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First Substitute S.B. 87
5 This act amends the grandparents visitation rights statute. The act clarifies that
6 grandparents may intervene in pending proceedings involving custody and visitation issues.
7 The act applies to all grandparent visitation actions a presumption in favor of the parent's
8 decision and describes how that presumption can be overcome. The act permits courts to
9 take into account the grandchild's desires regarding visitation. The act establishes a
10 standard for modification of an existing visitation order.
11 This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
13 30-5-1, as last amended by Chapter 265, Laws of Utah 2000
14 30-5-2, as last amended by Chapter 265, Laws of Utah 2000
15 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
16 Section 1. Section 30-5-1 is amended to read:
17 30-5-1. Definitions.
18 As used in this act:
19 (1) "District court" means the district court [
20 the [
21 (2) "[
22 a grandparent is seeking visitation rights with under this chapter.
23 (3) "Grandparent" means a person whose child, either by blood, marriage, or adoption, is
24 the parent of the [
25 Section 2. Section 30-5-2 is amended to read:
27 (1) Grandparents have standing to bring an action in district court by petition, requesting
28 visitation in accordance with the provisions and requirements of this section. Grandparents may
29 also file a petition for visitation rights in a pending divorce proceeding or other proceeding
30 involving custody and visitation issues.
49 (2) There is a rebuttable presumption that a parent's decision with regard to grandparent
50 visitation is in the grandchild's best interests. However, the court may override the parent's
51 decision and grant the petitioner reasonable rights of visitation if the court finds that the petitioner
52 has rebutted the presumption based upon factors which the court considers to be relevant, such as
54 (a) the petitioner is a fit and proper person to have visitation with the grandchild;
55 (b) visitation with the grandchild has been denied or unreasonably limited;
56 (c) the parent is unfit or incompetent;
House Committee Amendments 2-27-2002 kj/pwh(d) the petitioner has acted as the grandchild's custodian or caregiver, or otherwise has had
58 a substantial relationship with the grandchild, and the loss or cessation of that relationship is likely
59 to cause harm to the grandchild;
60 (e) the petitioner's child, who is a parent of the grandchild, has died, or has become a
61 noncustodial parent through divorce or legal separation;
62 (f) the petitioner's child, who is a parent of the grandchild, has been missing for an
63 extended period of time; or
64 (g) visitation is in the best interest of the grandchild.
72 (3) The adoption of a grandchild [
73 diminish or alter visitation rights previously ordered under this section.
74 (4) Subject to the provisions of Subsections (2) and (3), the court may inquire of the
75 grandchild and take into account the grandchild's desires regarding visitation.
76 (5) On the petition of a grandparent or the legal custodian of a grandchild the court may,
77 after a hearing, modify an order regarding grandparent visitation if:
78 (a) the circumstances of the grandchild, the grandparent, or the custodian have materially
79 and substantially changed since the entry of the order to be modified, or the order has become
80 unworkable or inappropriate under existing circumstances; and
81 (b) the court determines that a modification is appropriate based upon the factors set forth
82 in Subsection h [
84 a parent's wrongful noncompliance with a visitation order.
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