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H.B. 448 Enrolled

             1     

CUSTODY MODIFICATIONS

             2     
2012 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Gregory H. Hughes

             5     
Senate Sponsor: Howard A. Stephenson

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill amends provisions governing the relocation of a custodial parent with a minor
             10      child or children.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    requires the court to hold a hearing if a motion is filed by a noncustodial parent
             14      when the custodial parent intends to relocate 150 miles or more from the residence
             15      of the other parent;
             16          .    requires the court to determine that a move more than 150 miles from the residence
             17      of the other parent is in the best interest of the child; and
             18          .    allows the court to modify custody arrangements if a custodial parent decides to
             19      move 150 miles or more from the residence of the other parent when the court has
             20      determined that the move is not in the best interest of the child.
             21      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             22          None
             23      Other Special Clauses:
             24          None
             25      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             26      AMENDS:
             27          30-3-37, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 228
             28     
             29      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:


             30          Section 1. Section 30-3-37 is amended to read:
             31           30-3-37. Relocation.
             32          (1) For purposes of this section, "relocation" means moving 150 miles or more from
             33      the residence [specified in the court's decree] of the other parent.
             34          (2) The relocating parent shall provide[, if possible,] 60 days advance written notice of
             35      the intended relocation to the other parent. The written notice of relocation shall contain
             36      statements affirming the following:
             37          (a) the parent-time provisions in Subsection (5) or a schedule approved by both parties
             38      will be followed; and
             39          (b) neither parent will interfere with the other's parental rights pursuant to court
             40      ordered parent-time arrangements, or the schedule approved by both parties.
             41          (3) The court [may] shall, upon motion of any party or upon the court's own motion,
             42      schedule a hearing with notice to review the notice of relocation and parent-time schedule as
             43      provided in Section 30-3-35 and make appropriate orders regarding the parent-time and costs
             44      for parent-time transportation.
             45          (4) [In determining] In a hearing to review the notice of relocation, the court shall, in
             46      determining if the relocation of a custodial parent is in the best interest of the child, consider
             47      any other factors that the court considers relevant to the determination. If the court determines
             48      that relocation is not in the best interest of the child, and the custodial parent relocates, the
             49      court may order a change of custody.
             50          (5) If the court finds that the relocation is in the best interest of the child, the court shall
             51      determine the parent-time schedule and [allocating] allocate the transportation costs[, the] that
             52      will be incurred for the child to visit the noncustodial parent. In making its determination,
             53      court shall consider:
             54          (a) the reason for the parent's relocation;
             55          (b) the additional costs or difficulty to both parents in exercising parent-time;
             56          (c) the economic resources of both parents; and
             57          (d) other factors the court considers necessary and relevant.


             58          [(5)] (6) Unless otherwise ordered by the court, upon the relocation, as defined in
             59      Subsection (1), of one of the parties the following schedule shall be the minimum requirements
             60      for parent-time with a school-age child:
             61          (a) in years ending in an odd number, the child shall spend the following holidays with
             62      the noncustodial parent:
             63          (i) Thanksgiving holiday beginning Wednesday until Sunday; and
             64          (ii) Spring break, if applicable, beginning the last day of school before the holiday until
             65      the day before school resumes;
             66          (b) in years ending in an even number, the child shall spend the following holidays
             67      with the noncustodial parent:
             68          (i) the entire winter school break period; and
             69          (ii) the Fall school break beginning the last day of school before the holiday until the
             70      day before school resumes;
             71          (c) extended parent-time equal to 1/2 of the summer or off-track time for consecutive
             72      weeks. The children should be returned to the custodial home no later than seven days before
             73      school begins; however, this week shall be counted when determining the amount of
             74      parent-time to be divided between the parents for the summer or off-track period; and
             75          (d) one weekend per month, at the option and expense of the noncustodial parent.
             76          [(6)] (7) The noncustodial parent's monthly weekend entitlement is subject to the
             77      following restrictions.
             78          (a) If the noncustodial parent has not designated a specific weekend for parent-time,
             79      the noncustodial parent shall receive the last weekend of each month unless a holiday assigned
             80      to the custodial parent falls on that particular weekend. If a holiday assigned to the custodial
             81      parent falls on the last weekend of the month, the noncustodial parent shall be entitled to the
             82      next to the last weekend of the month.
             83          (b) If a noncustodial parent's extended parent-time or parent-time over a holiday
             84      extends into or through the first weekend of the next month, that weekend shall be considered
             85      the noncustodial parent's monthly weekend entitlement for that month.


             86          (c) If a child is out of school for teacher development days or snow days after the
             87      children begin the school year, or other days not included in the list of holidays in Subsection
             88      [(5)] (6) and those days are contiguous with the noncustodial parent's monthly weekend
             89      parent-time, those days shall be included in the weekend parent-time.
             90          [(7)] (8) The custodial parent is entitled to all parent-time not specifically allocated to
             91      the noncustodial parent.
             92          [(8)] (9) In the event finances and distance preclude the exercise of minimum
             93      parent-time for the noncustodial parent during the school year, the court should consider
             94      awarding more time for the noncustodial parent during the summer time if it is in the best
             95      interests of the children.
             96          [(9)] (10) Upon the motion of any party, the court may order uninterrupted parent-time
             97      with the noncustodial parent for a minimum of 30 days during extended parent-time, unless the
             98      court finds it is not in the best interests of the child. If the court orders uninterrupted
             99      parent-time during a period not covered by this section, it shall specify in its order which parent
             100      is responsible for the child's travel expenses.
             101          [(10)] (11) Unless otherwise ordered by the court the relocating party shall be
             102      responsible for all the child's travel expenses relating to Subsections [(5)] (6)(a) and (b) and 1/2
             103      of the child's travel expenses relating to Subsection [(5)] (6)(c), provided the noncustodial
             104      parent is current on all support obligations. If the noncustodial parent has been found in
             105      contempt for not being current on all support obligations, the noncustodial parent shall be
             106      responsible for all of the child's travel expenses under Subsection [(5)] (6), unless the court
             107      rules otherwise. Reimbursement by either responsible party to the other for the child's travel
             108      expenses shall be made within 30 days of receipt of documents detailing those expenses.
             109          [(11)] (12) The court may apply this provision to any preexisting decree of divorce.
             110          [(12)] (13) Any action under this section may be set for an expedited hearing.
             111          [(13)] (14) A parent who fails to comply with the notice of relocation in Subsection (2)
             112      shall be in contempt of the court's order.


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