Thanksgiving is approaching. This is a time for family and children. Unfortunately, it is also a time of disputes between parents.
In Utah, unless there is a written agreement in place, statute controls. That statute is: § 30-3-35, Minimum schedule for parent-time for children 5 to 18 years of age, Utah Code. That statute states, in part:
• In years ending in an even number, the noncustodial parent is entitled to the following holidays:
◦ Thanksgiving holiday beginning Wednesday at 7 p.m. until Sunday at 7 p.m.
Even in decrees, or orders, of joint custody, one parent should be designated at the “non-custodial parent” for purposes of the parent-time statute. Check your orders.
Parents can, and should cooperate on those schedules, to accommodate extended family traditions, and religious activities. But, make sure that you have a writing, signed by both parents, in place, which clearly sets out dates and times if they differ from what is in the decree or orders.
And remember, the holiday is a time for family and the children. It is not a time to assert parental differences, or claims. In Utah, it is said that the child is very important, and needs protection from divorce and conflict. So, do the best you can to exceed the spirit, if not the letter, of that saying; and let us all truly enjoy the best of this holiday.
If there is conflict or problems, get with your attorney, or consider having a special master appointed.