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S.B. 186 Enrolled






Chief Sponsor: Lyle W. Hillyard

House Sponsor: Kay L. McIff

             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This bill allows persons who are related to a child and have assumed the role of parent
             11      to petition the court for custody or visitation.
             12      Highlighted Provisions:
             13          This bill:
             14          .    defines "person other than a parent" as a person who is related to a child;
             15          .    provides a procedure for a person other than a parent to gain custody or visitation;
             16          .    requires notice to a parent, guardian, or state agency with an interest; and
             17          .    provides that it may not be used against a person serving in the military who is
             18      outside the state.
             19      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             20          None
             21      Other Special Clauses:
             22          None
             23      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             24      ENACTS:
             25          30-5a-101, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             26          30-5a-102, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             27          30-5a-103, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             29      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

             30          Section 1. Section 30-5a-101 is enacted to read:


Part 1. General Provisions

             34          30-5a-101. Title.
             35          This chapter is known as the "Custody and Visitation for Persons Other than Parents
             36      Act."
             37          Section 2. Section 30-5a-102 is enacted to read:
             38          30-5a-102. Definitions.
             39          As used in this chapter:
             40          (1) "Parent" means a biological or adoptive parent.
             41          (2) "Person other than a parent" means a person related to the child by marriage or
             42      blood, including:
             43          (a) siblings;
             44          (b) aunts;
             45          (c) uncles;
             46          (d) grandparents; or
             47          (e) current or former step-parents, or any of the persons in Subsections (2)(a) through
             48      (d) in a step relationship to the child.
             49          Section 3. Section 30-5a-103 is enacted to read:
             50          30-5a-103. Custody and visitation for persons other than a parent.
             51          (1) In accordance with Section 62A-4a-201 , it is the public policy of this state that
             52      parents retain the fundamental right and duty to exercise primary control over the care,
             53      supervision, upbringing, and education of their children. There is a rebuttable presumption that
             54      a parent's decisions are in the child's best interests.
             55          (2) A court may find the presumption in Subsection (1) rebutted and grant custodial or
             56      visitation rights to a person other than a parent who, by clear and convincing evidence, has
             57      established all of the following:

             58          (a) the person has intentionally assumed the role and obligations of a parent;
             59          (b) the person and the child have formed an emotional bond and created a parent-child
             60      type relationship;
             61          (c) the person contributed emotionally or financially to the child's well being;
             62          (d) assumption of the parental role is not the result of a financially compensated
             63      surrogate care arrangement;
             64          (e) continuation of the relationship between the person and the child would be in the
             65      child's best interests;
             66          (f) loss or cessation of the relationship between the person and the child would be
             67      detrimental to the child; and
             68          (g) the parent:
             69          (i) is absent; or
             70          (ii) is found by a court to have abused or neglected the child.
             71          (3) A proceeding under this chapter may be commenced by filing a verified petition, or
             72      petition supported by an affidavit, in the juvenile court if a matter is pending, or in the district
             73      court in the county in which the child:
             74          (a) currently resides; or
             75          (b) lived with a parent or a person other than a parent who acted as a parent within six
             76      months before the commencement of the action.
             77          (4) A proceeding under this chapter may be filed in a pending divorce, parentage action,
             78      or other proceeding, including a proceeding in the juvenile court, involving custody of or
             79      visitation with a child.
             80          (5) The petition shall include detailed facts supporting the petitioner's right to file the
             81      petition including the criteria set forth in Subsection (2) and residency information as set forth in
             82      Section 78B-13-209 .
             83          (6) A proceeding under this chapter may not be filed against a parent who is actively
             84      serving outside the state in any branch of the military.
             85          (7) Notice of a petition filed pursuant to this chapter shall be served in accordance with

             86      the rules of civil procedure on all of the following:
             87          (a) the child's biological, adopted, presumed, declarant, and adjudicated parents;
             88          (b) any person who has court-ordered custody or visitation rights;
             89          (c) the child's guardian;
             90          (d) the guardian ad litem, if one has been appointed;
             91          (e) a person or agency that has physical custody of the child or that claims to have
             92      custody or visitation rights; and
             93          (f) any other person or agency that has previously appeared in any action regarding
             94      custody of or visitation with the child.
             95          (8) The court may order a custody evaluation to be conducted in any action brought
             96      under this chapter.
             97          (9) The court may enter temporary orders in an action brought under this chapter
             98      pending the entry of final orders.

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