Comments about ‘Utah Legislature: House OKs bill to protect child visitation’

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Published: Wednesday, Feb. 10 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

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Custodial parents can be fathers

This bill infringes on the most basic rights of custodial parents to ensure the safety of their children and to live their lives.

A custodial parent, whether mother or father who was called into work at 5:00 am but only receives a call at 9:30 pm should be able to go to get their kids at 9:30 so they can put them to bed so they can get them up early in the morning to take to a babysitter even if the scheduled visit lasts until 10:00 pm.

A mother who just got a call from her father that her mother was rushed to the hospital and is in ICU should be able to get her kids before the end of a scheduled parent-time so that she can ensure their safety while she is with her mother and to make sure her kids get to see their grandmother before she passes away 35 minutes later instead of ending up being taken to jail while her mother dies in a hospital.

Godfrey's comment about ""Utah deserves better than to treat fathers as a paycheck to encourage meal-ticket motherhood," shows his bias.

a weapon to cause chaos

If no exceptions are made for emergencies, this could cause lots of custodial parents to be charged with crimes for things like having to stay late at work, medical emergencies, etc.

Anonymous

Amen. I was a non-custodial mother enduring the same treatment as a typical non-custodial father in Utah. ORS will hunt you down for the money, but no one cares about your rights, or the children's rights, and whether they are being violated.

Who are we helping with this?

What about custodial parents who are constantly pushing their children on the non-custodial parents because they never see the children on their scheduled time? So the custodial parent must always have the child there on time and at the scheduled time but the other parent is free to pick and choose when they use thier time and has the law on their side? Give me a break. It sounds more like bitter issued people are passing this law then the majority. Utah needs to focus on Dead beat parents mother or father who arent paying. ORS is just a waste of tax dollars, rarely do they ever go after the real dead beats that try to beat the system

Anonymous

I have seen time and again the custodial parent walk all over the non custodial parents rights. My friend went 8 months without seeing his kids because the custodial parent wanted to get revenge. Custodial parents end up using kids as pawns and legislation needs to force custodial parents not to harm the kids and the non custodial parents constitutional rights to see their children.

Me

Apparently the previous comment was by someone who hasn't been a non-custodial parent. I have and I was "allowed" to see my kids approx. 10 times in 14 years. After several times of calling the police because I had one of those "orders" to see my kids, it became easier for me to just leave the state and have Recovery Services take the money. Take it from one who has been there that this bill is a long time over due.

Anonymous

Sorry to break the news to everyone, but we already have a criminal code its custodial interference 76-3-304, and its a class A misdemeanor for a parent, non custodial or custodial, to withhold or deprive another parent of lawful parent time. The problem is that most law enforcement agencies don't enforce the law, so how is this going to help?

Anonymous

I think this legislation could be a very good thing to bring balance to what ORS does now..but only if worded very specifically and carefully so as to avoid abuse. I think the key here is that it provides enforcement against those who INTENTIONALLY obstruct visitation. Emergencies will always arise. In a perfect world, no child would be used as a pawn be either parent, but we know in reality this happens often. And it only makes sense that custodial and noncustodial parents should have equal protection under the law.

JJ

I find it interesting that so many people think only custodial parents can be vindictive. Non custodial parents are just as capable of being so. I understand the need for this bill but there needs to be some safeguards. This is life and schedules do not always run just as the court documents state. Parents have to work together and occasionally rearrange days. This could cause BIG problems in nasty custody battles when one or both parties are not above deceit. To all of you who "know someone" that's been in this situation remember...There are three sides to every story his, hers, and the truth.

Put Children First, Always

This is ten years too late for me. But better late than never for the sake of the newer generation of dysfunctional broken marriages. The custodial parent has too much freedom to abuse their "custodial rights". "If the parents can't agree then the custodial parent gets to make the decision". This is typical domestic law language and it is abused so much by the custodial parent that it is detrimental to the relationship of the child(ren) to the non-custodial parent. Yes, ORS goes after the dead-beats, and is totally justified, but there needs to be some type of consequence for the emotionally depleted custodial parents when they abuse this. It is all too frequent in this state and others that children are alienated from their non-custodial parent.

Do as I say or I'm calling cops

Re:Anonymous

"I think this legislation could be a very good thing to bring balance to what ORS does now..but only if worded very specifically and carefully so as to avoid abuse. I think the key here is that it provides enforcement against those who INTENTIONALLY obstruct visitation."

But the law already provides enforcement against those who intentionally obstruct visitation. That isn't what these people want. They want to make it possible for non-custodial parents to control the lives of custodial parents and have the ability to call the cops on custodial parents who exercise their rights.

"Emergencies will always arise. In a perfect world, no child would be used as a pawn be either parent, but we know in reality this happens often. And it only makes sense that custodial and noncustodial parents should have equal protection under the law."

It's not equal protection when a custodial parent can't use an emergency as a legitimate excuse to take or withhold custody of their children and it instead gives non-custodial parents the ability to intimidate and harass custodial parents by using the provisions of law to harass.

Do as I say or I'm calling cops

Re:JJ

"I find it interesting that so many people think only custodial parents can be vindictive. Non custodial parents are just as capable of being so. I understand the need for this bill but there needs to be some safeguards. This is life and schedules do not always run just as the court documents state. Parents have to work together and occasionally rearrange days."

With this bill a vindictive non-custodial parent can strictly enforce the court order and even use it against their own children to force them to give up activities they enjoy as a way to demonstrate their power over them and their custodial parent and then use the time to blame the custodial parent by saying that they wouldn't arrange a different time and that is why the child couldn't go to their game or activity.

"This could cause BIG problems in nasty custody battles when one or both parties are not above deceit."

That's the problem that people don't understand and why this bill is so dangerous since it makes it a crime even in emergencies unless there is belief of child abuse which means abusive former spouses prevail.

Jon

"This bill infringes on the most basic rights of custodial parents to ensure the safety of their children and to live their lives."

A: Nope, the bill has a clause that covers the issue of safety for the children.

"If no exceptions are made for emergencies, this could cause lots of custodial parents to be charged with crimes for things like having to stay late at work, medical emergencies, etc."

A: Same as above.

"What about custodial parents who are constantly pushing their children on the non-custodial parents because they never see the children on their scheduled time?"

A: It works BOTH ways. If the noncustodial parent cry's to the police in this case, then they should expect to never see their kids during the custodial parents time. Yes, it is destined to happen... but they would be a stupid fool if they do.

Anonymous

RE: Do as I say or I'm calling cops

The instances you bring up are why I made the specific point that the language would have to be worded extremely carefully. Let's face it, any parent can be vindictive and try to use custody issues to control the lives of others. Custodial or non-custodial makes no difference when it comes to the capacity for pettiness and selfishness. The point of a law like this is to take away some of the motivation to do so.

Like any bill, it's effectiveness lies in how it is written, the language used, and the loopholes for abuse it leaves. I suspend judgement on whether the law is good or not until after I see the specifics of what it says. Unlike you, I do not dismiss it out of hand, sight unseen. You claim there are already laws, but if so then why does the abuse of the system continue? Obviously, if there is similar legislation already, then it's language is not as carefully written as I have mentioned it needs to be, or there would not be so much rampant abuse going on.

Anonymous

RE: Do as I say or I'm calling cops
"That's the problem that people don't understand and why this bill is so dangerous since it makes it a crime even in emergencies unless there is belief of child abuse which means abusive former spouses prevail."

Actually I think the story makes it clear that the law is for "intentional disruptions". That would preclude emergencies, obviously. Thus my pointing out that the language needs to be extremely well written and specific, so as not to create these problems you point out. It's very clear that the system is frequently being abused by custodial and non-custodial parents alike all too frequently. If this law can redress some of the issues that the advocates of the law hope it can, then it could be a positive thing. If they don't walk a very fine line, it could be abused, as several people have expressed their alarm about.

It's all about the language.

hanhuanheng

5 1/2 years - that's how long it's been for my brother to see his daughter. Never missed a payment, has gifts ready for her for
Every birhtday and Christmas missed, been thru two lawyers, and is not any closer to seeing her
Because her mom moves from state to state and avoids any contact at all - she just collects the money and keeps on going .
Sounds pretty fair huh

mrd00d

People, this law is not about putting people in jail who are trying to protect a child. It is about Parents who are constantly kept from children wrongfully. Examples of people dying or emergencies or danger posed to a child would not be a situation where a charge would be placed on anyone. This is for the people who HAVE court orders and are still not able to see the kids. This does not help with the ORS mess, that is something we hope to be able to resolve as well.

Read the Bill, Folks!

It is patently obvious that almost all of you have no idea what you're talking about (with all due respect).

to address all your concerns:

*The bill is NOT exclusive to protecting non-custodial parents only. It works both ways.

*The bill provides for emergencies, safety issues, etc. You will not be charged if you Have a LEGITIMATE reason for bumping time. Note that complying with court orders being inconvenient for you is not legitimate.

*the article states that it protects non-custodials is misleading. But the vast majority of offenders are CUSTODIAL parents.

*there is existing law, but it's unenforcable. This bill fixes that.

*to the person who said, "do as I say or I'm calling the cops:" no-- do as the COURT says, or I'm calling the cops. What's wrong with that? Obviously you don't have a clue at all. I stopped reading your rant after the third inaccuracy in your comment.

This bill is a FANTASTIC bill that helps children see both parents. Many children haven't been allowed to see a parent for most their lives.

Every complaint I've read on here is addressed in the bill already.

Re: do as I say

I didn't see one thing that was accurate in your comments. Clearly you don't understand this bill even in its most basic sense.

To the person who stated there is already a law on the books, but it is not enforced. You asked how this bill will help.

It will help for several reasons. First, it lowers the crime to a class B misdemeanor. Next, it provides no jail time unless it's a habitual offender. Third, it clarifies what is and what is not a crime (i.e. Emergencies, safety issues, unintentional missed time, etc. is not a crime).

For these reasons, I believe judges will be more likely to be willing to convict and therefore police will be more willing to issue a citation to an offender.

This is a good bill that is long overdue in Utah. UT has some of the worst protections for children when it comes to maintaining a relationship with their non-custodial families.

The fact that mom and dad aren't married anymore does not mean that non-custodial parent is no longer family. Children deserve better than they are getting right now.

Anonymous

I have mixed feelings on this bill. There are many parents whos only issue was they had a hard time communicating. I can see how this bill can help them enforce their parental visitation but what about the parent that has felonies against children? My ex has such felonies and because of state law I get to wait until he does it again before I can do anything about it. I can not limit or restrict his time because "he hasn't done anything" to this child yet (I won't even go into the emotional abuse that he likes to dish out!). How, as a parent, can I protect my child if the state ties my hands? There is only so much education I can give my child! My child is afraid of my ex, and I, as the custodial parent, must force the visitations on my child! I don't think that is right! My child deserves better than that!! My child deserves to be protected and to know that I will protect them from harm!

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