Fall Break Parent-time in 2020

Fall Break Parent-time in 2020

Under the standard parent-time schedule, the custodial parent gets the Spring Break holiday in even-numbered years like 2020. Section 30-3-35(2)(f)(iii) defines the holiday as beginning 6 p.m. on the day school lets out for the break until 7 p.m. the evening before school resumes. However if the parents have more than one child and the children’s school schedules vary for purpose of a holiday, it is presumed the children will remain together for the holiday period beginning the first evening all children’s schools are let out for the holiday and ending the evening before any child returns to school.

Because of COVID-19, many children are attending school from home and their existing order does not clearly address when they are considered to be done with school. In many situations it is appropriate to look at when the children would be done with class if they were attending school in-person.

A common challenge with interpreting the holiday statute is that how the Utah Code defines holidays for parent-time purposes may differ from how the school itself defines the holiday. For example, suppose your children’s school considers a Monday through Friday period to constitute the “Spring Break.” For parent-time purposes the holiday would likely start the Friday before because that is the day school “lets out for the break.” Likewise, the holiday would last until the Sunday before school resumes. This is because Utah Code 30-3-35(e)(i) states if a holiday falls on a weekend or a Friday or Monday and the total holiday period extends beyond that time so that the child is free from school and the parent is free from work, the parent receiving the holiday is entitled to the lengthier holiday period. (Note: the statute technically says “noncustodial” parent but elsewhere states the custodial parent is entitled to the noncustodial parent’s odd-year holidays in even-numbered years and vice versa so arguably “noncustodial” parent should be read to mean “parent exercising the holiday” but this is a debatable question).

Bear in mind the foregoing is based on the standard Utah Code schedule for a child age 5 and up. Special rules may apply if you have a child under age 5 or live in separate states. Also, not every court order follows these standard holiday provisions and if your court order states something different or contains additional provisions then you should follow what is written in your order.

Are you getting the holiday parent-time you deserve? If not give the attorneys at Wiser Family Law a call at 855-254-2600.

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