Basics of Utah Parent Time
Securing your rights to time with your children is one of the most important aspects of a divorce or family legal matter. The family lawyers at our office are dedicated to protecting you rights with regard to visitation of your children. The basics of Utah Parent Time can be found in the divorce statutes of the Utah Code. Many people have heard the minimum standard schedule for parent time is once during the week and every other weekend. For the most part, this is correct.
Standard Visitation Schedule in Utah
When deciding what type of Utah Parent Time e schedule will work for you, you should consider the following guidelines and statutory provisions which apply to the Standard Visitation Schedule in Utah:
- Parent-time schedules mutually agreed upon by both parents are preferable to a court-imposed solution.
- The Utah Parent Time schedule shall be utilized to maximize the continuity and stability of the child’s life.
- If a child is on a different parent-time schedule than a sibling, based on Utah’s guidelines (Utah Code Sections 30-3-35 and 30-3-35.5), the parents should consider using the parent-time schedule for an older child with all the minor children so that parent-time is uniform between school aged and non-school aged children.
- Special consideration shall be given by each parent to make the child(ren) available to attend family functions including funerals, weddings, family reunions, religious holidays, important ceremonies, and other significant events in the life of the child(ren) or in the life of either parent which may inadvertently conflict with the parent-time schedule.
- The responsibility for the pick up, delivery, and return of the child(ren) shall be determined by the court when the parent-time order is entered, and may be changed at any time a subsequent modification is made to the parent-time order.
- If the noncustodial parent will be providing transportation the custodial parent shall have the child(ren) ready for parent-time at the time the child(ren) are to be picked up and shall be present at the custodial home or shall make reasonable alternate arrangements to receive the child(ren) at the time they are returned.
- If the custodial parent will be transporting the child(ren), the noncustodial parent shall be at the appointed place at the time the noncustodial parent is to receive the child(ren), and have the child(ren) ready to be picked up at the appointed time and place, or have made reasonable alternate arrangements for the custodial parent to pick up the child(ren).
- Regular school hours may not be interrupted for a school-age child(ren) for the exercise of parent-time by either parent.
- Neither parent-time nor child support is to be withheld due to either parent’s failure to comply with a court-ordered parent-time schedule.
- The custodial parent shall notify the noncustodial parent within 24 hours of receiving notice of all significant school, social, sports, and community functions in which the child is participating or being honored, and the noncustodial parent shall be entitled to attend and participate fully.
- The noncustodial parent shall have access directly to all school reports including preschool and daycare reports and medical records and shall be notified immediately by the custodial parent in the event of a medical emergency.
- Each parent shall provide the other with his or her current address and telephone number, email address, and other virtual parent-time access information within 24 hours of any change.
- During reasonable hours, each parent shall permit and encourage reasonable and uncensored communications with the child in the form of mail privileges and virtual parent-time if the equipment is reasonably available. If the parties cannot agree on whether the equipment is reasonably available, the court shall decide whether the equipment for virtual parent-time is reasonably available, taking into consideration the best interest of the child(ren), each parent’s ability to handle any additional expenses for virtual parent-time; and any other factors the court considers material.
- Virtual parent-time means parent-time facilitated by tools such as telephone, email, instant messaging, video conferencing, and other wired or wireless technologies over the Internet or other communication media to supplement in-person visits between a noncustodial parent and a child or between a child and the custodial parent when the child is staying with the noncustodial parent. Virtual parent time is designed to supplement, not replace, in-person parent-time.
- Each parent shall be entitled to an equal division of major religious holidays celebrated by the parents, and the parent who celebrates a religious holiday that the other parent does not celebrate shall have the right to be together with the child on the religious holiday.
- When parent-time has not taken place for an extended period of time and the child(ren) lack an appropriate bond with the noncustodial parent, both parents shall consider the possible adverse effects on the child(ren) and gradually reintroduce an appropriate Utah Parent Time plan for the noncustodial parent.
- For emergency purposes, whenever the child(ren) travel with either parent, all of the following will be provided to the other parent:
- an itinerary of travel dates;
- places where the child or traveling parent can be reached; and
- the name and telephone number of an available third person who would be knowledgeable of the child(ren)’s location
- A child under the age of five shall not travel unchaperoned.
For the Standard Visitation Schedules, see Utah Code Ann. 30-3-35 (for children over 5 years old) and Utah Code Ann. 30-3-35.5 (for children under 5 years old).
Utah Day Care Guidelines
- Parental care shall be presumed to be better care for the child than surrogate care and the court shall encourage the parties to cooperate in allowing the noncustodial parent, if willing and able to transport the children, to provide the child care.
- Child care arrangements existing during the marriage are preferred as are child care arrangements with nominal or no charge.
- Each parent shall provide all surrogate care providers with the name, current address, and telephone number of the other parent and shall provide the noncustodial parent with the name, current address, and telephone number of all surrogate care providers.
Modification of Parent Time
If your current parent time arrangements are not in the best interest of your children and there exists good cause to have it modified, please contact our team of parent time lawyers and family law attorneys today. We can petition the court on your behalf for a modification or your order. Your can reach a divorce lawyer in Salt Lake City at our office anytime, day or night, by calling (801) 413-1753.