Can you re-file for custody after a judgment has been made?

Can you re-file for custody after a judgment has been made?

Yes. In the context of a divorce or child custody action (not a termination of parental rights case), the answer is yes, at least in Utah (where I practice family law).

To seek a modification of child custody in the context of a divorce action—

See Utah Code § 30-3-5(4):

Child support, custody, visitation, and other matters related to a child born to the parents after entry of the decree of divorce may be added to the decree by modification.

But see Utah Code § 30-3-5(6):

If a petition for modification of child custody or parent-time provisions of a court order is made and denied, the court shall order the petitioner to pay the reasonable attorney fees expended by the prevailing party in that action, if the court determines that the petition was without merit and not asserted or defended against in good faith.

And seeRule 106. Modification of final domestic relations order.

(a) Commencement; service; answer. Except as provided in Utah Code Section 30-3-37, proceedings to modify a divorce decree or other final domestic relations order shall be commenced by filing a petition to modify. Service of the petition, or motion under Section 30-3-37, and summons upon the opposing party shall be in accordance with Rule 4. The responding party shall serve the answer within the time permitted by Rule 12.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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