Understanding Supervised Parent-Time in Utah Family Law

Supervised parent-time.

In the complex landscape of family law, ensuring the safety and well-being of children is paramount. Utah law recognizes the fundamental liberty interests of parents and children to have unrestricted and unsupervised access to one another. However, in circumstances where there is evidence indicating potential harm to the child, the court may order supervised parent-time as a protective measure. Let’s delve into what supervised parent-time entails and the considerations involved.

1. When is Supervised Parent-Time Ordered?

Utah Code § 30-3-34.5 outlines the circumstances under which supervised parent-time may be ordered. The court may impose supervised parent-time if it finds evidence suggesting that the child would be subject to physical or emotional harm or child abuse from the noncustodial parent if left unsupervised. This decision is made with the utmost consideration for the safety and well-being of the child.

2. Preference for Supervisors

In cases where supervised parent-time is deemed necessary, the court gives preference to persons suggested by the parties to supervise, including relatives. If these suggested individuals are willing and capable of protecting the child from harm, the court authorizes them to supervise parent-time.

3. Professional Supervision

If suitable family members or relatives are not available or deemed unsuitable for supervision, the court may require the noncustodial parent to seek the services of a professional individual or agency to exercise supervised parent-time. This ensures that the child’s safety remains the top priority even in the absence of familial supervision.

4. Considerations and Follow-Up

At the time supervised parent-time is imposed, the court considers factors such as the financial burden on the noncustodial parent and the duration of the supervision requirement. Additionally, the court sets specific goals and expectations for the noncustodial parent to achieve before unsupervised parent-time may be granted. Follow-up hearings are scheduled to revisit the issue of supervised parent-time, allowing for adjustments based on the progress made.

5. Modification of Supervised Parent-Time

A noncustodial parent has the right to petition the court for modification of the supervised parent-time order if they can demonstrate that the goals and expectations set by the court have been accomplished. This provision ensures that the interests of both the child and the noncustodial parent are considered and that progress is recognized and rewarded.


In Utah family law, supervised parent-time serves as a protective measure to safeguard children from potential harm while maintaining the parent-child relationship. By adhering to the guidelines set forth in Utah Code § 30-3-34.5 and working closely with legal counsel, parents can navigate the process of supervised parent-time with the best interests of their children at heart.

If you require further guidance or assistance regarding supervised parent-time or any other family law matters, our experienced legal team is here to help. We prioritize the safety and well-being of families and are committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients.