Utah Code 30-3-38: Expedited Parent-Time Enforcement Program
1. There is established an Expedited Parent-time Enforcement Program in the third judicial district to be administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
2. As used in this section:
a. “Mediator” means a person who:
I. is qualified to mediate parent-time disputes under criteria established by the Administrative Office of the Courts; and
II. agrees to follow billing guidelines established by the Administrative Office of the Courts and this section.
b. “Services to facilitate parent-time” or “services” means services designed to assist families in resolving parent-time problems through:
II. supervised parent-time;
III. neutral drop-off and pick-up;
IV. educational classes; and
V. other related activities.
3. (a) If a parent files a motion in the third district court alleging that court-ordered parent-time rights are being violated, the clerk of the court, after assigning the case to a judge, shall refer the case to the administrator of this program for assignment to a mediator, unless a parent is incarcerated or otherwise unavailable. Unless the court rules otherwise, a parent residing outside of the state is not unavailable. The director of the program for the courts, the court, or the mediator may excuse either party from the requirement to mediate for good cause.
(b) Upon receipt of a case, the mediator shall:
I. meet with the parents to address parent-time issues within 15 days of the motion being filed;
II. assess the situation;
III. facilitate an agreement on parent-time between the parents; and
IV. determine whether a referral to a service provider under Subsection (3)(c) is warranted.
(c) While a case is in mediation, a mediator may refer the parents to a service provider designated by the Department of Human Services for services to facilitate parent-time if:
I. the services may be of significant benefit to the parents; or
II. (A) a mediated agreement between the parents is unlikely; and
(B) the services may facilitate an agreement.
(d) At any time during mediation, a mediator shall terminate mediation and transfer the case to the administrator of the program for referral to the judge or court commissioner to whom the case was assigned under Subsection (3)(a) if:(i) a written agreement between the parents is reached; or (ii) the parents are unable to reach an agreement through mediation and:(A) the parents have received services to facilitate parent-time;(B) both parents object to receiving services to facilitate parent-time; or (C) the parents are unlikely to benefit from receiving services to facilitate parent-time.(e) Upon receiving a case from the administrator of the program, a judge or court commissioner may:(i) review the agreement of the parents and, if acceptable, sign it as an order;(ii) order the parents to receive services to facilitate parent-time; (iii) proceed with the case; or(iv) take other appropriate action.
4. (a) If a parent makes a particularized allegation of physical or sexual abuse of a child who is the subject of a parent-time order against the other parent or a member of the other parent’s household to a mediator or service provider, the mediator or service provider shall immediately report that information to: (i) the judge assigned to the case who may immediately issue orders and take other appropriate action to resolve the allegation and protect the child; and(ii) the Division of Child and Family Services within the Department of Human Services in the manner required by Title 62A, Chapter 4a, Part 4, Child Abuse or Neglect Reporting Requirements. (b) If an allegation under Subsection (4)(a) is made against a parent with parent-time rights or a member of that parent’s household, parent-time by that parent shall, pursuant to an order of the court, be supervised until: (i) the allegation has been resolved; or (ii) a court orders otherwise.(c) Notwithstanding an allegation under Subsection (4)(a), a mediator may continue to mediate parent-time problems and a service provider may continue to provide services to facilitate parent-time unless otherwise ordered by a court.
5. (a) The Department of Human Services may contract with one or more entities in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 6a, Utah Procurement Code, to provide: (i) services to facilitate parent-time; (ii) case management services; and (iii) administrative services. (b) An entity who contracts with the Department of Human Services under Subsection (5)(a) shall: (i) be qualified to provide one or more of the services listed in Subsection (5)(a); and (ii) agree to follow billing guidelines established by the Department of Human Services and this section.
6. (a) Except as provided in Subsection (6)(b), the cost of mediation shall be:(i) reduced to a sum certain;(ii) divided equally between the parents; and (iii) charged against each parent taking into account the ability of that parent to pay under billing guidelines adopted in accordance with this section.(b) A judge may order a parent to pay an amount in excess of that provided for in Subsection (6)(a) if the parent: (i) failed to participate in good faith in mediation or services to facilitate parent-time; or (ii) made an unfounded assertion or claim of physical or sexual abuse of a child.(c)(i)The cost of mediation and services to facilitate parent-time may be charged to parents at periodic intervals.(ii) Mediation and services to facilitate parent-time may only be terminated on the ground of nonpayment if both parents are delinquent.
7. (a) The Judicial Council may make rules to implement and administer the provisions of this program related to mediation.(b) The Department of Human Services may make rules to implement and administer the provisions of this program related to services to facilitate parent-time.
8. (a) The Administrative Office of the Courts shall adopt outcome measures to evaluate the effectiveness of the mediation component of this program. Progress reports shall be provided to the Judiciary Interim Committee as requested by the committee. (b) The Department of Human Services shall adopt outcome measures to evaluate the effectiveness of the services component of this program. Progress reports shall be provided to the Judiciary Interim Committee as requested by the committee. (c) The Administrative Office of the Courts and the Department of Human Services may adopt joint outcome measures and file joint reports to satisfy the requirements of Subsections (7)(a) and (b).
9. The Department of Human Services shall, by following the procedures and requirements of Title 63J, Chapter 5, Federal Funds Procedures Act, apply for federal funds as available.
‘Parenting time’ is the time a person spends with a child without the other parent or guardian. In court orders, it may be called ‘access’. If you’re not a guardian, your time with the child is called ‘contact’. To enforce your parenting time for in-person visits, phone calls or electronic communication, you must have a court order that describes when your parenting time is to take place.
Parenting-time orders made in any court in Utah, including those made under the Divorce Act, are enforced with the processes described in the How to enforce parenting time through the court section below.
No court order
If you don’t have a court order and the other parent or guardian isn’t allowing you to visit the child:
• first consider the out-of-court solutions to problems with parenting time
• if necessary, apply for the court order that best meets your situation:
• Contact Order
• Custody and Access Order, or
• Parenting Order
Divorce Legal Help
Enforcing parenting time can be a complex process. We encourage you to speak with a lawyer. If you want a lawyer but can’t afford one, you may be able to access legal assistance.
Out-Of-Court Solutions to Problems with Parenting Time
The Resolution and Court Administration Services (RCAS) group provides a range of services that can help you and the other parent or guardian find a solution to your situation.
• Parenting After Separation (PAS)
• Parenting After Separation for Families in High Conflict (PASHC)
• Family Mediation
Enforce Parenting Time through the Court
If your court order does not describe parenting time, you should contact Ascent Law LLC to get your court order clarified, modified, or amended as necessary.
Apply to change your current court order:
• Change a Contact Order
• Change a Parenting Order, or
• Change a Custody and Access Order
Before you apply
• Swear or affirm your statement at a resolution support centre or court house.
• Make 2 copies each of your claim and statement, including all the attachments.
• File the forms at the same court, in the same location, where your parenting-time order was granted.
The other parent or guardian must be served with your claim and statement in person. They can’t be served by mail.
• serve them yourself
• have a friend or process server serve them
Fill out the Affidavit of Service
The person who served the documents must swear or affirm the affidavit before a commissioner for oaths. A court clerk can help with this.
Step 6: File the affidavit
• Make one copy of the affidavit and file it at the same court where you filed your claim and statement.
• After you file your order
• Give a copy of your parenting-time order to the police if the order directs you to do this.
There are serious penalties for a person who refuses to follow a court order for parenting time. However, it is up to you to apply to the court to have those penalties applied.
If a child isn’t allowed to visit, the court can order the:
• police to help enforce a visit
• parent or guardian who didn’t allow a visit to:
• provide make-up visits
• post security (often called a deposit) and then lose it if future parenting time is denied
• pay money to you for expenses that you’ve had relating to the visit
• pay a penalty of up to $100 per day of denied parenting time
• go to jail
If a child isn’t returned after a visit, the court can order the:
• police to find and return the child to you
• person who didn’t return the child to:
• post security (often called a deposit) and then lose it if they refuse to return the child in the future
• pay money to you for expenses that you’ve had because the child was not returned
• pay a penalty of up to $100 per day that the child was not returned
• go to jail
Safe child exchanges if you and the other parent or guardian argues when you exchange a child for a visit do the exchange:
• in a child-friendly, public place like a fast-food restaurant or public library
• at a childcare facility, with one of you dropping the child off and other picking them up
• outside a home, with one of you staying in the car and the other staying in the home as the child walks between you
If your court order allows you to have only supervised visits with a child, these organizations may be able to arrange a visit.
You can’t contact Children’s Services to arrange a supervised visit. The ministry only coordinates these visits through its community partners:
• justice programs
• family violence programs like emergency women’s shelters
Expedited Services can be useful in helping parties reach agreements and to get Orders signed by a judge much faster than if the parties had to wait to get a Court date. Parties are initially referred to Expedited Services by the assigned judge on the case or a party may file a Petition for the Enforcement of Child Support/Spousal Maintenance or an Expedited Process Request to Enforce Parenting Time. Once the Court issues an Order for child support enforcement, Expedited Services monitors the case, allowing the parties to request a Conference for the Enforcement of Child Support. To enforce Child Support or Spousal Maintenance, there must be a current Order and the unpaid support must equal at least one month of the support ordered. Additionally, the parting owing the money must be available to be served.
Child Custody And Divorce Lawyer
When you need legal help with child custody and divorce in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506