Holidays With the Children Pursuant to a Divorce Decree in Utah- Melvin
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Sharing Holidays With the Children Pursuant to a Divorce Decree in Utah

by Melvin Cook

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The statutory provisions for holiday parent-time with the children is found at Utah Code Section 30-3-35.

The statute speaks in terms of which holidays the non-custodial parent is awarded in odd-numbered years and even-numbered years. Obviously, by implication, the custodial parent is awarded all the holidays which are not awarded to the non-custodial parent.

The statutory provisions changes from time to time, however.

This sometimes gives rise to the question for divorced parents: do we keep changing holidays as the statute changes?

The answer is that it depends on what the divorce decree says.

Sometimes a divorce decree will simply state that the holidays will be shared by the parties pursuant to the statute. If this is the case, then the answer is yes, the parents will follow the updated statute.

It may be beneficial, therefore, for parents to consult the statute each year at the website:

The Utah State Legislature convenes on the fourth Monday of January each year for a 45 day session.

New laws typically go into effect 60 days after the legislative session ends, unless lawmakers specify another date in the bill.

The legislature typically passes hundreds of new laws every year. Seldom do they go on a similar repealing spree — it simply isn’t their wheelhouse.

If the divorce decree lists with specificity a parent-time and holiday schedule, rather than simply referencing the statute (even though the parent-time or holiday schedule may be based on the then prevailing statute), then the specific wording of the divorce decree will apply. The parents will not change the holiday or parent-time schedule as statutory changes are made.

This weekend is Columbus Day weekend. I don’t know why, but I sometimes get that mixed up with U.E.A. weekend, which is actually next weekend.

These two holidays do not occur on the same weekend. Can you guess why? If so, please share this information with me. I do not believe it has anything to do with harvest season.

But regardless of the reason, I am always heartily in favor of maximizing the number of holidays children and their parents get to celebrate together.

This material should not be construed as legal advice for any particular fact situation, but is intended for general informational purposes only. For advice specific to any individual situation, an experienced attorney should be contacted.

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