Entertainment Love and Romance Child Custody in Utah Familiarize Yourself with Child Custody Laws in Utah Share PINTEREST Email Print Lee Edwards/Caiaimage/Getty Images Love and Romance Divorce Relationships Sexuality Teens LGBTQ Friendship By Debrina Washington Family law attorney and writer University of Pittsburgh School of Law Skidmore College Debrina L. Washington is a New York-based family law attorney and writer, who runs her own virtual practice to assist single parents with legal issues. our editorial process Debrina Washington Updated May 23, 2019 Utah uses several criteria to determine child custody laws. Primarily, the state of Utah determines custody based on the best interests of the child. Parents who wish to file for child custody in Utah should first become familiar with the custody statutes in this state. Best Interests of Child Utah considers the best interests of the child when making a child custody determination. Factors included in best interests of the child determination are: Which parent is most likely to encourage frequent and continuous contact between the child and the child's other parentPast conduct and moral standards of the involved partiesThe child's relationship with the parentsSuch other factors deemed relevant Joint Child Custody in Utah A court in Utah will always consider joint physical or legal custody if both parties have completed a parenting plan and if joint custody serves the best interests of the child. In reaching a determination for joint custody, the court will consider the following factors: The geographical proximity between the parentsEach parent's ability to place the needs of the child first in reaching appropriate decisionsWhether both parents have always participated in the child's upbringingThe child's wishes, if the child is of an age to express a reasonable preference (generally age 12 or older)Any history of child abuse, spousal abuse or kidnappingEach parent's maturity and ability to avoid conflict for the sake of the childThe parents' ability to cooperate with one anotherAny other factors deemed relevant by the court Modification of Child Custody in Utah Upon request by one parent, a Utah family court may modify or terminate a custody arrangement if: A modification will positively affect the best interests of the childThere has been a material and substantial change of circumstances in the child or one of the parents' livesBoth parents have complied with the dispute resolution process, prior to taking the case to a court hearing For more information about child custody in Utah, speak with a qualified attorney in Utah or refer to the Utah Code.