How Does Utah Law Address Parental Alienation in Custody Cases?

How Does Utah Law Address Parental Alienation in Custody Cases?

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What Is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation is when one parent tries to turn their children against the other parent during or after a divorce. It exhibits itself through false accusations, repeated disparaging comments, and blame. The intention is often to keep the children from seeing or spending time with the other parent for malicious reasons.

The children, in their innocence, may become reluctant to see the other parent because of a strained relationship and more exposure to the alienating parent. If you’re going through a divorce and experiencing parental alienation, you may not know what to do. It’s crucial to consult skilled South Jordan family law attorneys for legal guidance.

Recognizing Signs of Parental Alienation

Child custody lawyers in South Jordan point out that alienated children tend to reject the other parent for no good reason. The rejection is usually disproportionate to anything the rejected parent has done. Some common behaviors and attitudes of an alienated child include the following:

  • Strongly refusing to adhere to the parenting time or visitation with the rejected parent
  • Freely and persistently expressing negative feelings about the other parent, such as fear, hatred, or anger
  • Giving trivial reasons or excuses to justify their rejection or hatred towards the rejected parent
  • Demonizing the other parent
  • Taking the side of the alienating parent in parental conflict
  • Idolizing or pedestalizing the favored parent by speaking so highly of them that they appear to have no flaws
  • Making statements that sound rehearsed about their feelings towards the rejected parent
  • Brittle responses to attempted engagement by the rejected parent, often echoing the words or phrases of the alienating parent
  • Demanding that the rejected parent stop harassing or contacting them
  • Threatening to run away or harm themselves if they are forced to spend time with the rejected parent
  • Attempting to poison the other siblings against the rejected parent

Is Parental Alienation a Crime?

Utah doesn’t formally recognize parental alienation as a crime, but courts frown upon the behavior and strive to discourage it. Family law discourages divorcing parents from engaging in behaviors that adversely affect the relationship between a child and the other parent.

Violating this standard could affect the outcome of a custody case. If you suspect that your ex-spouse is alienating your children to prevent you from exercising your parental rights, talk to skilled child custody lawyers in South Jordan. They can present the matter in court to resolve it within the legal framework of Utah Codes § 30-3-10 and § 30-3-10.2.

How Can You Prove Parental Alienation?

Proving parental alienation is often complex because of the following reasons:

  • It can be hard to identify and define because some forms are milder or susceptible to more than one interpretation
  • Sometimes, the alleged alienating parenting could simply be telling the child the truth about the other parent
  • One person’s parental alienation could be another’s mere freedom of thought and expression
  • The “alienating” parenting could only be trying to encourage the child to form a solid relationship with the stepparent
  • The “alienating” parent could be afraid of sending the child to spend time with the other parent due to damaging habits by that parent, such as drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Some “rejected” parents often make claims of parental alienation to paint a bad picture of the custodial parent, hoping it will work in their favor. It can be hard to determine if the claims are sincere or not.

However, you can prove the behavior with the help of skilled child custody lawyers in South Jordan. They advise that you take the following steps to create a solid case to help you obtain a favorable result in your child custody case:

  • Listen carefully: Pay close attention to your child’s words and behaviors. These can give you insights into what happens when you’re not around.
  • Document as much evidence as possible: Recording all incidents that indicate alienation can be beneficial in proving your case.
  • Work with skilled legal experts: Since proving parental alienation can be difficult, consider engaging the expertise of knowledgeable family law lawyers in South Jordan. They can help you navigate the nuances of various issues around parental alienation.

Deposition of the Alienating Parent

South Jordan child custody lawyers highlight another approach to proving parental alienation: deposition. In this process, your child custody lawyers question the other parent outside of the judge’s presence. However, a court reporter or a stenographer is present to put the deponent under oath to tell the truth.

The questioning can take up to seven hours, and the deponent’s attorney can be present to raise objections to any questions asked. Nonetheless, the deponent still has to answer the question. The outcome of this questioning session can dramatically affect the outcome of a case. So, hiring experienced, passionate, and knowledgeable attorneys is crucial to structuring the deposition carefully.

A Skilled Child Custody Lawyer Helping You Deal with Parental Alienation in a Custody Case

Parental alienation in custody cases can be complex. South Jordan child custody lawyers explain that the behavior can strain the relationship between the child and their other parent, which courts strictly disapprove. If you suspect your child is being alienated to reduce your parenting and visitation time, let skilled family law attorneys know for legal assistance.

RCG Law Group child custody lawyers are dedicated to assisting clients with divorce and child custody cases. We advocate for children’s best interests and uphold parents’ rights. Our team can represent you in court to advocate for the most favorable outcome. Call us at 385-503-3663 to schedule a case assessment.

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