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Rule 4-904. Informal trial ofsupport, custody and parent-time.

Intent:

To allow the parties and judge to agree to a trial of select issues inan informal manner.

Applicability:

This rule applies to the district court.

Statement of the Rule:

(a) Upon waiver and stipulated motion of all parties and approval bythe court, the court will conduct an informal trial of child support, childcustody and parent-time issues. The waiver and motion shall be made verbally onthe record or in a signed writing. To qualify for an informal trial, the courtmust find that the parties have made a valid waiver of their right to a regulartrial.

(b) If the court grants the motion, the informal trial shall proceed asfollows:

(b)(1) The party who bears the burden of proof on an issue speaks tothe court under oath about his or her desires about child support, childcustody and parent-time. The party is not questioned by counsel or the otherparty but may be questioned by the court.

(b)(2) That party may present any document or other evidence. The courtshall determine what weight to give any documents or other evidence. The courtmay order the record to be supplemented.

(b)(3) Counsel for that party may identify any other areas of inquiry,and the court may make the inquiry.

(b)(4) The process is repeated for the other parties.

(b)(5) If there is an expert, the expert?s report is entered intoevidence as the court?s exhibit. The expert may be questioned by counsel,parties or the court upon request.

(b)(6) Each party is offered:

(b)(6)(i) the opportunity to respond to thestatements, documents or other evidence of the other parties; and

(b)(6)(ii) the opportunity to make legal arguments.

(b)(7) The court will enter an order which has the same force andeffect as if entered after a traditional trial. If the order is a final order,it may be appealed on any grounds that do not rely upon the Utah Rules ofEvidence.