How will a custodial parent keeping a child from the non custodial parent affect custody arrangements?
Know up front that I am not a father’s rights advocate. I am not a divorced father (I am a father and a divorce lawyer who represents both men and women without discriminating between the two). While father’s rights advocates have many valid arguments, they come across as so overwhelmingly strident, bitter, and misogynistic in far too many instances that they do their cause more harm than good. That stated:
In principle: keeping a child from a parent should affect the child custody arrangements (award) by the court taking dim view of the other parent’s infringement of your parental rights and the alienation of the child from his/her parent. It should result in the court finding that the other parent places his/her self-interest above the best interest of the child(ren). It should result in the court issuing orders that protect the child from the other parent’s deleterious actions. It may result in the court monitoring, supervising, and/or curtailing that parent’s contact with the child temporarily or permanently, depending upon the circumstances.
In actual practice: unless 1) you can either lie so persuasively as to overwhelm the lies being told about you, to the point that you have the court eating out of your hand (and please don’t do that (Mark 8:36); or 2) you have boatloads of politically correct, irrefutable, undeniable, unavoidable, and unmistakable evidence (and it helps if you are not the father—see the supposedly abrogated “tender years presumption”), then the other parent’s interference will probably be acknowledged by the court with a facile (unsupported) conclusion that both parents are engaging in the same kind of behavior, followed by an admonition that the parents “get along for the sake of the child” (as if you can cause both parents to get along by sheer force of your individual will or martyrdom) and an award of primary physical custody to the parent who tells the best story (it helps if that parent is also the mother) and/or whose spirit is last/least likely to be broken by the legal process.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277