One important step in child custody discussions is negotiating a custody and visitation schedule. Parents can propose their own parenting plan based on the best interests of the child, and upon approval, the court can enforce the terms of the custody schedule.
Whether you and your spouse are on amicable or adversarial terms, you may be struggling to come up with ideas for a parenting time schedule. After all, who wants to relinquish time with their child? In today’s blog, we propose some common parenting time templates that you can use as starting points to jog some ideas.
Sample Custody and Visitation Schedules for Utah Parents
Before drafting your schedule, keep in mind that Utah law establishes minimum amounts of parenting time for the noncustodial parent and child (aged 5-18):
- One weekday evening from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, or from the time school is dismissed until 8:30 pm, depending on the preference and availability of the noncustodial parent
- One weekday from 9 am to 8:30 pm upon request if the child is not in school and if the noncustodial parent is available and able to provide personal care for the child during that time
- Alternating weekends beginning on Friday at 6 pm and ending on Sunday at 7 pm (upon request, the start time may begin after school on Friday, or at 9 am on Friday if school is not in session, and the noncustodial parent is available to provide personal care for the child during that time or by 7 pm)
- Holidays and special days on rotation, with each parent having the child on some holidays in even years and the other holidays in odd years
- Up to 4 consecutive weeks of visitation when school is not in session after proper notice has been given to the custodial parent, with 2 of the weeks being uninterrupted parenting time
The custodial parent is also entitled to 2 weeks of uninterrupted parenting time for vacation when school is not in session.
Example Schedules – 50/50, 60/40, 70/30, 80/20
With the above in mind, here are some sample visitation schedules:
- 50/50 Schedules – each parent has the child 50% of the time
- Alternating weeks – the child spends 1 week with one parent and the next whole week with the other parent
- 3-4-4-3 – the child spends 3 days with one parent, 4 days with the other parent, then they switch (4 days with the first parent, 3 days with the other)
- 2-2-5-5 – the child spends 2 days with one parent, 2 days with the other, then 5 days with the first parent and 5 days with the other
- 60/40 Schedules – one parent has the child for 60% of the time, and the other parent has the child for 40% of the time
- 4-3 schedule – the child spends 4 days with one parent and 3 days with the other
- Every extended weekend 00 the child spends weekdays with one parent and a long weekend (e.g., Friday to Monday) with the other parent
- 70/30 Schedules – the child spends time with one parent 70% of the time and with the other 30% of the time
- Every weekend – the child lives with one parent during the week and the other parent on the weekends
- 5-2 schedule – the child lives with one parent for 5 days and the other for 2
- Every 3rd week – the child lives with one parent for 2 weeks and the other for 1 week
- Every 3rd day – the child lives with one parent for 2 days and the other for 1 day
- 80/20 Schedules – one parent has the child for 80% of the time and the other for 20% of the time
- Alternating weekends – the child lives with one parent and visits the other parent every other weekend
- 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends – the child lives with one parent and visit the other parent on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends
- Every 3rd weekend – the child lives with one parent and visits the other every 3rd weekend
The above are only some examples to help you brainstorm. When discussing potential plans, it’s important to consider how far you and the other parent live from each other, as the commute could impact the feasibility of a plan. It’s also important to make sure the child is able to handle the switching between homes, and both parents should be committed to putting the child’s best interests first.
If you have questions about planning custody and visitation schedules in Utah, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced attorney for legal guidance. We have worked with many parents on custody issues throughout our professional career, so we can lend a trained eye to your case and help you explore different schedules that best meet your child’s and your co-parenting needs.
Schedule an initial consultation with Nelson, Taylor & Associates PLLC to get started on your custody plan.