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Dirty Utah Custody Case Tricks to Watch Out For

DIRTY TRICK NO. 1: AVOIDING SERVICE.  People will go to great lengths to delay the inevitable, and step number one is avoiding service.  This can be especially devastating if you are trying to serve a restraining order on the party to prevent them from moving your child out of the state.  An experienced Utah Custody Lawyer will know the “tricks of the trade”, so to speak, and will be able to help you serve those papers on the opposing party and get your case rolling. When it comes to child custody, be aware that sometimes it may be hard to get service effectuated.

Dirty Utah Custody Case Tricks to Watch Out For

DIRTY TRICK NO. 2: SHOWING UP AT THE FIRST HEARING AND ASKING FOR A CONTINUANCE TO GET AN ATTORNEY, EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE ALREADY HAD WEEKS OR MONTHS TO DO SO.  The person who currently has the most legal rights over the child is not anxious for that to change, and is motivated to delay the proceedings.  This is one of the most common ways that they accomplish this. An experienced Child Custody Lawyer can help you keep the opposing party from abusing this trick, although they may receive one continuance to obtain an attorney.

DIRTY TRICK NO. 3: FAILING TO PAY THE GUARDIAN AD LITEM, IN ORDER TO KEEP THE GAL FROM DOING THEIR JOB.  When a GAL begins their investigation, this represents the possibility of change.  For the party who does not want anything to change, this is a threat.  The GAL does not start work until they have been paid the fee, which is usually split in some fashion between the parties pursuant to the court’s order.  The party who sees the GAL as a threat sometimes delays or refuses to pay the GAL’s fee, with the result being the GAL does not begin work, and the process is delayed.  An experienced Utah Custody Lawyer can advise you regarding how to deal with this problem and make sure the GAL starts work despite the other party’s resistance.

DIRTY TRICK NO. 4: THREATENING THE CHILDREN.   This dirty trick is especially loathsome.  Most people do not threaten the children physically (although some do, unfortunately).  This is usually more of a psychological threat to the children, such as “if the court gives Daddy what he wants you won’t ever see Mommy again (or your dog, or your sister, etc.).  It is a terrible thing to do, for any reason, but unfortunately it happens all too often.  The threat is designed to sway what the children will say to the Guardian ad Litem or the Commissioner.  If this happens to you, your Utah Custody Lawyer will know what to do, and you should tell them immediately.

DIRTY TRICK NO. 5: HOPSCOTCH COUNSELLING.  Sometimes people put their child in counseling right around the time of litigation, in order to (hopefully) solicit some information from the child during counseling that will help their case.  This tactic is suspect if the need for counseling arose right around the time the litigation was initiated.  Then once the child has made a statement which the parent believes is detrimental to the other parent, the other parent is invited to attend counseling.  After that, with very little contact with parent B, and getting most of their information from Parent A, the parent who initiated counseling and has a litigation agenda, the counselor makes statements to the guardian ad litem, which the guardian ad litem almost always follows because the counselor is an “expert”.  Although counselors are not supposed to make recommendations regarding custody, as a treater, all to many of them do not know this, and will produce a letter supporting the agenda of the parent who sought them out and gave them most of their information (and is also pressuring the child).  Even more suspect is when the counselor is someone that the lawyer recommended.  Even more suspect than that is when Parent A did not get the desired result from the first counselor, so they move on to counselor B.

In this situation, it may be toxic for Parent B to become involved with the counselor at all. Before having any contact with the counselor, Parent B should speak to his or her experienced Utah Custody Lawyer and carefully plan his or her response to the situation.

Free Consultation with a Child Custody Lawyer

If you have a question about child custody question or when you need a family law attorney, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506