Family Law Attorney in Utah
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Child Custody Modification Lawyers in Salt Lake County

Helping Parents Adjust Custody Orders

An existing court order for child visitation or custody can be modified. If you have decided to seek a modified child custody order, then you first need to be aware of the various forms of custody that are possible for you to obtain through a court judgment. Then, you should understand the steps you will need to follow to have your modification request considered and decided by the court.

Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC is here to help you through the process and to provide the results-driven representation you need. From our office in Draper, you can count on our child custody modification lawyers to stand up for you as you fight to achieve your goals in Salt Lake County and Utah County.

Should I Get A Lawyer For Child Support Modification?

Hiring a lawyer may be a good choice to ensure you receive the very best outcome. A child support lawyer can help with your case by assisting you in various matters such as: Discussing the legal matters and what you should anticipate at every stage of the court proceedings.

Contact us online or call (801) 515-4133 to get started with your petition to modify custody in Utah.

Is It Hard to Modify Custody?

Modifying child custody is not a simple process. You must be able to demonstrate a significant change in circumstance that warrants a modification of the original custody order. You will also need to complete certain legal forms, file them with the court, pay fees, and ensure that you have a strong argument for your case. All of this is best accomplished with the professional, experienced representation of a modification attorney in Salt Lake County.

Steps for Filing a Petition for Child Custody Modification in Utah

Filing a petition with the Utah court to modify an existing child custody order requires several steps.

To do so, you will have to:

  • Explain how you would like the existing custody order to be changed. Keep in mind that the court may not give you what you ask for.
  • Pay a filing fee.
  • File all required child custody modification forms with the Clerk of the Court.
  • Have the other party properly served with copies of all papers you are filing with the court, and with the Writ of Summons, which the Civil Clerk of the Court will provide.
  • File a Request for Hearing or Proceeding (your Petition to Modify Child Custody will not be sufficient to get your case heard in court. You may also be required to file a Request for Hearing or Proceeding).
  • Educate yourself on what will be expected in addressing your case in court, what you should expect to happen in court, and what should be done if/when various issues arise in a custody proceeding.
  • Attend the court hearing.

How to Succeed in Your Child Custody Modification Case

Child custody cases are typically among the most complex and difficult kinds for judges to decide. If your petition for a custody modification is being contested by the other party, you should not proceed with your case alone. Contact a qualified Salt Lake County child custody modification lawyer to help you through the legal process and to stand with you in court.

Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC can ensure that:

  • All legal requirements are met at every stage of the process
  • All Utah court system procedural rules are obeyed
  • Your rights under Utah and U.S. federal law are fully protected

Keep in mind that nearly two dozen forms are required by the court in petitioning for modification of a child custody order.


A court can only modify child custody orders over which it has legal “jurisdiction.” Determining jurisdiction can be quite complex. If the current order was issued by a court in another state, or if the child or parents reside outside of Utah, the question of jurisdiction can become complicated. Before you pursue a custody modification, let us help you determine the appropriate jurisdiction in which to file your petition.

Alternative Dispute Resolution for Child Custody

When you have an existing order for joint physical or legal custody, it probably states what kinds of dispute resolution must be undertaken before either parent can file a petition for modification. For example, the controlling order may require parents to work with a professional mediator to attempt to resolve a custody dispute before petitioning the court.

Changes Justifying a Custody Modification Request

If both parents do not agree to the requested child custody modification, the court is required to establish grounds for child custody modification. It must evaluate changes in circumstances that may have occurred after the existing order was issued by the court, and it must decide whether modifying the existing custody order would better serve the best interests of the child.

Utah courts may approve a custody modification request if:

  • A parent has moved to a different community
  • The child must change schools
  • A parent has remarried

Call Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC

Our team is dedicated to providing high-quality legal counsel, to fully protecting your rights, and to helping you and your family move beyond difficult legal issues. Our Salt Lake County child custody modification attorneys have extensive experience helping parents achieve their goals.

Call (801) 515-4133 now to get started on your case.


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Meet Our Team

Professional. Confident. Approachable.
  • Eric M. Swinyard Photo
    Eric M. Swinyard

    Founding Attorney

    Eric M. Swinyard is a divorce and family law attorney who serves clients throughout the State of Utah. Eric’s practice is primarily focused on providing personalized, high-quality legal services to individuals involved in divorces, paternity actions, adoptions, estate planning, and other family law matters. It’s incredibly easy to be taken advantage of during litigation, especially if you are unrepresented by legal counsel. Protect Your Rights You don’t want to be in a situation where you need ...
  • Ryan  Ficklin Photo
    Ryan Ficklin


    Ryan Ficklin is an associate attorney at Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC. Prior to practicing law in Utah, Ryan practiced family law in Southern California. In 2017, Ryan relocated back to his home state of Utah to focus on serving the people of Utah who need legal representation, particularly in the family law realm. Ryan graduated with honors from California’s Whittier Law School in May of 2015. While in law school, Ryan was a staff member for The Journal of Child and Family Advocacy. Ryan ...
  • Keith L. Johnson Photo
    Keith L. Johnson


    Keith joined Eric M. Swinyard & Associates in Fall 2020, bringing more than a decade of experience as a trial attorney in various types of legal cases. He has successfully guided hundreds of individuals through Utah’s court system. Keith previously worked at an established civil litigation firm in Salt Lake as well as a mid-sized regional law firm. He has substantive experience in a variety of practice areas and is now primarily devoted to serving individuals involved in family law cases. Keith ...
  • Mark  Hales Photo
    Mark Hales


    Mark Hales has over 17 years of legal experience in the areas of family, criminal, and civil law. He handles all types of domestic matters, including custody, divorce, child support, alimony, annulment, termination of parental rights, paternity, modifications, and adoptions. In addition, he defends clients charged with domestic violence and abuse, stalking, violations of protective orders, and other and criminal charges. Mark is a certified mediator for all legal matters and is also a certified ...
  • Justin  Stringfellow Photo
    Justin Stringfellow


    Justin Stringfellow has practiced family law in Utah for 20 years, bringing a wealth of experience to Eric Swinyard & Associates in areas such as divorce, custody, paternity, modifications, child support, and adoption proceedings. In the early years of his career, Justin appeared on an estimated 1,500 Protective Order matters. He is an expert in dealing with abuse and domestic violence components in family law matters. As such, he was distinguished by Utah's Domestic Violence Coalition. Justin ...
  • Eliza  Crespo Photo
    Eliza Crespo


    Eliza Crespo is an associate attorney at Eric Swinyard & Associates. Prior to joining the firm, Eliza practiced estate planning in Utah. Eliza offers a fresh set of eyes to difficult situations and is passionate about providing excellent and compassionate legal services to her clients. Through personal experience, she appreciates the impact of a listening ear and an effective advocate, especially during times of challenge or transition. Eliza obtained her bachelor’s degree and law degree from ...

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