Chief Sponsor: V. Lowry Snow

Senate Sponsor: Lyle W. Hillyard


8     General Description:
9          This bill modifies provisions related to parenting plans.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     lists decisions related to an education plan;
13          ▸     addresses who makes the education plan; and
14          ▸     makes technical changes.
15     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
16          None
17     Other Special Clauses:
18          None
19     Utah Code Sections Affected:
20     AMENDS:
21          30-3-10.9, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2017, Chapter 224

23     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
24          Section 1. Section 30-3-10.9 is amended to read:
25          30-3-10.9. Parenting plan -- Objectives -- Required provisions -- Dispute
26     resolution -- Education plan.
27          (1) The objectives of a parenting plan are to:
28          (a) provide for the child's physical care;
29          (b) maintain the child's emotional stability;

30          (c) provide for the child's changing needs as the child grows and matures in a way that
31     minimizes the need for future modifications to the parenting plan;
32          (d) set forth the authority and responsibilities of each parent with respect to the child
33     consistent with the definitions outlined in this chapter;
34          (e) minimize the child's exposure to harmful parental conflict;
35          (f) encourage the parents, where appropriate, to meet the responsibilities to their minor
36     children through agreements in the parenting plan rather than relying on judicial intervention;
37     and
38          (g) protect the best interests of the child.
39          (2) The parenting plan shall contain provisions for resolution of future disputes
40     between the parents, allocation of decision-making authority, and residential provisions for the
41     child, and provisions addressing notice and parent-time responsibilities in the event of the
42     relocation of either party. It may contain other provisions comparable to those in Sections
43     30-3-5 and 30-3-10.3 regarding the welfare of the child.
44          (3) A process for resolving disputes shall be provided unless precluded or limited by
45     statute. A dispute resolution process may include:
46          (a) counseling;
47          (b) mediation or arbitration by a specified individual or agency; or
48          (c) court action.
49          (4) In the dispute resolution process:
50          (a) preference shall be given to the provisions in the parenting plan;
51          (b) parents shall use the designated process to resolve disputes relating to
52     implementation of the plan, except those related to financial support, unless an emergency
53     exists;
54          (c) a written record shall be prepared of any agreement reached in counseling or
55     mediation and provided to each party;
56          (d) if arbitration becomes necessary, a written record shall be prepared and a copy of
57     the arbitration award shall be provided to each party;

58          (e) if the court finds that a parent has used or frustrated the dispute resolution process
59     without good reason, the court may award [attorney's] attorney fees and financial sanctions to
60     the prevailing parent;
61          (f) the district court [shall have] has the right of review from the dispute resolution
62     process; and
63          (g) the provisions of this Subsection (4) shall be set forth in any final decree or order.
64          (5) (a) [The] Subject to the other provisions of this Subsection (5), the parenting plan
65     shall allocate decision-making authority to one or both parties regarding the [children's] child's
66     education, [health care] healthcare, and religious upbringing. The parties may incorporate an
67     agreement related to the care and growth of the [children] child in these specified areas or in
68     other areas into [their] the plan, consistent with the criteria outlined in Subsection 30-3-10.7(2)
69     and Subsection (1). Regardless of the allocation of decision-making in the parenting plan,
70     either parent may make emergency decisions affecting the health or safety of the child.
71          (b) A child's education plan shall designate the following:
72          (i) the home residence for purposes of identifying the appropriate school or another
73     specific plan that provides for where the child will attend school;
74          (ii) which parent has authority to make education decisions for the child if the parents
75     cannot agree; and
76          (iii) whether one or both parents have access to the child during school and authority to
77     check the child out of school.
78          (c) If no education provision is included in the parent plan:
79          (i) a parent with sole physical custody shall make the decisions listed in Subsection
80     (5)(b);
81          (ii) in the event of joint physical custody when one parent has custody a majority of the
82     time, pursuant to Subsection 30-3-10.3(4):
83          (A) the parent having the child the majority of the time shall make the decisions listed
84     in Subsections (5)(b)(i) and (ii); and
85          (B) both parents with joint physical custody shall have access to the child during

86     school and authority to check the child out of school; or
87          (iii) in the event of joint physical custody when the parents have custody an equal
88     amount of time:
89          (A) the court shall determine how the decisions listed in Subsections (5)(b)(i) and (ii)
90     are made; and
91          (B) both parents with joint physical custody shall have access to the child during
92     school and authority to check the child out of school.
93          (6) Each parent may make decisions regarding the day-to-day care and control of the
94     child while the child is residing with that parent.
95          (7) When mutual decision-making is designated but cannot be achieved, the parties
96     shall make a good faith effort to resolve the issue through the dispute resolution process.
97          (8) The plan shall include a residential schedule [which] that designates in which
98     parent's home each minor child shall reside on given days of the year, including provisions for
99     holidays, birthdays of family members, vacations, and other special occasions.
100          (9) If a parent fails to comply with a provision of the parenting plan or a child support
101     order, the other parent's obligations under the parenting plan or the child support order are not
102     affected. Failure to comply with a provision of the parenting plan or a child support order may
103     result in a finding of contempt of court.
104          (10) (a) When one or both parents are servicemembers, the parenting plan shall contain
105     provisions that address the foreseeable parenting and custodial issues likely to arise in the event
106     of notification of deployment or other contingency, including long-term deployments,
107     short-term deployments, death, incapacity, and noncombatant evacuation operations.
108          (b) The provisions in the parenting plan described in Subsection (10)(a) shall comport
109     substantially with the requirements of an agreement made pursuant to Section 78B-20-201.