Guidelines and laws for Utah child custody are found in Chapter 3 of Title 30 in the Utah Code. Here are some of the highlights from these laws, in particular, the laws that affect how parents should make a Utah parenting plan.
Chapter 3, Section 10
When deciding anything about custody, including the Utah custody agreement, the court considers the best interest of the child. When determining what is best for the child, the court considers: the past conduct and demonstrated moral standards of each of the parties; which parent is most likely to act in the best interest of the child, including allowing the child frequent and continuing contact with the noncustodial parent; and the extent of bonding between the parent and child, meaning the depth, quality, and nature of the relationship between a parent and child.
Chapter 3, Section 10.2
The state considers joint custody in every custody situation. This doesn’t mean that there is a specific joint Utah custody schedule that must be put in place. Rather it means that both parents are involved with raising the child. This can be through sharing legal or physical custody. When determining if joint custody is best for the children, the court considers:
- whether the physical, psychological, and emotional needs and development of the child will benefit from joint legal or physical custody;
- the ability of the parents to give first priority to the welfare of the child and reach shared decisions in the child’s best interest;
- whether each parent is capable of encouraging and accepting a positive relationship between the child and the other parent, including the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other parent;
- 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 if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent preference as to joint legal or physical custody;
- the maturity of the parents and their willingness and ability to protect the child from conflict that may arise between the parents;
- the past and present ability of the parents to cooperate with each other and make decisions jointly;
- any history of, or potential for, child abuse, spouse abuse, or kidnaping; and
- any other factors the court finds relevant.
Utah law makes it very clear that it is usually best for the child to have both parents involved. A Utah visitation schedule needs to reflect this standard and give adequate time to both parents.
Chapter 60, Article 16 in the Kansas Statutes contain the laws and guidelines about child custody for the state. Divorced or separating parents in Kansas should learn these laws–especially as they make a Kansas custody agreement.
Types of legal custodial arrangements. Legal custody refers to the parental obligation to make decisions about and for the child. There are two types of arrangements: joint and sole. In a joint agreement, each parent has equal rights to make decisions in the best interest of the child. In a sole arrangement, one person has the right to make decisions. The state has a preference for joint legal custody, and if there is a sole agreement, there needs to be reasons why it hurts the child to have a joint agreement.
Types of residential arrangements. For a Kansas custody schedule, there are a couple of different residential arrangements that the parents can have. The state usually requires an arrangement where the child spends significant time with both parents–they reside with both parents often. There is also a rare possibility for divided residency, where one or more children lives with one parent and has parenting time with the other parent.
Submitting a parenting plan to the court. Article 16 specifies that if parents can agree to the terms of custody, they can submit a Kansas parenting plan together to the court. If they are not able to agree, each parent should submit a proposed plan and a judge will determine the final custody agreement and Kansas visitation schedule. When determining the best plan for the child, the judge will consider:
- The desires of the parents in relation to custody.
- The desires of the child concerning custody.
- The interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents.
- The child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school and community.
- The willingness and ability of each parent to respect and encourage the bond between child and other parent.
- Evidence of spousal or child abuse either by the parent or someone with whom the parent resides.
- Whether a parent or someone with whom a parent resides is subject to Offender Registration.
Title 9 in the Arkansas Code is the Arkansas Family Code. This code contains all of the laws and statutes about child custody. Custody matters are extensively dealt with in Chapter 13. Here is an overview of the laws in Arkansas.
Awarding custody. Parents need to know the laws about how the state awards custody. This is the foundation of an Arkansas custody agreement. The state gives no preference because of gender when awarding custody. This means that the father and mother have an equal chance of getting custody of the children, providing that they are both capable custodial parents. The standard for granting custody is what is best for the child. If the parents can work this out before going to court, the judge will respect their wishes. The mother and father figure out the custody arrangement that fulfills the needs of the child and put that in the agreement.
This section also contains a statute that when parents are making a plan, they should the child frequent and continuing contact with both parents. Because of this, the court may award a joint custody agreement when making an order for custody. This also means that when the court is making an order, it is more likely to award custody to the parent that encourages the child to have contact with the other parent. This is something to think about for an Arkansas parenting plan.
Grandparents’ visitation rights. Grandparents in Arkansas can receive visitation rights. The grandparent must petition to the court for visitation, and there must be clear evidence that visitation with the grandparent is in the best interest of the child. To show this, the grandparent must prove that there is a substantial relationship between the child and the grandparent. This is evident with the child has spent time living with the grandparent, the grandparent has been a primary caretaker of the child, the grandparent has had regular visitation with the child in the past, etc. Parents should work with the grandparents to include their time in the Arkansas visitation schedule.
Visitation of siblings. Brothers and sisters of a child may also petition for and be awarded visitation rights. An adult sibling can petition to visit a younger sibling, or a parent may file for visitation for a sibling who is a minor. It does not matter the degree of the blood relation (half siblings of the child also have this right). A sibling can be granted visitation even if the sibling’s parent is denied visitation. If this is part of the custody situation, the custody and visitation schedule will need to reflect the times when the sibling can visit the child.
Preference of child concerning the schedule. The state has a policy on if the child has a say in the custody schedule. If the child is old enough to form a reasonable and mature opinion, the court will listen to the child’s preference. Parents should also be willing to listen and work with the child regarding an Arkansas custody schedule. Everything should be done to make the child as happy as possible with the arrangements.
Title 93 in the Mississippi Code contains the laws about domestic relations. In this category, parents can find the information about child custody matters. Here is a highlight about the custody laws.
Court has authority in custody matters. Chapter 5 of Title 93 gives authority to the court to make decisions about care, custody, and maintenance of the children after the parents divorce or separate. This means that a Mississippi parenting plan must be accepted by the court to become a valid document. In order for the court to approve a schedule, it must be made with the child’s best interest as the focus.
Types of custody awarded.
The state of Mississippi awards four different types of custody. The parents can share legal and physical custody, one parent can have physical custody and the parents share legal custody, one parent can have legal custody and the parents share physical custody, and one parent can be given legal and physical custody. The type of custody the parents are awarded will be based on what best fulfills the child’s needs. The Mississippi custody schedule must reflect the type of custody, and there must also be adequate visitation provided if one parent is the custodial parent.
The mother and father have a say in what type of custody is granted. Chapter 5 specifies that the parents may need to submit a parenting plan with the court that outlines how they want custody arranged. If the parents both submit a joint Mississippi custody agreement, they can submit a plan together. If the mother and father differ as to what they want, each parent should submit a plan that details what they want and they should be prepared to explain how the child will benefit from the plan.
Grandparent visitation rights. Chapter 16 in Title 93 contains a statute about grandparents’ visitation rights. A grandparent in Mississippi can be given the right to have visitation with the grandchildren afer the parents separate or divorce. This usually happens with a grandparent who has been a big part of the child’s life. A grandparent can petition at the court to be given visitation. If it is granted, the Mississippi visitation schedule must be made to accommodate this situation.
Chapter 598 of the Iowa Code contains the laws about child custody for the state. Any parent in Iowa who is involved in a custody situation should take the time to become familiar with the law. Here are some highlights to get started.
Joint custody. The state has a lot of information about joint custody. Parents can choose to have a joint custody arrangement, and they can create an Iowa parenting plan that details how they will share the responsibilities of child rearing. If only one parent wants joint custody and petitions the court for it, the court will most likely grant it, unless the other parent can prove that the arrangement is detrimental to the child. Even if a sole custody agreement is accepted, the parents must make an Iowa visitation schedule that gives maximum visitation time to the other parent. Joint legal custody can be granted without joint physical custody.
Factors about the best interest of the child. The state makes every custody decision with the child’s best welfare in mind. When determining an Iowa custody agreement, the court will look at the following factors:
- Whether each parent would be a suitable custodian for the child.
- Whether the psychological and emotional needs and development of the child will suffer due to lack of active contact with and attention from both parents.
- Whether the parents can communicate with each other regarding the child’s needs.
- Whether both parents have actively cared for the child before and since the separation.
- Whether each parent can support the other parent’s relationship with the child.
- Whether the custody arrangement is in accord with the child’s wishes or whether the child has strong opposition, taking into consideration the child’s age and maturity.
- Whether one or both the parents agree or are opposed to joint custody.
- The geographic proximity of the parents.
- Whether the safety of the child, other children, or the other parent will be jeopardized by the awarding of joint custody or by unsupervised or unrestricted visitation.
- Whether a history of domestic abuse exists.
Basically, the state wants to protect the right of the child to have both parents involved in the child’s life–even after the parents separate. An Iowa custody schedule should give the child the opportunity to be with the other parent physically and emotionally.
Child custody laws in Connecticut are found in Title 46b of the Connecticut General Statutes. These are important guidelines for parents to know as they go through a custody situation.
Parental responsibility plan. There are a few ways, listed in Title 46b Chapter 56, that a parent can get a custody order from the court. The parents can agree on a Connecticut parenting plan that they submit to the court. There can be an award of joint custody where the parents must come up with an agreement about how they will share responsibility, time, and other decisions about the child. One parent can also have sole custody with an adequate visitation plan for the other parent.
Visitation. Chapter 49 is an interesting statute that also affects the Connecticut visitation schedule. This part of the law explains that the court can grant visitation to any person if it is in the child’s best interest. The person needs to apply for visitation with the court, and the judge can make an order. Generally these visitation rights are extended to grandparents and other members of the extended family. If anyone else is given visitation, the schedule must reflect that.
The parenting education class. Chapter 69b contains a requirement for a parenting education class. This class is offered by the court to educate parents about the impact that the restructuring of families has on the children. The course can include information about the developmental stages of children, how children can adjust to parental separation, how parents can resolve disputes and conflict, how to handle visitation, making a Connecticut custody agreement, and how to help the child handle the stresses of the separation. Parents only have to take this class once, and the court can waive the requirement if necessary.
3. Best interest of the child standard. Right in Title 46 it says that all custody decisions, including the making of a Connecticut custody schedule, must be guided by what is in the best interest of the child. This means that the parents should make the children the focus of everything in the plan, and they should be willing to put the child’s needs above their own. If the child is old enough and mature enough to form an intelligent opinion, the court will listen to the wishes of the child. Parents should consider this as they make the agreement. Sometimes the court will also take the circumstances of the parents’ separation into account as they decide custody matters.
Oklahoma custody laws are found in The Oklahoma Statutes in Title 43. Section 109 contains most of the laws that affect custody situations. Here’s a brief overview.
Oklahoma Parenting plan, Section 109, Part D. Oklahoma requires that the court have a final plan concerning custody matters and arrangements. This plan, often called a parenting plan or custody agreement, is made based on the plan submitted by the parents. If the mother and father are able to agree on the plan, they can submit one jointly that the court will consider. If they are not able to work together, each parent should submit a proposed plan and the court will look at both ideas. The plan needs to detail the physical living arrangements of the child, child support obligations, medical and dental care for the child, school placement, an Oklahoma visitation schedule with information about visitation rights, and anything else the parents want to include.
Joint Custody, Section 109, Part C and E. Oklahoma allows parents the option to have joint custody. If the father or mother wants joint custody, they must submit a plan to the court about how the responsibilities of rearing the child will be divided. This plan must contain the same information as the regular parenting plan (listed in the above paragraph). The court can terminate joint custody at any time if either parent requests it or if it is in the best interest of the child. If this happens, the court will create a new Oklahoma custody agreement that the parents must follow.
Awarding custody, Section 109, Part A. This details how the state awards custody of the children. This is essential to an Oklahoma custody schedule, and parents must figure out how they will arrange custody. Custody will be awarded according to what is in the best physical, moral, and mental interest of the child. Either parent may be awarded custody, or joint custody can be awarded. The state gives no preference to either parent because of gender.
Chapter 107 in the Oregon Revised Statutes contains the laws about child custody in Oregon. Here is a brief overview of some of the laws that parents can use in their custody situation.
The requirement of a parenting plan. The state requires that parents create an Oregon parenting plan and file it with the court. There aren’t exact specifications for the plan–it can be specific or general. A general plan can include the basic outline for how the parents will share parenting time and parental responsibilities. The parents can then have an informal agreement where they understand the details. The mother and father can also have a very specific parenting plan that details the exact Oregon custody schedule, the holiday schedule, how the parents make decisions, etc.
Joint custody. Oregon gives parents the option to have joint custody if they want. This doesn’t mean that an Oregon visitation schedule gives both parents exactly equal time with the children. The children can still live with a primary custodian and visit the other parent. Joint custody refers to the idea that parents are sharing parental tasks and duties. They can divide them as they wish in their parenting plan. The court will not award joint custody if the parents haven’t agreed to it, nor will the court not allow parents who want joint custody to have it.
Best interest of the child. As in other states, the Oregon standard for all custody decisions is the best interest of the child. Everything in an Oregon custody agreement must benefit the welfare of the child. Here is a list of the factors that the court considers when determining what is best for the children. Parents should also think about these.
- The emotional ties between the child and other family members;
- The interest of the parties in and attitude toward the child;
- The desirability of continuing an existing relationship;
- The abuse of one parent by the other;
- The preference for the primary caregiver of the child, if the caregiver is deemed fit by the court; and
- The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child, unless a continuing relationship with the other parent will endanger the health or safety of either parent or the child.
In determining custody of a minor child, the court shall consider the conduct, marital status, income, social environment or life style of either party only if it is shown that any of these factors are causing or may cause emotional or physical damage to the child.
The best interest of the child. The court makes all decisions in the best interest of the child. Parents should hold to this standard and also strive to make all custody arrangements with the child’s welfare in mind. A Kentucky custody schedule should be made to fulfill a child’s needs and provide for the child. Here are the factors that a court considers when determining what is best for the children. Mothers and fathers also need to think about these.
- The wishes of the child’s parent or parents, and any de facto custodian, as to his custody.
- The wishes of the child as to his custodian.
- The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parent or parents, his siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests.
- The child’s adjustment to his home, school, and community.
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
- Information, records, and evidence of domestic violence.
- The extent to which the child has been cared for, nurtured, and supported by any de facto custodian.
- The intent of the parent or parents in placing the child with a de facto custodian.
- The circumstances under which the child was placed or allowed to remain in the custody of a de facto custodian, including whether the parent now seeking custody was previously prevented from doing so as a result of domestic violence and whether the child was placed with a de facto custodian to allow the parent now seeking custody to seek employment, work, or attend school.
De facto custodian. As seen above, Kentucky considers a de facto custodian as an important figure in the child’s life. A defacto custodian is someone who has physically cared for and provided financially for the child. If the child is under three years old, the custodian must have lived with and taken care of the child for six months. If the child is over three years old, the custodian must have cared for the child for one year. The presence of a de facto guardian adds another layer to a Kentucky visitation schedule.
Joint custody. Joint custody is an option in Kentucky. The court doesn’t necessarily have a preference for it, but the court will award it if it is in the best interest of the child. Generally, it is best if the parents can work out some kind of joint custody arrangement.
Louisiana custody laws are found in the Civil Code of the Louisiana Code. Articles 132-134 are especially important to parents as they create a Louisiana custody agreement and Louisiana parenting plan. Here is a summary of the information in the statutes.
The presumption of joint custody–Article 132. This statute explains that if the parents agree on the custody arrangements, the court will accept them. If the parents are not able to agree, the court awards joint custody to the parents. This doesn’t mean that a Louisiana custody schedule has to split the time exactly between the parents, instead it means that each parent is expected to be involved and participating in the child’s life. The parents can decide how to share the joint custody.
The best interest of the child. The law states that every decision about custody must be made with the best interest of the child in mind. Here are some of the factors the court considers when determining what is in the best interest of the child (this is found in Article 143):
- The love, affection, and other emotional ties between each party and the child.
- The capacity and disposition of each party to give the child love, affection, and spiritual guidance and to continue the education and rearing of the child.
- The capacity and disposition of each party to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, and other material needs.
- The length of time the child has lived in a stable, adequate environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity of that environment.
- The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.
- The moral fitness of each party, insofar as it affects the welfare of the child.
- The mental and physical health of each party.
- The home, school, and community history of the child.
- The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient age to express a preference.
- The willingness and ability of each party to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other party.
- The distance between the respective residences of the parties.
- The responsibility for the care and rearing of the child previously exercised by each party.
All of these are important issues that affect a Louisiana visitation schedule. The mother and father need to ponder them deeply so they can come up with a solution that helps the child.
Title 20 in the South Carolina Code of Laws contains the rules that guide domestic relations. This is the section that contains the information about child custody laws.
Section 20-3-160 of the law concerns the care and maintenance of the child. This is essential to know for a South Carolina parenting plan, because the plan is how the parents plan to maintain care for the child when they are not together. This code gives authority to the court to make decisions about the care, custody, and maintenance of the children after the parents separate. The court can make these decisions at any time after the separation, and they can also revise a previous order. The law states that the court must make these decisions in the best spiritual and other interests of the child. Therefore, a South Carolina custody schedule must clearly demonstrate that it benefits the child’s welfare.
Along with this, the code specifies the process of getting a South Carolina custody agreement accepted by the court. If the parents agree, the court will accept the agreement that is submitted jointly. If the parents are unable to agree, they must both present a case to the judge and the judge will determine the plan. Once the agreement is accepted, it becomes the custody order and it is legally binding.
One last thing to consider is Section 20-7. This law has been repealed, but it still contains valuable advice that parents should know. The state used to take very seriously the wishes of the child when deciding custody matters. The weight given to the child’s preference depends on the child’s maturity and reasonableness. Parents should think about if their child has a strong opinion about the custody and visitation schedule. Of course, the child shouldn’t determine everything in the schedule, but the opinions can be considered and the parents can include the child as much as possible in the proceeding. So, a South Carolina visitation schedule should reflect (if reasonable) the preferences of the children.
If you are living in Alabama and involved in a custody situation, you need to familiarize yourself with Title 30 of the Code of Alabama. This section of law contains the information about custody proceedings in the state. Many of these laws and guidelines are helpful when creating an Alabama custody agreement and Alabama parenting plan.
Joint custody. The state encourages both parents to stay involved in the child’s life. Joint custody is recommended and desired by the court–if it is a possibility. Joint custody simply means that the parents will both help to raise the child. They can set the specifications as far as what each parent will do. It doesn’t mean that an Alabama custody schedule gives equal time with the child to both parents.
The court will order joint custody, even if the parents don’t agree to it, if it is in the best interest of the child. When determining if joint custody is in the best interest of the child, the court considers: the agreement or lack of agreement of the parents on joint custody; the past and present ability of the parents to cooperate with each other and make decisions jointly; the ability of the parents to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other parent; any history of or potential for child abuse, spouse abuse, or kidnapping; and the geographic proximity of the parents to each other as this relates to the practical considerations of joint physical custody. If both parents request joint custody, the presumption is that joint custody is in the best interest of the child and joint custody will be granted.
Alabama Child-Parent Relationship Protection Act. This act is found in Title 7A of Title 30. This is especially important as parents create an Alabama visitation schedule. This act simply declares that the state thinks both parents should have continuing and frequent contact with the child, even after a divorce or separation. It is generally in the best interest of the child to be with both parents. As you create a visitation schedule, be sure that each parent is given adequate time with the children.
Missouri child custody laws are found in the Missouri Revised Statutes in Section 452. This information is important for separating or divorced parents in Missouri–especially as they create their Missouri custody agreement. Here is an overview of some of the statutes that impact how the Missouri parenting plan should be made.
The child should have frequent, meaningful, and continuing contact with both parents. Section 452 of the statutes makes it clear that the state considers it in the best interest of the child to see both parents frequently. This enables the father and mother to have a meaningful relationship with the child–which is what children need. Thus, a Missouri custody schedule must give adequate time to both parents in order to be accepted in court. This section also states that the parent who encourages the child to have this contact with the other parent is more likely to be granted custody of the child.
The relationship of the child with parents, siblings, and other significant persons. The state deems it important that the child should be able to continue to have and develop relationships with other family members after the parents separate. This means that a Missouri visitation schedule should take other family members into account for visiting time. The child should have time with siblings and possibly grandparents.
The adjustment of the child to the child’s home, school, and community. This is an important factor that the court considers that affects the best interest of the child. Children do best when they have stability in their environment. It isn’t fair for the parents to expect the child to continually adjust to new situations. Every care should be taken that the child stays in the same school and is still allowed to participate in the community.
Chapter 6 of Title 36 in the Tennessee Code contains all of the laws and state information about child custody. This is important information for anyone involved in a custody situation. Here are some of the more applicable rules that parents should know.
The Tennessee parenting plan. The law requires parents in Tennessee to have a parenting plan. The plan must be submitted and accepted by the court. The plan must: provide for the child’s changing needs, establish the authority of each parent with regard to making decisions, minimize the child’s exposure to harmful conflict, and include a residential schedule. The residential schedule is a Tennessee custody schedule and should show where the child is every day of the year.
The standard of the child’s best interest. The court will make decisions about custody according to what is in the best interest of the child. Chapter 6 outlines some of the factors that the state thinks influences what is best for the child: the love and affection between the parents and the child; the disposition of the parents to provide the child with food, medical care, clothing, education, and other necessary provisions; the length of time the child has lived in a stable, safe environment; the stability of the family unit of the parents; the mental and physical health of the parents; the child’s home, school, and community record; the request of the child; each parents’ past or future potential for the performance of parental responsibilities; and the character of persons residing in the parents’ homes. All of these factors should be considered as a mother and father make a Tennessee custody agreement.
Custody may be awarded to either parent. The father or mother may be awarded custody, or the parents can have a shared parenting agreement. The law states that if parents can agree on a Tennessee visitation schedule, the court will accept it. If they cannot cooperate, the court can determine what the schedule will be–along with deciding the other custody arrangements.
Article 17 of Title 31 in the Indiana Code contains the laws and guidelines about child custody. Here are some important points from these statutes that parents involved in a custody situation should know.
Factors that affect the child’s best interest. In Chapter 2-8 of Article 17, the state has provided parents with a list of factors that the court considers when determining the best interest of the child. All court decisions are made according to this standard, and parents should make sure that they are following it. These factors include: the age and sex of the child; the wishes of the parents; the interaction between the child and the parents, the siblings, and other influential people in the child’s life; the adjustment to home, school, and community; the mental and physical health of everyone involved; if there has been any evidence of domestic violence; and if the child has been cared for by a de facto guardian. All of these factors should also be considered as parents make an Indiana parenting plan. This can help them make the best one for the child.
The state of Indiana allows parents to have joint legal custody. This does not mean that an Indiana custody schedule must give equal time to both parents. It means that the parents share the responsibility to make important decisions concerning the child. The court has no over preference for joint or sole custody and the decision is based on what the child needs.
Parents can work together to submit an Indiana custody agreement to the court. If they are not willing to cooperate, the court makes all the decisions about the custody arrangements. Once the court has decided on an Indiana visitation schedule, the parents must follow it. Any changes to the schedule must go through the court and the parent must show that the change is in the best interest of the child.