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Tag: reliably

Are family members allowed to be character witnesses in a divorce case?

Questions regarding one’s character as a spouse and parent often arise in a divorce and/or child custody case, and family members are often some of the best, if not the best, character witnesses on subjects that frequently arise in divorce and child custody cases. What kinds of questions? For example, questions about a party’s parental fitness and character may because family members are often the most percipient witnesses, meaning they are those who have observed a party as a parent most often, most accurately, and most reliably.

As you might have guessed, one of the reasons that family members are not seen as the best witnesses generally (whether a fact witness or character witness) is because there will always be a question of whether your mom or dear uncle Milt is a reliable source of accurate information about you, as opposed to being someone who will propagandize for you irrespective of the truth. It’s not unreasonable to presume that a family member might choose loyalty to you over being completely honest about you.

Sometimes, a family member may be your best, even your only, witness on a particular issue. So, if you aren’t afraid that your family member has dirt on you, and if you trust that your family member will both be honest and come across as honest, don’t write off a family member as a witness merely for being a family member.

Some people confuse a character witness with “a witness who will say things that are helpful to my case, so that the court will side with me.” It’s understandable if someone who is not an attorney believes that a divorce or child custody case is a popularity contest, but it’s not. If your witness doesn’t have believable testimony to give on a relevant issue, you shouldn’t call that witness to testify. For example, if you were to bring in any witness, family member or otherwise, to say that generally your spouse is mean and therefore should be treated harshly when it comes to dividing marital assets, such witness testimony is not only totally irrelevant evidence, but wasteful of court time and thus very irritating to the judge. Additionally, bringing in a dozen character witnesses to say the same thing about your character or the character of your spouse is unnecessarily cumulative and the court would almost certainly not permit a dozen witnesses to say duplicative things when one or two, maybe three witnesses would suffice.

Sometimes, your attorney may advise you not to call a family member as a witness to protect you from having that family member intentionally or inadvertently say things about you that paint you in a bad light. Sometimes, your attorney may advise you not to call a family member as a witness because you are unsure of what the witness would say or you know that the family member is a chatterbox who doesn’t know when to shut up.

Bottom line: 1) family members are not barred from being character witnesses; 2) family members are often the best or among the best of your character witnesses; 3) don’t be afraid to utilize family members as character witnesses, as long as they will come across as credible witnesses who won’t intentionally or inadvertently say damaging things about you; and 4) avoid poisoning the opinion of the court against you by ensuring that you do not call “character witnesses” to testify on subjects and issues that have nothing to do with your or your spouse’s character.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/Why-arent-family-members-allowed-to-be-character-witnesses-in-a-divorce-case/answer/Eric-Johnson-311?prompt_topic_bio=1

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What would you do if your child’s father who is only entitled to supervised visitation filed for a modification of a court order so a family member you don’t approve of could supervise visits?

What would you do if your child’s father who is only entitled to supervised visitation filed for a modification of a court order so a family member you don’t approve of could supervise visits?

Here’s what I would do:

First, remember that merely claiming that the proposed visitation supervisor poses a clear and serious danger to the child’s mental or emotional health without having proof or some highly credible evidence does not simply make for a weak argument, it could call your credibility into question.

  • I would first ask: if you have proof or highly credible evidence that there anything about this proposed visitation supervisor that poses a clear and factual (or at least credible) danger to the child’s life, safety, or health.
    • If the answer is “yes,” then you probably have at least one very good argument against having this person approved as a visitation supervisor.
  • If the answer is “no,” then I would ask if there anything about this proposed visitation supervisor that poses a clear and factual (or at least credible) danger to the life, safety, or health of the other parent or of anyone else?
    • If the answer is “yes,” then you probably have at least one very good argument against having this person approved as a visitation supervisor.
  • If the answer is “no,” then I would ask: if there anything about this proposed visitation supervisor that poses a clear and factual (or at least credible) danger to the child’s mental or emotional health?
    • If the answer is “yes,” then you probably have at least one very good argument against having this person approved as a visitation supervisor.
  • If the answer is “no,” then I would ask if there is anything about this proposed visitation supervisor that poses a clear and factual (or at least credible) danger to the mental or emotional health of the other parent or of anyone else?
    • If the answer is “yes,” then you probably have at least one very good argument against having this person approved as a visitation supervisor.
  • If the answer is “no,” then I would ask if there is anything about the proposed supervisor that indicates he/she is not available to provide supervision as needed and/or cannot provide supervision responsibly and reliably.
    • If the answer is “yes,” then you probably have at least one very good argument against having this person approved as a visitation supervisor.
  • If the answer is “no,” then I would likely see no point to objecting to the proposed supervisor because I would have no valid argument against the appointment of this supervisor.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/What-would-you-do-if-your-childs-father-who-is-only-entitled-to-supervised-visitation-filed-for-a-modification-of-a-court-order-so-a-family-member-you-dont-approve-of-could-supervise-visits/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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Can the other parent send someone I’ve never met to pickups and drop-offs for our child?

Can the other parent send someone I’ve never met to pickups and drop-offs for our child?

Can the other parent send someone I’ve never met to pickups and drop-offs for our child when custody order only lists the parents? What would I file with the court to contest this? Would the court just add that person to the order?

Before I address your questions, I suggest you honestly examine the bases for your concerns. Are you honestly worried about this situation, or do you see an opportunity to denigrate your ex and make trouble for your ex in court?

So you’re asking at least three questions here.

First, can the other parent send someone you have never met to pick up or drop off your child when the court’s order states identifies no one other than the parents as the ones who pick up and drop off the child for custody and parent-time exchanges? The answer: If the order can be interpreted or construed to provide that the parents certainly can pick up and drop off, but that permission or authorization to pick up or drop off the child is not limited solely to the parents, then a parent can have someone else to pick up or drop off the child. On the other hand, if the order can be interpreted or construed to provide that permission or authorization to pick up or drop off the child is restricted solely to the parents, then you could argue that if one of the parents fails to pick up or drop off the child personally and instead sends someone else to pick up or drop off the child, that parent is violating the court’s order.

Your next question was: what would I file with the court to contest this? Well, obviously if the court order allows for persons other than the parents to pick up or drop off the child, there would be little point to complaining to the court about it unless you could demonstrate that the person or people the other parent is designating to pick up or drop off the child is harming, attempting to harm, or threatening to harm the child in some significant way.

If the court order prohibits persons other than the parents to pick up or drop off the child, you are wise to ask whether it’s worth the time, effort, hassle, risk, and money to do so if all the other parent is likely to do is file a motion or petition to authorize people other than the parents to pick up or drop off the child. If there is no statute in your jurisdiction that prohibits persons other than parents to facilitate custody or parent-time pickups and drop-offs, if the parent can show that he or she has a legitimate need for the help with pickups and drop offs, and if the person or persons who are not parents but who are picking up or dropping off the child is or are responsible adults who are doing a good job with pickups and drop-offs and doing neither the child nor the parent any harm, you need to ask yourself whether complaining to the court is fair and reasonable for you to do. If the only reason you want to complain is because you like to stir the pot and/or try to cause your ex trouble with the court, you should re-think that position.

https://www.quora.com/Can-parent-send-someone-Ive-never-met-to-custody-drop-off-and-pick-ups-of-our-child-when-custody-order-only-lists-the-parents-What-would-I-file-with-the-court-to-contest-this-Would-the-court-just-add-that-person-to/answer/Eric-Johnson-311?prompt_topic_bio=1

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

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