Q: I have a niece in Utah who is 17 she is getting ready to graduate, she wants to move with her dad to Missouri mom say no
I also just found out that her step dad got handsy with her, she went to her grandparents and told them, they told mom. Mom does not believe her but she did tell him to leave, she told her father but she will not let her talk to her dad without mom in same room she wants to know what she tells her dad. My niece's dad does not know what to do or what can be done about the step dad because we believe that the mother will not report it to the authorities or any legal channels because she does not believe her. I don't know what to do or how to help my brother or my niece, I live in Texas he lives in MO. and my niece is in utah with her mom and grandparents. PLEASE help me help them they need it so bad. Thanks
A: Under Utah law, until a child turns 18 or emancipates, the child must live where any court order says the child must live.
Under Utah law, everyone must report any believable allegations of child abuse or neglect (including getting "handsy") to either law enforcement or the Division of Child and Family Services, Child Protective Services (DCFS, CPS). If you know of someone that your niece has told about the allegations of sexual abuse, they should report it to one of these authorities for investigation. The father can also bring a child protective action in the Utah juvenile court.
Under Utah law, generally a child/parent have the right to communicate/speak without being monitored by the other parent, but this can be different depending on the actual court orders regarding custody and parent-time, so it is advised that the father seek legal counsel to review the existing court orders.
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