Minimum Parent-Time, A Break Down for Utah Custody
4 years ago
Minimum parent-time: What does it mean?
If you’re trying to figure out parent-time in Utah, you’ll probably hear the term “minimum parent time” get thrown around a lot.
Basically, in an ideal world, parents decide for themselves how they’re going to co-parent their children after a separation. Many parents are able to come to an amicable solution through negotiation with their lawyers and a mediator.
For parents who have a hard time coming up with a solution, however, state law has given us some guidance in what is called the “minimum parent-time statute.”
First thing to understand – if parents aren’t going to have joint-custody, then one parent is known as “custodial” and the other is “non-custodial.” If you are going to use the minimum parent-time schedule set out by the Legislature, this is how it works:
For children 5 years of age or older,* the non-custodial parent is generally entitled to:
- One weekday from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm; or, if school is in session, one weekday afternoon and evening from the end of school until 8:30 pm; or, if school is not in session, one weekday from 9:00 am until 8:30 pm. Usually a non-custodial parent will get one of those second two schedules, unless the court specifically orders just three hours.
- Weekend overnights. The non-custodial parent will get every other weekend from 6:00 pm on Friday until 7:00 pm on Sunday; or, if school is in session from the end of school on Friday until 7:00 pm on Sunday; or, if school is not in session, from 9:00 am on Friday morning until 7:00 pm on Sunday night. Again, a non-custodial parent is entitled to the longer weekend time, unless the court specifically orders pickups at 6:00 pm on Friday night.
- The non-custodial parent’s holiday (either Father’s Day or Mother’s Day)
In years ending in an odd number:
- the child’s birthday on the day before or after the actual birthday beginning at 3:00 pm until 9:00 pm
- Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, beginning at 6:00 pm on Friday until Monday at 7:00 pm
- Spring Break, beginning at 6:00 pm on the day school lets out until 7:00 pm on the Sunday before school resumes
- July 4th, beginning at 6:00 pm on July 3rd until 11:00 PM on the night of July 4th or 6:00 pm on July 5th, at the discretion of the non-custodial parent
- Labor Day weekend, beginning 6:00 pm on Friday until Monday at 7:00 pm
- Fall Break (or UEA break), beginning at 6:00 pm on Wednesday until Sunday at 7:00 pm
- Veteran’s Day beginning 6:00 pm the day before the holiday until 7:00 pm on the holiday
- The first part of Christmas break, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
In years ending in an even number:
- The child’s birthday, beginning at 3:00 pm until 9:00 pm
- President’s Day weekend, beginning at 6:00 pm on Friday until Monday at 7:00 pm
- Memorial Day weekend, beginning at 6:00 pm on Friday until Monday at 7:00 pm
- July 24th (Pioneer Day), beginning at 6:00 pm on July 23rd until 11:00 pm on July 24th or 6:00 pm on July 25th, at the option of the non-custodial parent
- Columbus Day, beginning 6:00 pm the day before the holiday until 7:00 pm on the holiday
- Halloween on October 31st, or the day Halloween is traditionally celebrated in the local community, from the time school lets out if on a school day or 4:00 pm if not a school day until 9:00 pm
- Thanksgiving, beginning the Wednesday before at 7:00 pm until Sunday at 7:00 pm
- The second half of Christmas school vacation
The noncustodial parent is entitled to two weeks, uninterrupted, and two more weeks, subject to the custodial parent having parent-time.
*For kids 4 or younger, the statute describes a sliding scale of parent-time depending on the age of the child. For more questions, please contact our office. 801-649-3529