Fighting for visitation rights is a struggle for many

Issues like divorce can be equally difficult on men and women. And especially when there are kids involved, the process of dealing with separation and child custody disputes may be particularly hard on both parents. Many parents struggle to manage their emotions, expectations and needs as they settle visitation agreements, which leads to breaches in court-approved arrangements in some instances. In fact, some Utah fathers are claiming that the system is not on their side when it comes to upholding their parental rights.

When a parent fails to conform to the custody and visitation arrangements established by family court, their child’s other parent may file custodial interference complaints against them. In Utah, in fact, these types of cases have almost tripled in number in the last decade. Under state law it is a crime to deny your child’s other parent their assigned visitation. However, some dads argue that hasn’t stopped mothers from keeping their kids away from them.

Family courts in Utah are estimated to have thrown out almost 40 percent of custodial interference cases against fathers and over 60 percent of those filed against mothers. And given that the process of having custodial complaints filed and heard can take almost a year from start to finish, it’s important to attempt to settle disputes civilly.

If fathers find themselves issuing custody or visitation-related complaints, they can help the process along by providing their attorney and/or judge with any evidence they have about being denied access to their kids. This may include emails or text messages. And if there is communication with law enforcement, they will want to see documentation outlying the custody agreement. 

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