Tag: deny

Can a parent with full custody deny visitation due to unsanitary conditions?

Can a parent with full custody refuse to allow visitation due to unsanitary living conditions?

Good question.

I will answer this question in the context of some applicable law for the jurisdiction where I practice divorce and family law (Utah).

There are many ways to approach this question, but briefly one thing you need to be aware of are the custodial interference laws.

Under the custodial interference laws (76-5-303. Custodial interference), A parent can refuse to comply with a child custody and/or parent time order under certain circumstances:

(a) the action is consented to by the person whose custody or visitation of the child was interfered with; or


(i) the action is based on a reasonable belief that the action is necessary to protect a child from abuse, including sexual abuse; and

(ii) before engaging in the action, the person reports the person’s intention to engage in the action, and the basis for the belief described in Subsection (6)(b)(i), to the Division of Child and Family Services or law enforcement.

See also 76-5-305. Defenses:

(a) the actor was acting under a reasonable belief that:

(i) the conduct was necessary to protect any person from imminent bodily injury or death; or

(ii) the detention or restraint was authorized by law; or

(b) the alleged victim is younger than 18 years of age or is mentally incompetent, and the actor was acting under a reasonable belief that the custodian, guardian, legal guardian, custodial parent, or person acting in loco parentis to the victim would, if present, have consented to the actor’s conduct.

There is no hard and fast rule you could apply in this situation, of course, but I think it’s reasonable to say that if the living conditions that the other parent’s house were so unsanitary as to pose a serious risk of harm to the child’s life or health, refusing to comply with parent time on that basis might not result in criminal guilt.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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Passport Denial for Failure to Pay Child Support

Under Rule 527-275 of the Utah Administrative Code, the Office of Recovery Services (“ORS”) is authorized to deny a delinquent child support obligor’s application for a U.S. passport or an application to renew a U.S. passport.  Exercise of this power is intended to encourage child support obligors to pay their past-due child support, but in some cases, denying a passport could render a child support obligor unable to pay.  For example, if your job requires you to travel outside of the United States, denying you a passport have the effect of denying you an income.

Your ability to work directly affects your ability to pay the child support you are ordered to pay.  Fortunately, the rules provide that your passport application may be granted under certain circumstances.

If the case is IV-A—meaning that a custodial parent and child(ren) is receiving public assistance benefits under the State’s IV-A program, which is funded under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act—then if the ORS or CSS Director approves an exception to the payment-in-full requirement, ORS will release you from the denial of your passport application.

If the case is non-IV-A and:

  • if the ORS or CSS Director approves an exception to the payment-in-full requirement; and,
  • if the child support is owed to the obligee, ORS/CSS is able to obtain written approval from the obligee to release the passport,

ORS will also release you from the denial of your passport application.

If you do not satisfy either of the two exceptions mentioned above, your best (really your only) option is to pay your child support arrearages in full, at which point ORS cannot deny your passport application.

The applicable rules can be found in more detail at:

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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