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Misteps We See in Utah Divorces

Misteps We See in Utah Divorces

So you’ve decided to get a divorce and think you know what to do. But time and time again, people make the same mistakes and suffer because of them. Keeping in mind some of the following tips throughout your divorce can benefit you both emotionally and financially.

Here are some of the most misteps we’ve seen during a divorce:

Revenge – going out of your way to be vindictive. Many people have been hurt by their spouses and use divorce as a way to get back at them. A great deal of time and energy can be wasted if you allow anger and resentment to influence your actions in a divorce proceeding.

Refusing mediation – or delaying it. Rather than immediately embarking on an adversarial divorce to attack your spouse, it can be helpful to consider mediation. Even if you and your spouse aren’t getting along, the assistance of a mediator could be what you need to navigate a smoother road towards separation. The mediator can help you understand which of your demands are reasonable and which are not customarily sustainable.

Involving children in your divorce is always a mistep. One of the biggest mistakes parents make is involving their kids in a child custody battle. Children should be left out of all arguments between adults. Making kids choose sides can have negative effects on their emotional well-being and create long-standing damage you will regret.

Ignoring health concerns – get the help you need now. A divorce can be a stressful time of your life. It is important that you don’t neglect your own health during the proceedings. Eat well, exercise, and if you find yourself suffering from depression, contact a professional for help.

Using Your Child as a Weapon

Even in the best of circumstances, divorce is usually hard on children. But a manipulative parent can force children to choose sides through hostile aggressive parenting. This type of action can lead to what is known as parental alienation syndrome  — a situation in which one parent turns a child against the other parent.

Actions that constitute aggressive parenting

Any vilifying words or isolating actions the parent employs to alienate your children from you may be considered hostile, aggressive parenting. Some tactics the parent might use include:

  • Denigrating, disparaging and belittling you in front of your children
  • Making malicious and untruthful comments about you to your children
  • Refusing to speak to you
  • Withholding messages you have sent to your children
  • Not answering the phone when you call
  • Suggesting to your children that they should refuse visitation time with you

  • Manipulating your children’s time to interfere with your opportunities to see them
  • Excluding you from important events — such as the children’s birthday parties or school functions
  • Discouraging your children from communicating with you
  • Failing to inform you about crucial issues in your children’s lives
  • Encouraging your children to treat you with disrespect
  • Giving your children the impression that you don’t matter or don’t love them

Preparing for a Child Custody Evaluation

You and your spouse have argued incessantly over who should get custody of your children. You’ve tried negotiations and mediations and cannot reach an agreement. You have now asked a judge to decide. In Utah, the court is instructed to decide on a custody and visitation arrangement that is in the child’s best interest. A child custody evaluation is designed to assist the court in making this crucial ruling. Conducted by a psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker, judges typically rely heavily on the recommendations made in the custody evaluations.

What to expect from the child custody evaluation

The primary objective of the evaluation is to offer an opinion — backed by the evidence collected during an intensive investigation — as to which parent can best serve the needs of the children. The custody evaluator considers relevant issues, such as family dynamics, parental interactions, cultural issues, parenting attributes and the children’s individual educational, physical and psychological needs. The assessment may include:

  • Interviewing each parent
  • Talking to family members
  • Meeting with educational, health care and childcare providers
  • Reviewing relevant documents
  • Evaluating the child
  • Conducting other appropriate tasks

The custody evaluator will provide the detailed report to the judge or court commissioner and may be called as a witness to testify at your custody hearing.

Divorce Lawyer Free Consultation

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will 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