Custody and Family Law Change in Utah
Utah Congress – House Bill 35 – does not present a new idea—instead it goes back to “words that influenced our nation’s Founding Fathers.” At least, it does in some Utah’s’ minds, where the state is now “closer to honoring the basic liberty interests upon which our nation was founded,” and the “government is working to strengthen families.” For a patriot and a family (wo)man, what better news could there be than that? Unfortunately for some families, much of the rhetoric used to praise HB 35 is nothing more than a prop, with whatever fallout from the new law that’s left being up to the family law attorney in Utah to sort through.
Because what a family law attorney in Utah does during a divorce is more complicated than reviewing the laws on the books and doling out custody according to what bills have been passed and what statutes are in effect. Every family relationship is different in its dynamics, its strengths and abilities, its troubles, and its resources, not to mention the investment by the parties involved into resolving the familial separation peacefully and functionally. Just because the state of Utah now says that the noncustodial parent gets 40% more time with the child than they had previously, that doesn’t really clear things up in court every time, for every family.
Utah Code 30-3-33 currently states (in part):
“(6) If the custodial parent will be transporting the child, the noncustodial parent shall be at the appointed place at the time the noncustodial parent is to receive the child, and have the child ready to be picked up at the appointed time and place, or have made reasonable alternate arrangements for the custodial parent to pick up the child.
(7) Regular school hours may not be interrupted for a school-age child for the exercise of parent-time by either parent.
(8) The court may make alterations in the parent-time schedule to reasonably accommodate the work schedule of both parents and may increase the parent-time allowed to the noncustodial parent but may not diminish the standardized parent-time provided in Sections 30-3-35 and 30-3-35.5.
(9) The court may make alterations in the parent-time schedule to reasonably accommodate the distance between the parties and the expense of exercising parent-time.”
What Utah’s doing now is trying to even out the scales. By awarding more minimum time to noncustodial parents, the state is emphasizing the role of shared parenting in a family after a couple divorces: the duty and responsibility to raise a child you brought into this world alongside the privilege of sharing the joyful moments in building a relationship with your offspring come hand-in-hand.
This is something that a family attorney in Utah has never forgotten, and when serving clients going through difficult divorces and shared custody agreements, will work tirelessly to represent the interests of the children in presenting arguments for shared or sole custody, as appropriate. But yes, as far as new law reflects the changing values of a society, Utah is on the forefront of telling America and the world that parents shouldn’t do it alone after a divorce, and that one biological sexed parent is not automatically assigned a more privileged status as caretaker.
Free Consultation with Child Custody Lawyer
If you have a question about child custody question or if you need help in a family law case, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506