Utah child custody bill continues on

Despite the fact that family law guidelines regarding parenting time and other factors are established in the state of Utah, legislators and family law experts are continually striving to better meet the needs of families. As such, legislation outlining child custody and visitation arrangements is known to change over time. Now, for example, the Utah House of Representatives is expected to consider a new bill that would change how child custody arrangements are determined in some cases.

Currently, the minimum amount of parenting time that noncustodial parents are awarded is 110 days. And while that amount was originally intended to serve as the least amount of time that parents may be entitled to, some family law experts in the state note that it has become the standard. Under a bill that was recently approved by the House Judiciary Committee, the minimum amount of parenting time that most noncustodial parents would be entitled to would increase to 145 days.

The proposed bill, entitled HB35, would provide family law courts with more criteria for determining parenting time arrangements, allowing them to take a number of factors into consideration. In the event that a family law judge found that the noncustodial parent is capable of assisting in the afterschool care of his or her child, for instance, the judge may decide that he or she should be entitled to more parenting time.

Critics of the proposed legislation argued that it may prompt an increase in frivolous litigation. Supporters claimed, however, that the new statute would promote conflict resolution between parents. Anyone with questions or concerns about his or her child custody or visitation plan can speak to an attorney any time.

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