Thursday, August 8, 2013

Limiting Healthcare to Homeopathic Remedies Against the Other Parent’s Wishes = Sole Custody to Other Parent.

Clarke v. Clarke, 2012 UT App. 328, Utah Court of Appeals, November 23, 2012

At trial, Mother was awarded sole legal and physical custody of the parties minor children, was awarded 100% equity in the marital home, and husband was found in contempt.  Father appealed.

Father asserted that he was the primary caregiver and that the Court did not give proper weight to Mother’s conviction for custodial interference.  However, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s award of custody finding that Father’s antipathy to scientific medicines and his refusal to have the children immunized caused the court concern for the safety and health of the children.  Further, the Court made no finding as to which parent was the primary caregiver.  Parents worked opposite schedules and cared for the children while the other was at work.  Father could not show that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding Mother sole custody.

Court awarded Mother all the equity in the marital home to reimburse her for the inheritance she received and used to pay of Father’s premarital debt which Father agreed he should repay.  The Court affirmed the award and found that Mother should not lose the benefit of her inheritance simply because it was inverted into Father’s debt.

The Court found that there was adequate grounds for the finding of contempt, however, the Court reversed and remanded the calculation of attorney fees to be limited only to the fees accrued for the contempt hearing and not amounts accrued prior to contemptuous conduct.

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