What if parents can't agree on a visitation schedule?

Many Salt Lake divorce cases involve quite a bit of emotion. Oftentimes, that emotion can affect a divorcing couple’s ability to try and work together through their divorce proceedings. One of the areas of these proceedings that can often become hotly contested is the determination of child custody. Many divorcing parents view this as the one aspect for which there can be absolutely no compromise. This often leads to a stalemate between both sides regarding shared parenting time. The obvious question then becomes who ultimately decides on a visitation schedule.

In such cases, the court may actually step in and impose a predetermined schedule. In Utah, state lawmakers have created their own schedules that family courts are allowed to impose if they believe them to serve the best interest of the children. According to Title 30, Chapter 3, Section 35 of the Utah State Code as shared by Utah.gov, non-custodial parents of children between the ages of 5 and 18 should adhere to the following state-sponsored visitation schedule:

  • One weekday evening from 5:30 – 8:30 pm
  • Alternating weekends from 6:00 pm on Friday to 7:00 pm on Sunday
  • The 4th of July, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, the Christmas holiday, the day before or after birthdays, and spring and fall school break on odd-numbered years
  • Birthdays, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Pioneer Day, Columbus Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the latter portion of Christmas break on even-numbered years
  • Father’s or Mother’s Day if he/she is the parent being commemorated
  • Two weeks uninterrupted time when school is not in session

Non-custodial parents of children younger than 5 are allowed weekly visits from one to three hours up to the time at which the kids fall under the aforementioned schedule. 

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