UPDATED by UTAH LEGISTLATURE EFFECTIVE MAY 9, 2017

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.

Also, for new cases or cases where a modification of parent-time may be appropriate, please also read 30-3-35.1 found below (underneath section 30-3-35).

30-3-25.1 is “Optional schedule for parent-time for children 5 to 18 years of age.” It is a schedule that provide the non-custodial parent with approximately 145 overnights per year (30-3-35 provides about significantly less- approximately 89 overnights).

We have found courts using 30-3-35.1 more and more and using 30-3-35 less and less. However, 30-3-35 IS still used and may apply in your case.

Please read both sections and also notes below that point to significant changes between last year’s statute and this year’s version.

30-3-35. Minimum schedule for parent-time for children 5 to 18 years of age.
(1) The parent-time schedule in this section applies to children 5 to 18 years of age.
(2) If the parties do not agree to a parent-time schedule, the following schedule shall be considered the minimum parent-time to which the noncustodial parent and the child shall be entitled.
(a)
(i)
(A) One weekday evening to be specified by the noncustodial parent or the court, or Wednesday evening if not specified, from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.;
(B) at the election of the noncustodial parent, one weekday from the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed until 8:30 p.m., unless the court directs the application of Subsection (2)(a)(i); or
(C) at the election of the noncustodial parent, if school is not in session, one weekday from approximately 9 a.m., accommodating the custodial parent’s work schedule, until 8:30 p.m. if the noncustodial parent is available to be with the child, unless the court directs the application of Subsection (2)(a)(i)(A) or (2)(a)(i)(B).
(ii) Once the election of the weekday for the weekday evening parent-time is made, it may not be changed except by mutual written agreement or court order.
(b)
(i)
(A) Alternating weekends beginning on the first weekend after the entry of the decree from 6 p.m. on Friday until 7 p.m. on Sunday continuing each year;
(B) at the election of the noncustodial parent, from the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed on Friday until 7 p.m. on Sunday, unless the court directs the application of Subsection (2)(b)(i)(A); or
(C) at the election of the noncustodial parent, if school is not in session, on Friday from approximately 9 a.m., accommodating the custodial parent’s work schedule, until 7 p.m. on Sunday, if the noncustodial parent is available to be with the child unless the court directs the application of Subsection (2)(b)(i)(A) or (2)(b)(i)(B).
(ii) A step-parent, grandparent, or other responsible adult designated by the noncustodial parent, may pick up the child if the custodial parent is aware of the identity of the individual, and the parent will be with the child by 7 p.m.
(iii) An election should be made by the noncustodial parent at the time of entry of the divorce decree or court order, and may be changed by mutual agreement, court order, or by the noncustodial parent in the event of a change in the child’s schedule.
(iv) Weekends include any “snow” days, teacher development days, or other days when school is not scheduled and which are contiguous to the weekend period.
(c) Holidays include any “snow” days, teacher development days after the children begin the school year, or other days when school is not scheduled, contiguous to the holiday period, and take precedence over the weekend parent-time. Changes may not be made to the regular rotation of the alternating weekend parent-time schedule, however:
(i) birthdays take precedence over holidays and extended parent-time, except Mother’s Day and Father’s Day; and
(ii) birthdays do not take precedence over uninterrupted parent-time if the parent exercising uninterrupted time takes the child away from that parent’s residence for the uninterrupted extended parent-time.
(d) If a holiday falls on a regularly scheduled school day, the noncustodial parent shall be responsible for the child’s attendance at school for that school day.
(e)
(i) If a holiday falls on a weekend or on a Friday or Monday and the total holiday period extends beyond that time so that the child is free from school and the parent is free from work, the noncustodial parent shall be entitled to this lengthier holiday period.
(ii)
(A) At the election of the noncustodial parent, parent-time over a scheduled holiday weekend may begin from the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed at the beginning of the holiday weekend until 7 p.m. on the last day of the holiday weekend; or
(B) at the election of the noncustodial parent, if school is not in session, parent-time over a scheduled holiday weekend may begin at approximately 9 a.m., accommodating the custodial parent’s work schedule, the first day of the holiday weekend until 7 p.m. on the last day of the holiday weekend, if the noncustodial parent is available to be with the child unless the court directs the application of Subsection (2)(e)(ii)(A).
(iii) A step-parent, grandparent, or other responsible individual designated by the noncustodial parent, may pick up the child if the custodial parent is aware of the identity of the individual, and the parent will be with the child by 7 p.m.
(iv) An election should be made by the noncustodial parent at the time of the divorce decree or court order, and may be changed by mutual agreement, court order, or by the noncustodial parent in the event of a change in the child’s schedule.
(f) In years ending in an odd number, the noncustodial parent is entitled to the following holidays:
(i) child’s birthday on the day before or after the actual birthdate beginning at 3 p.m. until 9 p.m., at the discretion of the noncustodial parent, the noncustodial parent may take other siblings along for the birthday;
(ii) Martin Luther King, Jr. beginning 6 p.m. on Friday until Monday at 7 p.m. unless the holiday extends for a lengthier period of time to which the noncustodial parent is completely entitled;
(iii) subject to Subsection (2)(i), spring break beginning at 6 p.m. on the day school lets out for the holiday until 7 p.m. on the evening before school resumes;
(iv) July 4 beginning 6 p.m. the day before the holiday until 11 p.m. or no later than 6 p.m. on the day following the holiday, at the option of the parent exercising the holiday;
(v) Labor Day beginning 6 p.m. on Friday until Monday at 7 p.m., unless the holiday extends for a lengthier period of time to which the noncustodial parent is completely entitled;
(vi) the fall school break, if applicable, commonly known as U.E.A. weekend beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday until Sunday at 7 p.m. unless the holiday extends for a lengthier period of time to which the noncustodial parent is completely entitled;
(vii) Veteran’s Day holiday beginning 6 p.m. the day before the holiday until 7 p.m. on the holiday; and
(viii) the first portion of the Christmas school vacation as defined in Subsection 30-3-32(3)(b) including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, continuing until 1 p.m. on the day halfway through the holiday period, if there are an odd number of days for the holiday period, or until 7 p.m. if there are an even number of days for the holiday period, so long as the entire holiday period is equally divided.
(g) In years ending in an even number, the noncustodial parent is entitled to the following holidays:
(i) child’s birthday on actual birthdate beginning at 3 p.m. until 9 p.m., at the discretion of the noncustodial parent, the noncustodial parent may take other siblings along for the birthday;
(ii) President’s Day beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday until 7 p.m. on Monday unless the holiday extends for a lengthier period of time to which the noncustodial parent is completely entitled;
(iii) Memorial Day beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday until Monday at 7 p.m., unless the holiday extends for a lengthier period of time to which the noncustodial parent is completely entitled;
(iv) July 24 beginning at 6 p.m. on the day before the holiday until 11 p.m. or no later than 6 p.m. on the day following the holiday, at the option of the parent exercising the holiday;
(v) Columbus Day beginning at 6 p.m. the day before the holiday until 7 p.m. on the holiday;
(vi) Halloween on October 31 or the day Halloween is traditionally celebrated in the local community from after school until 9 p.m. if on a school day, or from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m.;
(vii) Thanksgiving holiday beginning Wednesday at 7 p.m. until Sunday at 7 p.m.; and
(viii) the second portion of the Christmas school vacation as defined in Subsection 30-3-32(3)(b), beginning 1 p.m. on the day halfway through the holiday period, if there are an odd number of days for the holiday period, or at 7 p.m. if there are an even number of days for the holiday period, so long as the entire Christmas holiday period is equally divided.
(h) The custodial parent is entitled to the odd year holidays in even years and the even year holidays in odd years.
(i) If there is more than one child and the children’s school schedules vary for purpose of a holiday, it is presumed that the children will remain together for the holiday period beginning the first evening all children’s schools are let out for the holiday and ending the evening before any child returns to school.
(j) Father’s Day shall be spent with the natural or adoptive father every year beginning at 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on the holiday.
(k) Mother’s Day shall be spent with the natural or adoptive mother every year beginning at 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on the holiday.
(l) Extended parent-time with the noncustodial parent may be:
(i) up to four consecutive weeks when school is not in session at the option of the noncustodial parent, including weekends normally exercised by the noncustodial parent, but not holidays;
(ii) two weeks shall be uninterrupted time for the noncustodial parent; and
(iii) the remaining two weeks shall be subject to parent-time for the custodial parent for weekday parent-time but not weekends, except for a holiday to be exercised by the other parent.
(m) The custodial parent shall have an identical two-week period of uninterrupted time when school is not in session for purposes of vacation.
(n) Both parents shall provide notification of extended parent-time or vacation weeks with the child at least 30 days before the end of the child’s school year to the other parent and if notification is not provided timely the complying parent may determine the schedule for extended parent-time for the noncomplying parent.
(o) Telephone contact shall be at reasonable hours and for a reasonable duration.
(p) Virtual parent-time, if the equipment is reasonably available and the parents reside at least 100 miles apart, shall be at reasonable hours and for reasonable duration, provided that if the parties cannot agree on whether the equipment is reasonably available, the court shall decide whether the equipment for virtual parent-time is reasonably available, taking into consideration:
(i) the best interests of the child;
(ii) each parent’s ability to handle any additional expenses for virtual parent-time; and
(iii) any other factors the court considers material.
(3) An election required to be made in accordance with this section by either parent concerning parent-time shall be made a part of the decree and made a part of the parent-time order.
(4) Notwithstanding Subsection (2)(e)(i), the Halloween holiday may not be extended beyond the hours designated in Subsection (2)(g)(vi).

30-3-35.1. Optional schedule for parent-time for children 5 to 18 years of age.
(1) The optional parent-time schedule in this section applies to children 5 to 18 years of age. This schedule is 145 overnights. Any impact on child support shall be consistent with Subsection 78B-12-102(14).
(2) The parents and the court may consider the following increased parent-time schedule as a minimum when the parties agree or the noncustodial parent can demonstrate the following:
(a) the noncustodial parent has been actively involved in the child’s life;
(b) the parties are able to communicate effectively regarding the child, or the noncustodial parent has a plan to accomplish effective communications regarding the child;
(c) the noncustodial parent has the ability to facilitate the increased parent-time;
(d) the increased parent-time would be in the best interest of the child; and
(e) any other factor the court considers relevant.
(3) In determining whether a noncustodial parent has been actively involved in the child’s life, the court shall consider:
(a) demonstrated responsibility in caring for the child;
(b) involvement in day care;
(c) presence or volunteer efforts in the child’s school and at extracurricular activities;
(d) assistance with the child’s homework;
(e) involvement in preparation of meals, bath time, and bedtime for the child;
(f) bonding with the child; and
(g) any other factor the court considers relevant.
(4) In determining whether a noncustodial parent has the ability to facilitate the increased parent-time, the court shall consider:
(a) the geographic distance between the residences of the parents and the distance between the parents’ residences and the child’s school;
(b) the noncustodial parent’s ability to assist with after school care;
(c) the health of the child and the noncustodial parent, consistent with Subsection 30-3-10(4);
(d) flexibility of employment or other schedule of the parent;
(e) ability to provide appropriate playtime with the child;
(f) history and ability of the parent to implement a flexible schedule for the child;
(g) physical facilities of the noncustodial parent’s residence; and
(h) any other factor the court considers relevant.
(5) An election required to be made in accordance with this section by either parent concerning parent-time shall be made a part of the decree and made a part of the parent-time order. An election may only be changed by mutual agreement, court order, or by the noncustodial parent in the event of a change in the child’s schedule.
(6) If the parties agree or the court enters an order for the optional parent-time schedule as set forth in this section, a parenting plan in compliance with Sections 30-3-10.7 through 30-3-10.10 shall be filed with any order incorporating the following optional parent-time schedule:
(a) The noncustodial parent or the court may specify one weekday for parent-time. If no day is specified, weekday parent-time shall be on Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. until the following day when delivering the child to school, or until 8 a.m., if there is no school the following day. Once the election of the weekday is made, it may only be changed in accordance with Subsection (5). At the election of the noncustodial parent, weekday parent-time may commence:
(i) from the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed; or
(ii) if school is not in session, and the parent is available to be with the child, at approximately 8 a.m., accommodating the custodial parent’s work schedule.
(b) Beginning on the first weekend after the entry of the decree, the noncustodial parent shall be entitled to alternating weekends beginning on the first weekend after the entry of the decree from 6 p.m. on Friday until Monday when delivering the child to school, or until 8 a.m. if there is no school on Monday. At the election of the noncustodial parent, weekend parent-time may commence:
(i) from the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed on Friday; or
(ii) if school is not in session, and the parent is available to be with the child, at approximately 8 a.m. on Friday, accommodating the custodial parent’s work schedule.
(c) Subsections 30-3-35(2)(f) through (p) are incorporated into this section and constitute the parent-time schedule with the exception that all instances that require the noncustodial parent to return the child at any time after 6 p.m. be changed so that the noncustodial parent is required to return the child to school the next morning or at 8 a.m., if there is no school.
(7) A stepparent, grandparent, or other responsible adult designated by the noncustodial parent may pick up the child if the custodial parent is aware of the identity of the individual, and if the noncustodial parent will be with the child by 7 p.m.
(8) Weekends include any “snow” days, teacher development days, or other days when school is not scheduled and that are contiguous to the weekend period.
(9) Holidays include any “snow” days, teacher development days after the child begins the school year, or other days when school is not scheduled, contiguous to the holiday period, and take precedence over weekend parent-time. Changes may not be made to the regular rotation of the alternating weekend parent-time schedule.
(a) If a holiday falls on a school day, the noncustodial parent shall be responsible for the child’s attendance at school for that school day.
(b) If a holiday falls on a weekend or on a Friday or Monday and the total holiday period extends beyond that time so that the child is free from school and the parent is free from work, the noncustodial parent shall be entitled to this lengthier holiday period.
(c) At the election of the noncustodial parent, parent-time over a scheduled holiday weekend may begin from the time the child’s school is dismissed at the beginning of the holiday weekend or, if school is not in session, and if the noncustodial parent is available to be with the child, parent-time over a scheduled holiday weekend may begin at approximately 8 a.m., accommodating the custodial parent’s work schedule, unless the court directs the application of Subsection (6)(a).
(10) Birthdays take precedence over holidays and extended parent-time, except Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Birthdays do not take precedence over uninterrupted parent-time if the parent exercising uninterrupted time is out of town for the uninterrupted extended parent-time. At the discretion of the noncustodial parent, other siblings may be taken along for birthdays.
(11) Notwithstanding Subsection (9)(b), the Halloween holiday may not be extended beyond the hours designated in Subsection 30-3-35(2)(g)(vi).
(12) If there are children aged 5 to 18 and children under the age of five who are the natural or adopted children of the parties, the parents and the court should consider an upward deviation for parent-time with all the minor children so that parent-time is uniform based on a schedule pursuant to this section.

NOTES:

The biggest change from the last version to the 2017 version is the sections that say: “If there is more than one child and the children’s school schedules vary for purpose of a holiday, it is presumed that the children will remain together for the holiday period beginning the first evening all children’s schools are let out for the holiday and ending the evening before any child returns to school.”


OLDER VERSIONS OF THE CODE
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