Utah Parent Time Awarded In Divorce
Whenever it is possible and in the best interests of the children, the family law courts in Salt Lake City prefer to award shared child custody so that both parents can continue to play as large a role as possible in the lives of their children in the wake of a divorce. This is not, however, always practical, and there are sometimes circumstances that make it better for the children to primarily live with one parent. When this is the case, the noncustodial parent will normally be awarded reasonable rights of parent time.
Utah Visitation Rights
Visitation is referred to by the Utah family law courts as Utah parent time, a term that refers to any time that the custodial or noncustodial parent spends with the children. If you and your spouse are involved in an uncontested divorce, the two of you can work out a schedule for parenting time that works best for the both of you and will accommodate the children’s schedules. In the event that an out-of-court agreement is not possible, the judge will apply the guidelines provided for in the minimum parenting time schedules. Utah Code §30-3-35 provides guidelines for parent time with children between the ages of 5 and 18 years of age, while Utah Code §30-3-35.5 lays out a separate set of guidelines for younger children and infants. In addition to having rights of parenting time, the visiting parent may also share joint legal custody of the children, which means that although the other parent maintains sole physical custody, they both share in the responsibility to make important decisions about the children’s education, medical care, religious upbringing and other issues.
Typical Utah Parent Time Awards
- One weekday night for noncustodial parent.
- Alternating weekends for both parents.
- Birthday time either before or after the child’s actual birthdate for noncustodial parent.
- Holiday time (alternating years for holidays).
- Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, for noncustodial parent.
- Extended parent-time (up to 4 weeks), when school is not in session.
- Other virtual parent-time and telephone privileges.
Paternity Actions For Utah Parent Time Rights
If you are the father of a child who was born out of wedlock, you do not automatically have any legal rights or responsibilities in respect to the child. This is due to the fact that when a child is born to an unmarried mother, there is no legal presumption as to the identity of the biological father, and unless the father signs a voluntary declaration of paternity, the father will not be entitled to claim child custody or parent time rights.
Any time you spend with your child is entirely at the discretion of the mother, and she can deny you the privilege of parent time if she chooses to do so. A Salt Lake City divorce lawyer from the Law Office of David Pedrazas can assist you with bringing a paternity action in court, which may involve getting DNA testing, to prove that you are the father so that you can then pursue rights of parent time with your child.