In contested divorce cases in Utah that involve children there is always the issue of custody. Often times what happens is that one parent will take the child or children and move out of state. Custody becomes very murky when that happens. It’s not a fair situation. The non-moving parent is left without the love and companionship of his children while the children are deprived of having an environment where there are two parents who love and care for them.
A parent should not move out of state with the children. All studies show that children need the companionship of both parents. Nonetheless, it happens all the time. Fortunately, there may be a legal remedy if you are the non-moving parent.
One potential procedure is a temporary restraining order (“TRO”). Another potential procedure is a temporary order. A TRO is a procedure that can take place almost immediately. A temporary order takes a little more time.
Factors Considered When a Parent Moves
With a TRO you have to show the court that irreparable harm will occur if the child is allowed to move out of state. That is a very difficult standard to prove. With a temporary order that standard is “the best interest of the child.”
The court looks to a few factors in determining whether the child should move out of state or state in state with the non-moving party. First, the court will generally consider who the primary caretaker is. Second, the party looks to the negative effect the move will have on the child in terms of the child’s relationship with the non-moving party. Third, the court will look to the environment the child is moving to. All of these factors are considered, but the first factor is typically the most important.
An Uphill Battle
Temporary orders and temporary restraining orders are difficult procedures. Courts like to maintain the status quo assuming there are no exigent circumstances. We are Utah divorce lawyers. Let us you through the temporary order process so that we can help you get temporary custody of your child and prevent your spouse from leaving the state with child. Call us at 801.413.1753 to schedule a consultation today.