Utah Code Annotated section 30-3-35 has been revised, effective May 5, 2008, to provide a different rotation of parent-time for Holidays as compared to the statute provision in past years.  In the code, “Custodial” generally is used as a reference to the parent who has primary custody or more parent-time and “non-Custodial” generally refers to the parent who has less parent-time.  Remember to refer to your current court orders as a reference because the statute changes may not apply to every situation. Further and importantly-parents should follow the code as it was at the time of their court order! That is the law of their case.

The following is the new holiday schedule for custodial parents in even-numbered years and non-custodial parents in odd-numbered years:

Child’s Birthday on the day before or after child’s actual birthday from 3 pm to 9 pm; Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Human Rights Day) from 6 pm on Friday to 7 pm on Monday unless the holiday from school is longer; Spring Break from 6 pm on the day school lets out for holiday until 7 pm on the Sunday before school starts; July 4th at 6 pm the day before the holiday until 11 pm on the day of holiday or no later than 6 pm on the day after the holiday, at the option of the parent exercising this holiday; Labor Day from 6 pm on Friday until 7 pm on Monday unless the holiday is longer; Fall Break from 6 pm on Wednesday until 7 pm Sunday unless the holiday is longer; Veteran’s Day from 6 pm day before holiday until 7 pm on the day of holiday; the first 1/2 of Christmas break from 6 pm on day school lets out, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day until 1 pm if the total holiday has an odd number of days and until 7 pm if there are an even number of days. (EDIT August 19, 2008:  See Comments below as to Christmas Holiday.)

The following is the new holiday schedule for the custodial parents in odd-numbered years and non-custodial parents in even-numbered years:

Child’s birthday from 3 pm until 9 pm on actual birthday; President’s Day from 6 pm on Friday until 7 pm on Monday unless holiday is longer; Memorial Day from 6 pm on Friday until 7 pm on Monday unless holiday is longer; July 24th from 6 pm the day before holiday until 11 pm on the day of holiday or no later than 6 pm the day after the holiday, at the option of the parent exercising this holiday; Discoverer’s Day from 6 pm the day before the holiday until 7 pm on the holiday; Halloween on October 31st or day locally celebrated from after school or 4 pm to 9 pm; Thanksgiving from 7 pm on Wednesday until 7 pm on Sunday; the second 1/2 of Christmas Break including New Year’s Eve and Day beginning Christmas Day at 1 pm if the total holiday has odd number of days and at 7 pm if there are an even number of days. (EDIT August 19, 2008:  See Comments below as to Christmas Holiday.)

Additional time allotted is Father’s Day spent with father 9 am to 7 pm on day of holiday and Mother’s Day spent with mother 9 am to 7 pm on day of holiday.

Please refer to the statute itself for more information regarding snow days, transportation, parent-time provisions other than holiday time, and other provisions that could greatly affect your parent-time.

The unanswered question at this time is whether the new rotation of holiday time and other changes to this parent-time code apply to temporary and final orders issued before May 5, 2008.  This firm believes that, absent a more specific reference (meaning, an obvious attempt to have a rotation that puts in place something other than section 30-3-35) in a final decree of parent custody and parent-time, the new statute will apply.  However, we have no reason to know if this will be the court’s interpretation of the code and inquiries to a few court commissioners have not been fruitful.  However, judges and commissioners are in conference over the next fews weeks and we expect to attend hearings that discuss this issue.

We welcome any commentary or experiences that shed light on the application of the statute changes.

Utah Family Law Blog