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At Utah’s Lawyers, our experienced Salt Lake City family law attorneys know that getting divorced with minor children in Utah is often more than a challenge, but a life-changing event for everyone involved.

Once both spouses have committed to the marriage’s dissolution, the children’s best interests with take center stage. And they should. Whether parents can make child custody decisions on their own in private, through negotiations with their attorneys, during mediation, or by litigating their case at trial, multiple factors will come into play.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation surrounding how child custody is awarded in Utah, including the misnomer that the kids may simply choose where they want to live.

Here, our Salt Lake County divorce attorneys help set the record straight.

How Old Do Children Have to Be to Choose Which Parent They Want to Live With During a Utah Divorce?

It is common for Utah parents to believe that their children can simply choose which parent they want to live with during and after their parent’s divorce.

Some parents may give the kids the opportunity to choose and stick to that decision when outlining their child custody agreement. However, if your divorce is going to unfold inside a Utah family courtroom, the judge in your case may or may not consider your child’s preference.

Technically, Utah law says at the age of 14 the court may consider the preferences of the children when determining custody. However, the court prefers to rely on the position that children must be of “sufficient age and maturity” to consider their opinion in custody matters. This distinction is different for everyone, as some kids mature faster than others.

However, the court has wide discretion when considering their preference, and is never a proponent of placing children — no matter their ages — in the middle of their parent’s divorce.

Child custody decisions are important and have a long-lasting impact on the children’s well-being. If you know your child custody case is going to come down to a courtroom battle with the other parent, it is better to be prepared, so you can fight for what is most important to you: Your kids.

We can help.

Contact Our Experienced Divorce Attorneys in Salt Lake City, Utah Today

At Utah’s Lawyers, our skilled family law attorneys in Salt Lake City provide unique legal insight and customized strategies that allow individuals and families to confidently outline solutions that meet both their real-time needs and long-term goals.

Contact us today to schedule an initial case assessment with our Utah divorce attorneys to discuss your case today by calling (801) 316-0245.

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