One of, if not the most important things in Salt Lake City residents' lives is their children. Salt Lake City parents give their all to their children and cannot imagine life without them. This love and commitment toward one's children can make a divorce particularly difficult, as one of the most contentious issues often involves a child custody dispute.
With April 15 quickly approaching, many Salt Lake City residents are in the process of completing their tax returns. This is often not the most pleasant of experiences for many, although some individuals may look forward to receiving some money back from the government.
During a Utah divorce, child custody is one of the most fought over issues. Decades ago, sole legal and physical custody were routinely given to the mothers of the children with fathers being awarded visitation rights. This trend is slowly changing as science has shown the benefits of having two parents in a child's life, and society is more accepting of fathers taking on more of the parenting.
Even though family law has come a long way since its creation, it is still evolving to fit within the continuing changing society it's meant to regulate. A hundred years ago, divorces were almost impossible to get, and those who went through with one were treated like lepers. Skip forward a hundred years and nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. It was once acceptable to declare women better parents, giving them custody in the majority of cases, but today many states have moved toward joint custody as the default and ideal arrangement for separated families.
It seems like an increasing number of cases where fathers are seeking joint or full custody of their children are being reported in the news. As fathers around the country continue to mobilize and fight in court for their parental rights, states are changing old laws and adopting new ones. The changes to custody and adoption laws are being made to address the common notion that courts favor women in any dispute involving children.
Child custody disputes are one of the top three most contested issues during a divorce. In the United States the laws on custody have changed over the decades as the home lives of families have changed. Custody laws vary by state, but maintain a base standard of putting the child's best interest first. However, which laws govern the child and the parent's rights in international cases?
Courts have long grappled with the best interests of the child standard that is generally followed in family law cases. As the times change, so changes the implications of that standard. Just a decade ago child custody was almost exclusively given to mothers. Today, courts are accepting and internalizing the importance of fathers and the positive effect of joint custody parenting on the children. As family laws changes and develops, another issue has recently made its way to the forefront of the legal world.