Here at Hepworth, Murray & Associates, parents don’t come first, the children do. So when there are allegations of child abuse, we pay attention and seek supervised visitation under Utah Code Section 30-3-34.5 when necessary.
When is Supervision Needed?
It is Utah’s policy that divorcing parents have unrestricted and unsupervised access to their children. More importantly, it’s a parent’s fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution to raise their children. Supervision is necessary when the child would be subject to physical or emotional harm or child abuse, as described in Utah Code Section 76-5-109.
A court that orders supervised visitation must give preference to persons suggested by the parties to supervise, including relatives. If the court finds that the persons suggested by the parties are willing to supervise, and are capable of protecting the children from physical or emotional harm, or child abuse, the court will authorize the persons to supervise the parent-time. If the court is unable to find a capable and willing person to supervise the parent-time, the court may require that the supervised parent seek the services of a professional individual, such as a social worker, to supervise. Costs to be determined between the parties.
Can Supervision be Modified?
When the court orders supervision, it will provide specific goals and expectations for the noncustodial parent to accomplish before unsupervised parent-time is removed. The supervised parent, at any time, may petition the court to modify the order for supervised parent-time if the parent can demonstrate that the specific goals and expectations set by the court have been accomplished.
Sadly, Utah has a high rate of child abuse. http://kutv.com/news/local/utah-has-high-rates-of-child-abuse-sex-abuse-of-children . If you suspect your child is being abused, please contact Child & Family Services. As a children’s’ rights law firm, we are here to help.