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H.B. 314

             1     

PARENT-TIME AMENDMENTS

             2     
2013 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Val L. Peterson

             5     
Senate Sponsor: ____________

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill creates an optional parent-time schedule that may result in joint physical
             10      custody.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    creates an optional parent-time schedule that may result in joint physical custody;
             14          .    provides a schedule of 145 nights;
             15          .    sets holiday schedules; and
             16          .    provides for specific elections by the noncustodial parent.
             17      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             18          None
             19      Other Special Clauses:
             20          None
             21      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             22      AMENDS:
             23          30-3-34, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 146
             24      ENACTS:
             25          30-3-35.1, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             26     
             27      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:


             28          Section 1. Section 30-3-34 is amended to read:
             29           30-3-34. Best interests -- Rebuttable presumption.
             30          (1) If the parties are unable to agree on a parent-time schedule, the court may establish
             31      a parent-time schedule consistent with the best interests of the child.
             32          (2) The advisory guidelines as provided in Section 30-3-33 and the parent-time
             33      schedule as provided in Sections 30-3-35 and 30-3-35.5 shall be presumed to be in the best
             34      interests of the child unless the court determines that Section 30-3-35.1 should apply. The
             35      parent-time schedule shall be considered the minimum parent-time to which the noncustodial
             36      parent and the child shall be entitled unless a parent can establish otherwise by a preponderance
             37      of the evidence that more or less parent-time should be awarded based upon any of the
             38      following criteria:
             39          (a) parent-time would endanger the child's physical health or significantly impair the
             40      child's emotional development;
             41          (b) the distance between the residency of the child and the noncustodial parent;
             42          (c) a substantiated or unfounded allegation of child abuse has been made;
             43          (d) the lack of demonstrated parenting skills without safeguards to ensure the child's
             44      well-being during parent-time;
             45          (e) the financial inability of the noncustodial parent to provide adequate food and
             46      shelter for the child during periods of parent-time;
             47          (f) the preference of the child if the court determines the child to be of sufficient
             48      maturity;
             49          (g) the incarceration of the noncustodial parent in a county jail, secure youth
             50      corrections facility, or an adult corrections facility;
             51          (h) shared interests between the child and the noncustodial parent;
             52          (i) the involvement or lack of involvement of the noncustodial parent in the school,
             53      community, religious, or other related activities of the child;
             54          (j) the availability of the noncustodial parent to care for the child when the custodial
             55      parent is unavailable to do so because of work or other circumstances;
             56          (k) a substantial and chronic pattern of missing, canceling, or denying regularly
             57      scheduled parent-time;
             58          (l) the minimal duration of and lack of significant bonding in the parents' relationship


             59      prior to the conception of the child;
             60          (m) the parent-time schedule of siblings;
             61          (n) the lack of reasonable alternatives to the needs of a nursing child; and
             62          (o) any other criteria the court determines relevant to the best interests of the child.
             63          (3) The court shall enter the reasons underlying its order for parent-time that:
             64          (a) incorporates a parent-time schedule provided in Section 30-3-35 or 30-3-35.5 ; or
             65          (b) provides more or less parent-time than a parent-time schedule provided in Section
             66      30-3-35 or 30-3-35.5 .
             67          (4) Once the parent-time schedule has been established, the parties may not alter the
             68      schedule except by mutual consent of the parties or a court order.
             69          Section 2. Section 30-3-35.1 is enacted to read:
             70          30-3-35.1. Optional schedule for parent-time for children 5 to 18 years of age.
             71          (1) The optional parent-time schedule in this section applies to children 5 to 18 years of
             72      age. This schedule is 145 overnights, which may result in joint physical custody.
             73          (2) The parents and the court may consider the following increased parent-time
             74      schedule as a minimum when the parties agree or the noncustodial parent can demonstrate the
             75      following:
             76          (a) the noncustodial parent has been actively involved in the child's life;
             77          (b) the parties are able to communicate effectively regarding the child, or the
             78      noncustodial parent has a plan to accomplish effective communications regarding the child;
             79          (c) the noncustodial parent has the ability to facilitate the increased parent-time;
             80          (d) the increased parent-time would be in the best interest of the child; and
             81          (e) any other factor the court considers relevant.
             82          (3) In determining whether a noncustodial parent has been actively involved in the
             83      child's life, the court shall consider:
             84          (a) demonstrated responsibility in caring for the child;
             85          (b) involvement in day care;
             86          (c) presence or volunteer efforts in the child's school and at extra curricular activities;
             87          (d) assistance with the child's homework;
             88          (e) involvement in preparation of meals, bath time, and bed time for the child;
             89          (f) bonding with the child; and


             90          (g) any other factor the court considers relevant.
             91          (4) In determining whether a noncustodial parent has the ability to facilitate the
             92      increased parent-time, the court shall consider:
             93          (a) the geographic distance between the residences of the parents and the distance
             94      between the parents' residences and the child's school;
             95          (b) the noncustodial parent's ability to assist with after school care;
             96          (c) the health of the child and the noncustodial parent, consistent with Subsection
             97      30-3-10 (4);
             98          (d) flexibility of employment or other schedule of the parents;
             99          (e) ability to provide appropriate play time with the child;
             100          (f) history and ability of parents to implement a flexible schedule for the child;
             101          (g) physical facilities of the noncustodial parent's residence; and
             102          (h) any other factor the court considers relevant.
             103          (5) Any elections required to be made in accordance with this section by either parent
             104      concerning parent-time shall be made a part of the decree and made a part of the parent-time
             105      order. Elections may only be changed by mutual agreement, court order, or by the noncustodial
             106      parent in the event of a change in the child's schedule.
             107          (6) If the parties agree or the court enters an order for the optional parent-time schedule
             108      as set forth in this section, which may result in joint physical custody, a parenting plan in
             109      compliance with Sections 30-1-10.7 through 30-3-10.10 shall be filed with any order
             110      incorporating the following optional parent-time schedule.
             111          (a) One weekday, to be specified by the noncustodial parent or the court, or on
             112      Wednesday, if not specified, from 5:30 p.m. until the following day when delivering the child
             113      to school, or until 8 a.m., if there is no school the following day. Once the election of the
             114      weekday is made, it may only be changed in accordance with Subsection (5). At the election of
             115      the noncustodial parent:
             116          (i) one weekday parent-time may commence at the time the child's school is regularly
             117      dismissed; and
             118          (ii) if school is not in session, and the parent is available to be with the child, weekday
             119      parent-time may commence at approximately 8 a.m., accommodating the custodial parent's
             120      work schedule.


             121          (b) Alternating weekends beginning on the first weekend after the entry of the decree
             122      from 6 p.m. on Friday until Monday when delivering the child to school, or until 8 a.m. if there
             123      is no school on Monday. At the election of the noncustodial parent, parent-time may
             124      commence:
             125          (i) from the time the child's school is regularly dismissed on Friday; or
             126          (ii) if school is not in session, and if the noncustodial parent is available to be with the
             127      child, at approximately 8 a.m. Friday, accommodating the custodial parent's work schedule.
             128          (c) The provisions of Subsections 30-3-35 (2)(f) through (o) shall be incorporated here
             129      and constitute the parent-time schedule with the exception that all instances that require the
             130      noncustodial parent to return the child at any time after 6 p.m. be changed so that the
             131      noncustodial parent is required to return the child to school the next morning or at 8 a.m., if
             132      there is no school.
             133          (7) A stepparent, grandparent, or other responsible adult designated by the noncustodial
             134      parent may pick up the child if the custodial parent is aware of the identity of the individual,
             135      and if the noncustodial parent will be with the child by 7 p.m.
             136          (8) Weekends include any "snow" days, teacher development days, or other days when
             137      school is not scheduled and that are contiguous to the weekend period.
             138          (9) Holidays include any "snow" days, teacher development days after the children
             139      begins the school year, or other days when school is not scheduled, contiguous to the holiday
             140      period, and take precedence over weekend parent-time. Changes may not be made to the
             141      regular rotation of the alternating weekend parent-time schedule.
             142          (a) If a holiday falls on a school day, the noncustodial parent shall be responsible for
             143      the child's attendance at school for that school day.
             144          (b) If a holiday falls on a weekend or on a Friday or Monday and the total holiday
             145      period extends beyond that time so that the child is free from school and the parent is free from
             146      work, the noncustodial parent shall be entitled to this lengthier holiday period.
             147          (c) At the election of the noncustodial parent, parent-time over a scheduled holiday
             148      weekend may begin from the time the child's school is dismissed at the beginning of the
             149      holiday weekend or, if school is not in session, and if the noncustodial parent is available to be
             150      with the child, parent-time over a scheduled holiday weekend may begin at approximately 8
             151      a.m., accommodating the custodial parent's work schedule, unless the court directs the


             152      application of Subsection (6)(a).
             153          (10) Birthdays take precedence over holidays and extended parent-time, except
             154      Mother's Day and Father's Day. Birthdays do not take precedence over uninterrupted
             155      parent-time if the parent exercising uninterrupted time is out of town for the uninterrupted
             156      extended parent-time. At the discretion of the noncustodial parent, other siblings may be taken
             157      along for birthdays.
             158          (11) Notwithstanding Subsection (9)(b), the Halloween holiday may not be extended
             159      beyond the hours designated in Subsection 30-3-35 (2)(g)(vi).




Legislative Review Note
    as of 2-12-13 6:55 PM


Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


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