COVID-19 AND UTAH PARENT-TIME SCHEDULES
The COVID-19 pandemic has generated a lot of questions for divorced parents who must follow Court-ordered parent-time schedules in Divorce Decrees. This article is an attempt to give these parents CURRENT BEST PRACTICE ADVICE to avoid violating court orders and to ensure the health and safety of the children.
UTAH GOVERNOR’S DIRECTIVE AND PARENT TIME EXCHANGES
Utah Governor Herbert recently issued a “Stay Safe, Stay Home” directive to state residents. Section 2(c) of that directive is directly applicable to divorced parents. It expressly permits parents to “transport a child according to existing parent-time schedules…”
UTAH COURTS FAQS: PARENT TIME DURING COVID19 PANDEMIC
A few courts have also attempted to answer frequently asked questions about this issue for the benefit of parents and family law attorneys. They have discussed various scenarios. While there are some situations that will require handling on a “case-by-case basis,” the following guidelines should govern in the absence of health care directives for specific persons:
- There should be NO deviation from the regular parent-time schedule UNLESS a child or someone in the child’s home tests positive for the corona virus.
- If there’s a positive test, the following guidelines apply:
- 1) The parent in the home in which a child or someone in the home has tested positive should provide documentation of the positive test to the other parent within 24 hours;
- 2) Parent-time should be suspended for two (2) weeks;
- 3) The other parent should have 30 minutes of virtual parent-time (e.g., Facetime) each day; and
- 4) The missed parent-time should be made-up during the Summer Break.
- The courts have issued a warning that if parents attempt to take improper advantage of the pandemic, it could result in appropriate sanctions (e.g., attorney fees, additional make-up parent-time, etc.) at a later hearing.
If you are struggling to come to an arrangement with your ex-spouse about parent time call your attorney at Hoyer Law to schedule a consultation.