The Appellate Group

Martinez v. Sanchez-Garcia

Martinez v. Sanchez-Garcia, 2023 UT App 60 (Harris, J.)

Family Law

After Martinez and Sanchez-Garcia divorced, Martinez was awarded physical custody of the children. Sanchez-Garcia requested a modification of the custody arrangement after Martinez and the children moved closer to Sanchez-Garcia. The district court ruled in favor of Sanchez-Garcia, modifying the custody order, and making him primary physical custodian. Martinez appealed. The Utah Court of Appeals vacated and remanded, holding:

  • The district court erred when it modified the child custody arrangement but (1) did not make any findings on whether a change in circumstances occurred and (2) discussed only three of the twenty-five applicable statutory factors.
  • Judicial Tip: Even with factors not relevant to the situation or factors that do not move the needle one way or another, the court is well-served to at least mention those factors in its ruling and briefly indicate that it deems them irrelevant or of equal weight for each party.

Read the full court opinion