Parent Time Increases Under New Utah Law

Minimum Parent Time Under Utah Law

When a parent in Southern Utah is awarded sole physical custody of his or her children, it does not mean that the other parent can never see the couple’s child or children.  Under Utah law, absent an abusive or dangerous parent, parents are typically awarded a minimum amount of time spent with a child depending on the age of the child.  For most children, the law dictates that parents can see their children at least once a week for 3 hours as well as every other weekend from Friday evening to Sunday evening.  Noncustodial parents also have the right to spend time with their children on certain holidays and for several weeks in the summer.  To find out more about the minimum parent time established by Utah law, speak with a St. George family law attorney.

The New Optional Parent Time Schedule in St. George

Recently, the Utah State Legislature increased the amount of minimum parent time that a parent is entitled to if certain conditions are satisfied.  It’s referred to simply as the optional schedule.  Under the newly codified section of Utah Code 30-3-35.1, a parent’s minimum parent time can now be 145 overnights a year as opposed to the previous amount of about 52 overnights (excluding holidays).  The amount of time was increased because there were several lawmakers who believed that the minimum amount of time was not sufficient for many parents.

In order for a noncustodial parent to receive the increased, optional parent time, he or she needs to demonstrate the following things: the noncustodial parent has been involved in the child’s life; the parents can communicate effectively regarding the child; the noncustodial parent can actually facilitate the increased parent time; the increased parent time is in the best interest of the child; and any other factor the court considers relevant.  With the law being so new it is yet to be seen how often a court will award this increased parent time but anyone divorcing should consider this parent time amount as an option.

Find Out More About Parent Time Schedules from an Attorney

If you are divorcing or fighting a custody battle in St. George and the surrounding Southern Utah area, contact a St. George divorce attorney today.  Our attorneys can help you determine your options when it comes to child custody and parent time issues.  Call 435.216.1034 to speak with a lawyer today.

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