H.B. 201 Enrolled





Chief Sponsor: LaVar Christensen

Senate Sponsor: John L. Valentine

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill amends provisions related to supervised parent-time.
             10      Highlighted Provisions:
             11          This bill:
             12          .    defines supervised parent-time;
             13          .    describes the conditions under which a court can order supervised parent-time;
             14          .    creates a process for selecting persons to supervise parent-time; and
             15          .    allows the supervised parent to petition the court for unsupervised parent-time.
             16      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             17          None
             18      Other Special Clauses:
             19          None
             20      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             21      AMENDS:
             22           30-3-32 , as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapters 3 and 146
             23      ENACTS:
             24           30-3-34.5 , Utah Code Annotated 1953
             26      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             27          Section 1. Section 30-3-32 is amended to read:
             28           30-3-32. Parent-time -- Intent -- Policy -- Definitions.
             29          (1) It is the intent of the Legislature to promote parent-time at a level consistent with

             30      all parties' interests.
             31          (2) (a) A court shall consider as primary the safety and well-being of the child and the
             32      parent who [is the victim of] experiences domestic or family violence.
             33          (b) Absent a showing by a preponderance of evidence of real harm or substantiated
             34      potential harm to the child:
             35          (i) it is in the best interests of the child of divorcing, divorced, or adjudicated parents to
             36      have frequent, meaningful, and continuing access to each parent following separation or
             37      divorce;
             38          (ii) each divorcing, separating, or adjudicated parent is entitled to and responsible for
             39      frequent, meaningful, and continuing access with his child consistent with the child's best
             40      interests; and
             41          (iii) it is in the best interests of the child to have both parents actively involved in
             42      parenting the child.
             43          (c) An order issued by a court pursuant to Title 78B, Chapter 7, Part 1, Cohabitant
             44      Abuse Act, shall be considered evidence of real harm or substantiated potential harm to the
             45      child.
             46          (3) For purposes of Sections 30-3-32 through 30-3-37 :
             47          (a) "Child" means the child or children of divorcing, separating, or adjudicated parents.
             48          (b) "Christmas school vacation" means the time period beginning on the evening the
             49      child gets out of school for the Christmas or winter school break until the evening before the
             50      child returns to school.
             51          (c) "Extended parent-time" means a period of parent-time other than a weekend,
             52      holiday as provided in Subsections 30-3-35 (2)(f) and (2)(g), religious holidays as provided in
             53      Subsections 30-3-33 (3) and (17), and "Christmas school vacation."
             54          (d) "Supervised parent-time" means parent-time that requires the noncustodial parent to
             55      be accompanied during parent-time by an individual approved by the court.
             56          [(d)] (e) "Surrogate care" means care by any individual other than the parent of the
             57      child.

             58          [(e)] (f) "Uninterrupted time" means parent-time exercised by one parent without
             59      interruption at any time by the presence of the other parent.
             60          [(f)] (g) "Virtual parent-time" means parent-time facilitated by tools such as telephone,
             61      email, instant messaging, video conferencing, and other wired or wireless technologies over the
             62      Internet or other communication media to supplement in-person visits between a noncustodial
             63      parent and a child or between a child and the custodial parent when the child is staying with the
             64      noncustodial parent. Virtual parent-time is designed to supplement, not replace, in-person
             65      parent-time.
             66          (4) If a parent relocates because of an act of domestic violence or family violence by
             67      the other parent, the court shall make specific findings and orders with regards to the
             68      application of Section 30-3-37 .
             69          Section 2. Section 30-3-34.5 is enacted to read:
             70          30-3-34.5. Supervised parent-time.
             71          (1) Considering the fundamental liberty interests of parents and children, it is the
             72      policy of this state that divorcing parents have unrestricted and unsupervised access to their
             73      children. When necessary to protect a child and no less restrictive means is reasonably
             74      available however, a court may order supervised parent-time if the court finds evidence that the
             75      child would be subject to physical or emotional harm or child abuse, as described in Section
             76      76-5-109 , from the noncustodial parent if left unsupervised with the noncustodial parent.
             77          (2) A court that orders supervised parent-time shall give preference to persons
             78      suggested by the parties to supervise, including relatives. If the court finds that the persons
             79      suggested by the parties are willing to supervise, and are capable of protecting the children
             80      from physical or emotional harm, or child abuse, the court shall authorize the persons to
             81      supervise parent-time.
             82          (3) If the court is unable to authorize any persons to supervise parent-time pursuant to
             83      Subsection (2), the court may require that the noncustodial parent seek the services of a
             84      professional individual or agency to exercise their supervised parent-time.
             85          (4) At the time supervised parent-time is imposed, the court shall consider:

             86          (a) whether the cost of professional or agency services is likely to prevent the
             87      noncustodial parent from exercising parent-time; and
             88          (b) whether the requirement for supervised parent-time should expire after a set period
             89      of time.
             90          (5) The court shall, in its order for supervised parent-time, provide specific goals and
             91      expectations for the noncustodial parent to accomplish before unsupervised parent-time may be
             92      granted. The court shall schedule one or more follow-up hearings to revisit the issue of
             93      supervised parent-time.
             94          (6) A noncustodial parent may, at any time, petition the court to modify the order for
             95      supervised parent-time if the noncustodial parent can demonstrate that the specific goals and
             96      expectations set by the court in Subsection (5) have been accomplished.

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