New child custody guidelines proposed in Utah

Given that the best interests of the child are at the heart of every Utah family law case, legislators and family law attorneys alike continually strive to promote conflict resolution and effective communication between parents and families. Consequently, state guidelines regarding child custody and visitation are sometimes created and/or amended to be more practical and effective. In fact, the state legislature is set to consider a proposed bill that would have a direct impact on families across the state.

The Judiciary Interim Committee of the Utah legislature recently considered a draft of a proposed piece of legislation intended to increase the amount of visitation time that noncustodial parents have with their children. The proposed bill was reportedly drafted in order to reduce divorce-related litigation by resolving some points of conflict between parents, according to one source. And while the committee had yet to make a decision on the proposed bill, it is expected to be considered by the legislature next year.

The proposed piece of legislation would allow a family law judge to decide whether a noncustodial parent is capable of maintaining longer periods of parenting times. Several factors would be taken into consideration in the matter, including the schedule flexibility of the parent and his or her ability to care for the child after school. The bill would also mandate that the noncustodial parent in question illustrate his or her ability to communicate effectively with the child’s custodial parent and be active in the child’s life.

Ultimately, the proposed measure would allow noncustodial parents to pick their children up from school on Friday and bring them directly to school on Monday, instead of conducting exchanges at the custodial parent’s house.

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