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What is the court’s suggested parenting plan for children under five?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2022 | Child Custody |

While parents are free to determine their own parenting time plans in a custody case, the state offers some guidance. Judges will typically ensure that any plan you come up with is fair and in the best interests of your child.

If you do not know where to begin with developing your parenting plan, especially if you have young children, it can help to look at the guidelines set by the state. The Utah State Legislature has a clear outline of minimum parenting time plans for children under five.

Babies parenting time guidelines

The state recommends that for children under five months of age the noncustodial parent should have three visitation periods for a total of six hours each week. The state suggests it be done in an area in which the child is familiar. For holidays, the state recommends a two-hour visitation period. For children between five and nine months, the weekly hour recommendation increases to nine hours.

Older babies and toddlers

The state recommends one visit per week of eight hours with another three-hour visit each week. For holidays, the state requires an eight-hour visit. The guidelines also include telephone or virtual parenting time at least twice each week.

Children over 12 months up to 18 months should have an eight-hour visit on alternating weekends and a three-hour visit during the week with eight hours on holidays. Also, telephone or virtual visits at least twice weekly.

Older children

Older children age 18 months and older should have an evening weekday visit and alternate weekends with the noncustodial parent. The state also recommends extended parenting time that consists of two weeks with the noncustodial parent and four weeks with the custodial parent. The state also requires telephone or virtual contact at least two times each week.

These are minimum standards. If you come to an agreement on your own, they should not be less than these.