Salt Lake City Visitation Lawyer Assists with Parent-Time Plans

Proven advocate helps Utah clients negotiate schedules that benefit them and their children

In most child custody cases, when the courts award one parent sole physical custody, the noncustodial parent is allowed visitation, also known as parent-time, to maintain a healthy relationship with their children. Parents can agree to terms and present a parent-time plan to the court for approval, or they can take the case to trial and let the judge decide. At her Salt Lake City firm, attorney Victoria Cramer assists custodial and noncustodial parents in disputes over visitation. Ms. Cramer draws on 24 years of family law experience to provide staunch representation that upholds your rights while seeking creative solutions that fit your unique circumstances.

What is visitation/parent-time?

Utah family law recognizes that it is generally in a child’s best interests to have frequent, meaningful contact with both parents. Often, the courts achieve this goal by granting joint physical custody to the parents so that the children live part of the time with each parent. However, not every parent is able to assume the role of a primary caretaker on a regular basis. The alternative is to allow regularly scheduled visitation, or parent-time, so parent and child can be together and maintain a healthy, loving bond.

If parents cannot agree on a schedule, Utah law provides minimum schedules based on the child’s age:

  • Children under age 5 — The law provides different minimums for visitation at various intervals throughout the child’s development.
  • Children aged 5–18 — One weekday evening, generally a Wednesday, from the close of school or 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., plus alternating weekends from the close of school or 6 p.m. on Friday until 7 p.m. Sunday. The law also provides a schedule for birthdays, holidays and school breaks.
  • Optional schedule for children aged 5–18 — This schedule is for 145 overnights and can have a considerable impact on child support.

It must be noted that these schedules represent minimums. The court can order any schedule that is appropriate for promoting what they determine to be in the best interests of the child.

Who can file for visitation?

Natural and adoptive parents can file for visitation in Utah. In the case of a divorce, parents must settle the question of custody and visitation during their divorce proceedings. If the parents were never married, paternity must be established before a parent can file for visitation. Grandparents and other family members also have a limited right to file for visitation in the state of Utah. In all cases, the petitioner for visitation must show that such an order is in the best interest of the child.

Modifying visitation in Utah

A court order for visitation has the force of law, but either party is entitled to request a modification if they can show there have been substantial material changes in circumstances since the court issued the order and that a modification would be in the best interests of the child. One circumstance that frequently prompts request for modifications is a custodial parent’s desire to move out of state with the children. But changes in a parent’s employment or the needs of the children as they grow often make a modification necessary. To prevent any controversies that could arise when you don’t adhere strictly to the mandated schedule, you should consult an attorney who can help you petition the court for a formal modification. Victoria Cramer understands how much your children mean to you and will advocate on your behalf to remain a meaningful part of their lives.

Contact a responsive Salt Lake City family law attorney for advice on visitation rights

If you’re looking to settle a parent-time dispute, attorney Victoria Cramer can provide knowledgeable advice and representation. To schedule a consultation, call (801) 872-8633 or contact her online. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Ms. Cramer serves clients in Davis, Salt Lake, Utah, Tooele and Weber counties.