S.B. 122 passes, despite transparently self-serving and disingenuous opposition from the State Bar Family Law Section.
The Family Law Section’s stated opposition to the first iteration of S.B. 122 and to the general concept of a presumption of joint equal physical custody was and–every time they oppose it–patently insincere. Virtually every ostensible “objection” to a presumption of joint equal custody is easily refuted, as the Section and its members well know.
Similar dire (and fake) predictions followed the proposal for Section 30-3-35.1, yet “miraculously” Section 30-3-35.1 hasn’t so much as raised an eyebrow among attorneys, courts, and legislators since its passage. Indeed, 30-3-35.1 not only did no harm but is rapidly becoming (if it is not already) the new “standard” schedule (a definition of “standard” that only a sophist could claim to accept), but only then because the combination of statutes and an undeniable bias against fathers still fail (even with the creation of Section 30-3-35.2) to give 50-50 custody for fit, able fathers and their children a fair chance to prove a success or failure.
Sure, the first draft of S.B. 122 could have done with some revision and refining, but the flaws in the drafting weren’t why the Section opposed S.B. 122. The Section opposed S.B. 122/presumption of equal custody because child custody litigation is lucrative and they fear that a presumption of joint equal physical custody will dramatically reduce child custody litigation from its current levels (and they’re right).
Claims that a presumption of joint equal physical custody would inherently/inexorably harm children and families, deprive courts of their discretion, cause more (not less) litigation, etc., etc. were (and always are), with rare exception, pretextual, and we all know it.
We have seen this kind of opposition from the Section every time it is proposed that child custody need not and should not be a question of which parent is the “custodial parent” and which one is not. We have seen this kind of opposition from the Section every time someone dares to point out the inequity and injustice in depriving either parent of any parental rights merely because of a divorce (even when the divorce complaint makes no allegations of any parental unfitness and neither parent is unfit to continue exercising joint legal and physical custody).
The presumption of joint equal physical custody is not a question of if but when. S.B. 122 4th substitute is a badly drafted but still positive step in the right direction. You can read the laws that S.B. 122 amended and created by clicking here.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277