Halloween Parent-time in Utah

Halloween Parent-time in Utah

Halloween is right around the corner. In odd-numbered years like 2017 the custodial parent gets this holiday under the standard Utah holiday schedule. Halloween is “on October 31 or the day Halloween is traditionally celebrated in the local community from after school until 9 p.m. if on a school day, or from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m.” October 31 falls on a Tuesday in 2017 which is a school day for most families.

The provision about Halloween being a different day than October 31 generally applies when the holiday falls on a Sunday which the predominant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint (Mormon) faith in Utah considers to be their Sabbath day. When this happens families will often celebrate Halloween on Saturday or another day of the week. “Trunk or Treat” is a popular alternative to Halloween that is celebrated in the local community. The Utah Code recognizes that under such circumstances the parent entitled to Halloween parent-time may get his/her time sometime besides October 31.

In some years the Halloween holiday falls on a Friday or Monday and the parent entitled to the holiday tries to claim they are entitled to the adjacent entire weekend. At first glance that argument seems to find support in Utah Code 30-3-35(2)(e)(1). However, the Halloween holiday is specifically exempt from this extension rule under Utah Code 30-3-35(4). This is true even under the expanded schedule in Utah Code 30-3-35.1 as well which likewise exempts Halloween from being extended. This should not be a problem in 2017 because October 31 falls on a Tuesday, but if your family celebrates Halloween on Saturday the custodial parent would not get to extend that weekend.

Bear in mind these rules apply to parents following the standard holiday schedule in Utah Code 30-3-35. If your order contains different rules then you should follow the rules in your order. Special rules may apply if you have children under 12 months old.

Do you have questions about Halloween parent-time? Give the experienced lawyers at Wiser & Wiser a call today. 855-254-2600

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