Who Gets The Kids for Pioneer Day (July 24 2017) in Utah?

July 24 is the Pioneer Day holiday in Utah (which to locals is a second 4th of July often filled with parades, family gatherings, BBQs, and fireworks).  Under the standard holiday schedule for parents who live in-state, the “custodial” parent gets this holiday which consists of “July 24 beginning at 6 p.m. on the day before the holiday until 11 p.m. or no later than 6 p.m. on the day following the holiday, at the option of the parent exercising the holiday.” That means the custodial parent can pick the kids up on July 23 at 6 p.m. and keep them until 11 p.m. on July 24 or, at their election, keep the kids until 6 p.m. on July 25. After that point the parents would resume their normal parent-time schedule.

However, because in 2017 July 24 falls on a Monday it is arguably subject to the extension provisions of Utah Code 30-3-35(2)(e) which states:

“(i) If a holiday falls on a weekend or on 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 noncustodial parent shall be entitled to this lengthier holiday period.
(ii)(A) At the election of the noncustodial parent, parent-time over a scheduled holiday weekend may begin from the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed at the beginning of the holiday weekend until 7 p.m. on the last day of the holiday weekend; or (B) at the election of the noncustodial parent, if school is not in session, parent-time over a scheduled holiday weekend may begin at approximately 9 a.m., accommodating the custodial parent’s work schedule, the first day of the holiday weekend until 7 p.m. on the last day of the holiday weekend, if the noncustodial parent is available to be with the child unless the court directs the application of Subsection (2)(e)(ii)(A).”

In plain English, the custodial parent may be entitled to holiday parent-time in 2017 including the weekend of Friday, July 21 to 23 as well as the regular Pioneer Day holiday period. However, this is not clear because the statute refers to this extension rule applying to the “noncustodial” parent. But elsewhere Utah Code 30-3-35(h) says the custodial parent is entitled to the noncustodial parent’s holidays in alternating years in which case the court may interpret “noncustodial parent” as meaning “the parent exercising the holiday that particular year.” This is one of those sections of the Utah Code the Legislature or appellate courts will hopefully clarify in future years but in the meantime parents will likely fight over.

Bear in mind not every court order follows the standard provisions of Utah Code 30-3-35 and if your order contains different rules you should follow the rules in your order. There are also special rules that apply in the case of children less than five years old or when parents live far apart that are not discussed here. This article is for general informational purposes about the holiday provisions of the Utah Code and not intended to constitute legal advice specific to anyone’s particular circumstances. If you have questions about how Utah’s holiday schedule works give us a call today at 855-254-2600.



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