How can I convey to the judge how damaging it would be for my 3-year-old to have unsupervised visits with her father? He’s delusional: says he killed about 400 people for pay, connected to underground crime. I am terrified for her to spend time with him.
The “academic answer” is as follows:
- Find out what the statutory and/or the case law requirements are for seeking and obtaining an order that visitation be supervised;
- neatly compile and clearly and concisely present to the court all of the facts and evidence (police reports, arrest and conviction records, mental health records, etc.) that supports your assertion that you meet the statutory and/or the case law requirements for seeking and obtaining an order that visitation be supervised;
- ask the court to impose supervised visitation accordingly;
- propose what kind and level of supervision you wish to see imposed and clearly and persuasively explain 1) why it is necessary that that kind and level of supervision be imposed; and 2) why your proposal is eminently feasible and equitable.
The “real world” answer is as follows:
- Take every step identified in the “academic answer” above;
- Be prepared for the court to be inattentive and to take your assertions with a grain of salt, no matter how objectively verifiable and compelling and well-presented your evidence may be (in fairness to the courts, judges are barraged with allegations of “the other parent is crazy!” or ““the other parent is dangerous!,” and many of these allegations are either lies or uncorroborated, so judges become hyper-skeptical to the point that they have difficulty accepting even compelling evidence);
- end up with either no supervised visitation or visitation that is inadequately supervised because the court tried to “split the baby in half” and issue an order that satisfies everyone or disappoints everyone.
- The odds are against you, generally.
- If it isn’t close, [the opposition] can’t cheat, and the referee [i.e., the judge] can’t deny you. You have to be prepared to win overwhelmingly, six ways from Sunday, if you hope to get what you want.
Do not lie in an effort to gain an advantage (Matthew 16:26).
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277