Why? Because it is pointless. Just ask any person in Utah or elsewhere in the United States whose ex-spouse refused to comply with a child custody order. To tell you the truth, the police could not care less about your complaints that your former husband or wife refuses to comply with child custody and/or parent-time orders. In fact, the police does not care about the custodial interference law as a whole.
The rationale behind reporting the custodial interference to the police or the local authorities is that the parent who calls the police wants the other parent to be prosecuted for custodial interference, which is a crime punishable by law in Utah.
As a matter of fact, you cannot file a custodial interference action yourself in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah. Only a city prosecutor has the authority to do that.
Why the Utah police is useless when it comes to custodial interference
“Many people in Utah think that if their former spouse refuses to comply with a child custody order, their only legal recourse is to call the police and report it,” says our Salt Lake City child custody attorney at The Ault Firm. “Little do they know, by contacting the police, they are actually wasting their time.”
Why is calling the cops to report the custodial interference a waste of time? If you want an honest answer, you are about to get it. The police hate the custodial interference law in Utah. That’s it. This explains why the police never arrest or issue citations to those suspected of violating the custodial interference law. Not to mention that cases in which the prosecutor files charges for violating this law are unheard of.
“But this is not fair and this is probably not legal either!” you may think. And you are completely right, but there is nothing you can do about it. Many of us might also think, “I do not believe you, my situation is so shocking, outrageous, and/or horrifying that the police will most certainly enforce the law in my particular case.”
What should you do instead?
“Well, what are my options then?” you may be wondering. Let our experienced child custody lawyer in Salt Lake City explain. The most optimal option would be to file a motion for order to show cause, in which you are going to ask the judge to hold your ex in contempt of court for not following a parent-time and/or custody order.
And that’s where it gets interesting for you (and not so much for your ex). The court may enforce sanctions against a parent who fails or refuses to comply with court orders. These sanctions include but are not limited to:
- A minimum of 10 hours of compensatory service;
- Forced participation in individual counseling and classes to educate a non-compliant parent on how to connect with a child and facilitate a healthy relationship between both parents and the child;
- A fine not exceeding $1,000 may be imposed by the court if it finds the parent guilty of the contempt of court; and even
- A sentence in a county jail not exceeding 30 days.