2019 Utah summer vacation with kids. What does that look like for divorced parents as far a parent-time, holidays and vacation time goes? The Utah parent-time code/statue can be hard to decipher, and we’re here to help.

With school out in Salt Lake City, Utah, we oftentimes have clients wondering what the schedule looks like and what their vacation option are with summer parent-time. Generally speaking, as far as what your regularly occurring schedule is, that will continue, unless you have specifically agreed to a different arrangement for purposes of summer time.

However, in addition to following the regular parent-time schedule, there is one big exception in cases involving a custodial and noncustodial parent. During summer time, the noncustodial parent has the option of exercising four consecutive weeks of parent-time. The first two weeks are uninterrupted. That means the noncustodial parent will have the children for the full two weeks so they can travel or do whatever they want to do with the children without accommodating visits from the custodial parent.

The second half, the last two weeks, the custodial parent is entitled to a mid-week, three hour visit, each of those last two weeks. But they are not entitle to weekends. So the noncustodial parent can have four weeks of uninterrupted parent-time with the exception of the two, mid-week, three hour visits during the last half.

The only exception is any holiday that belong to the custodial parent that year, they will have the right to exercise that parent-time. So the noncustodial parent will forfeit whatever holiday that belongs to the custodial parent. For example, sometimes the noncustodial will be exercising four weeks of uninterrupted time and July 4th falls on that time. If it’s the custodial parents year to have July 4th, then they will be able to retrieve the child for that holiday and return them with the noncustodial, continuing on their four weeks of time together.

Similarly, the custodial parent would be entitled to two week of uninterrupted vacation time.

Now in a 50/50 case, generally both parties are entitled to the two weeks of uninterrupted parent-time. Neither side will have the four weeks, because that’s limited to the custodial/noncustodial scenario. But both parties have a right to have their two weeks of uninterrupted vacation time to travel or do whatever summer fun entails for them. And, again, any modifications beyond this, that’s going to be what you’ve agreed to in your decree.

Now, one issue that comes up is just figuring out how and when to arrange and schedule the vacation time. According to Utah parent-time code, technically both parties are supposed to notify the other party of when they are choosing to exercise their four weeks of uninterrupted parent-time, or in the 50/50 case, their two weeks of uninterrupted parent-time, 30 days before school is out.

In reality, oftentimes that doesn’t happen. If one party has done the timely notice and the other party has not, it doesn’t mean the person who fails to notify timely forfeits their parent-time. It means either the complying parent, the one who did give proper notice of their vacation time, can then also choose when the other parent exercises their parent-time.

So they can say, no, it’s best for us that you take your four weeks here. Or it’s best for us if you take your two weeks here.

We empathize that neither parent is forfeiting their vacation/summer time by not giving notice. And we’ll go one step further to encourage both parties to try to allow the other parent to have their vacation time when it works for them. Even if they haven’t followed the 30-day, prior to school out, timely notice. Because in real life, sometimes that’s hard to know. Sometimes you’re still making plans and firming up what works for everyones schedules, work off, etc.

So it goes back to the theme of just trying to accommodate each other as reasonably as possible, to diminish conflict and create a quid pro quo, give and take, working with each other co-parenting relationship.

That in a nutshell is what summer parent-time entails. We are talking about traditional, couple of months off school summer time vacation. If you are in an on-track/off-track school situation, with a different summer vacation, and or if you’d like to speak to us about your specific case, give us a call. We’re happy to help.

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