If the parent struggles with substance abuse and isn’t getting any treatment for it, then they may lose custody rights.
A court may also factor in past cases of substance abuse. This is something that you’ll need to talk to with an experienced attorney. With the help of an attorney who can advise you, you can find out what your options are when it comes to this specific issue.
Rocky Mountain Law Office Can Help You
If you’re looking for help with your custody case, reach out to us! We will help you with the custody process. We’ll also help you understand the laws that apply to your case. We can also help you with paperwork that you’ll need to complete as you seek to gain custody of your child
Our goal as a law office is to make sure that you’re getting the best possible help!