Father’s brother (Leader) heads up a polygamous fundamentalist religious group (Church), which some liken to a cult.
Leader not only has multiple wives, but many of them are allegedly underaged girls. For which Leader was convicted of, and imprisoned for, child sexual assault.
Father’s Wife and his Children live in the Church. Father has been repeatedly ex-communicated from the Church by Leader …
And permanently banned by the Church from any contact at all with Wife and Children.
As a result, Father is divorcing Wife. And Father was reportedly awarded temporary custody of his Children in earlier divorce or child custody proceedings.
Now, in a separate case against Wife and Church leaders, Father seeks expedited visitation with Children and legal intervention. The Church reportedly exerts actual control over physical custody arrangements for children in the Church.
Father reportedly fears for the safety and welfare of the Children generally and, in particular, that his female Children may be coerced into premature marriages with adult men.
The Utah family court judge dismisses Father’s separate child custody case, ruling that judicial economy favors handling the child custody matters concerning the Children of the marriage within the divorce case, rather than in a separate child custody case. Generally true.
But, not indifferent to Father’s concerns, the divorce court judge advises Father that he may file a juvenile dependency case in juvenile court, if he believes that the Children are being abused.
Interestingly, another father ex-communicated by the Church and barred from any contact with his children, recently won temporary visitation and timesharing in the Utah family court in a case also filed against two of his ex-wives as well as certain Church leaders.
Leader reportedly ex-communicated 1,000 people from the Church. Which may signal an approaching flood of child custody and visitation litigation in Utah’s family courts.
Read more in