29 Jan 2011

Judge reverses custody order, allows Mormon polygamist father unrestricted access to kids even though practice illegal

The Salt Lake Tribune - Utah December 18, 2010

Judge allows children to visit father in polygamous community

By Lindsay Whitehurst

A judge has reversed a custody order barring a Juab County man from talking to his children about his religious belief in plural marriage and taking his children to the largely polygamous community he lives in.

“The court received no evidence that any of the petitioner’s children, adult or minor, have suffered real harm or will suffer substantiated potential harm as a result of his belief in the practice, even though the practice is criminal,” 4th District Judge James Brady wrote in a Wednesday decision.

Joseph Compton’s wife filed for divorce last year after he refused to stop seeing a woman interested in becoming his second wife and refused to renounce his belief in polygamy. Joseph Compton, 50, has not entered into a polygamous relationship since, according to court documents.

“To restrict parent time based on illegal conduct may be appropriate, but the illegality [of polygamy] on its own is not sufficient to warrant restriction,” Brady wrote. His decision gives Kathleen Compton custody of their four minor children but allows their father unrestricted visitation.

The decision reverses an October 2009 temporary custody order issued by 4th District Judge Donald J. Eyre, who said exposure to polygamy would entail “unnecessary and harmful conflict” with the children’s monogamous upbringing. The couple have eight children: four adults and four minors, whose ages range from 6 to 17.

Kathleen Compton, 47, testified in a November court hearing she is worried her children might become polygamists one day if they talk to their father about the practice and spend time in the approximately 800-member community, where the majority of people belong to the Apostolic United Brethren, also known as the Allred Group.

“I am not afraid he is going to hurt them physically. I’m afraid they’re going to join the group or marry someone in the group,” Kathleen Compton said. “As their mother I will do anything to protect them.”

Kathleen Compton and her attorney could not be reached for comment on this week’s decision.

When the Comptons married in 1983, Joseph Compton was a mainstream member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But about seven years later, around the time they had their fourth child, Joseph Compton began studying the beliefs of the early or “fundamental” LDS church, which include polygamy, according to court documents. The mainstream LDS Church renounced polygamy more than a century ago.

In the early 1990s, the family moved to Missouri, after his brother, an AUB member, offered him a job, according to court documents. In the subsequent years, other women told Kathleen they were interested in becoming plural wives to Joseph, but she refused, according to court documents. In 2007, the family moved into a house in Mona, across a highway from Rocky Ridge.

After they separated, Kathleen got an apartment in Pleasant Grove and Joseph moved into a room in a house in Rocky Ridge, where two couples also have residences. Since Eyre’s ruling more than a year ago, Joseph Compton has visited with his children at her apartment.

“I love my kids and it is my sincere belief they wish to spend more time with me,” he said. “I feel very grateful, very relieved.”

This article was found at:



Mormon polygamist fighting custody order, claims his right to free expression overrides his childrens' rights to safety

Judge reduces father's equally shared custody of kids to 4 hours a week because he is agnostic on religion

Australian judge rejects mother's abuse claims, gives sole parental responsibility of daughter to father in remote cult


Australian woman ordered by court to leave daughter in abusive cult she escaped set to appeal ruling

Australian judge allows girl to remain with father in religious cult, rejects mother's claims of abuse and denial of human rights

Custody Disputes Often Ignore Evidence of Child Abuse

Interview with psychologist Jill Mytton about religious abuse [VIDEO]

Court finds Exclusive Brethren's use of children as weapons in custody disputes is "psychologically cruel, unacceptable and abusive", but father still loses access

New Hampshire court orders home-schooled Christian girl to attend a public school

Child-Custody Deal Favors Escapee of Notorious Cult 'The Family' aka The Children of God

Court terminates parental rights of Alamo cult members to protect the rights of their children, 90 children still being hidden

Freed from Bountiful: a mother wins a custody battle

FLDS survivor fears losing her kids after taking stand against the abusive cult

Manitoba judge rejects custody bid by neo-Nazi parents who painted swastikas on kids to promote racist views

In Satanist's custody battle, law may play devil's advocate

Armed militia family cult in ten-year standoff with law enforcement, hiding kids from father

Britain's highest court rules in custody case that Islamic law discriminates against women

No comments:

Post a Comment