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Summer Parent-Time in Utah Divorces

by Melvin Cook

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I do not necessarily believe the widely held misperception that summer break came about as a result of parents needing their children’s help on the farm. On the face of it this old notion seems rather silly, as spring is the time for planting and fall is the time for harvest. But however summer break came to be, there is one almost universally held belief about it that I wholeheartedly subscribe to — that it is awesome!

One thing I really like about Utah’s visitation statute is the summer parent time schedule. It allows the non-custodial parent four consecutive weeks with the children, two of which are uninterrupted, meaning the custodial parent does not visit the children during those two weeks. This presumably allows the non-custodial parent to take the children on vacation during that time. During the other two weeks the custodial parent has visits once a week. If there is an intervening holiday which belongs to the custodial parent, they also get that holiday. The custodial parent also gets a two week block of uninterrupted time with the children, again presumably for vacation purposes.

Both parents need to provide notice to each other of extended time or vacation weeks with the children at least 30 days before the end of the school year. If notice is not timely given by one of the parents, then the complying parent may determine the extended parent-time schedule for the non-complying parent. I like to refer to this as the extended time “cram down” provision. Parents will want to make absolutely certain to get their notice sent to the other parent in a timely fashion in order to avoid such a cram down.

See Utah Code Section 30-3-35 (2) (k) through (m) for the extended parent time provisions.

I like the fact that the children get to spend significant quality time with both parents. They get to have fun, and enjoy wholesome recreation and large blocks of time with both parents. In other words, they get to enjoy their childhood. What could be better?

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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