Unless a parent has a history of neglect, abuse, domestic violence, or other serious actions that would require the court to protect the child, the State of Utah has specific minimum schedules and rules for visitation that the judge must abide by and order when parents are unable to agree on a different visitation schedule.
As stated in the laws pertaining to child custody and visitation that is found in Utah Code, Title 30, Husband and Wife, Chapter 3, Divorce, the minimum amount of parenting time the non-custodial parent and a child age five to eighteen are granted together is as follows:
- One weekday evening, from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., or from the time school is dismissed until 8:30 p.m., depending on the preference and availability of the non-custodial parent.
- If the child is not in school, the non-custodial parent may request to have the child one weekday from 9 a.m. until 8:30 p.m., if the non-custodial parent is available and able to provide personal care for the child during that time.
- Alternating weekends beginning on Friday at 6 p.m. and ending on Sunday at 7 p.m.
- At the request of the non-custodial parent, the start time of the alternating weekends may begin after school on Friday, or at 9 a.m. on Friday, if school is not in session and the non-custodial parent is available to provide personal care for the child during that time. However, a step-parent, grandparent, or other responsible adult may pick up the child at one of the earlier times on Friday as long as the non-custodial parent is able to be present and personally take care of the child by 7 p.m.
- Holidays and special days shall be rotated, with each parent having the child on some holidays in even years and the other holidays in odd years, as defined in section (30-3-35).
- The non-custodial parent may elect to have up to four consecutive weeks of visitation when school is not in session, after proper notice has been given to the custodial parent. Two of the weeks shall be uninterrupted parenting time.
- The custodial parent is entitled to two weeks of uninterrupted parenting time for vacation when school is not in session.
This is a very generous visitation schedule, so clients seeking the most visitation possible with their children should be very careful to not concern the judge about their behavior or actions.