As the holiday season approaches, many parents in Utah look forward to having time off work that allows them to spend more time with their kids. Yet for many, their holiday parenting time is often impacted by a child custody agreement. Indeed, according to the American Psychological Association, between 40%-50% of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. Thus, the prospect of not having their kids around for the entire holiday season is very real.
Custody matters can often be contentious. That contention often increases during the holidays as both parents want to be with the kids as much as possible. Coming to an amicable agreement over a holiday custody schedule can often be difficult. For this reason, local lawmakers opted to establish a legal standard in this regard.
Non-custodial custody during the Christmas holiday season
Per Section 30-3-35 of the Utah Code, a non-custodial parent gets custody of the kids during the first half of their Christmas break on odd-numbered years, and the second half of the break on even-numbered years. The law defines the Christmas break as the period starting on the evening of the day local schools dismiss kids for the holiday season until the evening prior to the day the kids return to school. As Christmas Eve and Christmas Day may fall during the first half of the break. As such, one parent may get uninterrupted custody of the kids on both days.
Extended custody during summer break
Outside of the holidays, the other time of the year when custody often becomes an issue is during summer break. The law allows non-custodial parents four full weeks of custody during the time, two of which are to be without interruption in order to accommodate an extended vacation.