District Court, Provo Department The Honorable James R.
Taylor No. 024402553
Michael Phillip Blocker, Appellant Pro Se.
W. P. Morrison, Matthew G. Morrison, and Justin T. Morrison,
Attorneys for Appellee.
David N. Mortensen authored this Opinion, in which Judges
Michele M. Christiansen Forster and Kate Appleby concurred.
We previously considered this case in Blocker v.
Blocker (Blocker I), 2017 UT App 10, 391 P.3d
1051, and remanded it to the district court to enter findings
of fact to support its ruling granting Kirsteen Didi Blocker
(Mother) unsupervised parent-time with her now
sixteen-and-a-half year old son (Child). Michael Phillip
Blocker (Father) appeals the district court's post-remand
judgment. We affirm.
Mother and Father were married in 1997, separated just weeks
after Child's birth in 2002, and divorced in 2004. Mother
and Father were awarded joint custody, with Child's
primary physical care and residence being with Mother. In
response to Father's petition to modify custody and
concerned about the detrimental impact of Mother's
behavior on Child, the district court granted sole legal and
physical custody to Father in 2010 (2010 Order). The district
court ordered that Mother's parent-time be supervised
until she "changed her mind set with regard to her own
parenting abilities and Father's relationship with the
child." Blocker I, 2017 UT App 10, ¶ 4,
391 P.3d 1051 (cleaned up). But concerned that supervised
parent-time would be impractical for financial reasons, the
court permitted Mother to have unsupervised parent-time
provided that she retain a special master and participate in
individual therapy by herself and joint therapy with Child.
Id. Until she verified compliance with these
conditions, Mother's parent-time remained supervised.
In 2014, in response to Mother's motion to modify the
2010 Order and based on a home study report, the district
court temporarily granted Mother unsupervised parent-time.
Id. ¶¶ 5-6. Nearly one year later, having
received no other evidence or testimony, the court decided to
make Mother's unsupervised parent-time permanent without
entering any findings of fact. Id. ¶ 7.
Father appealed, and we determined that the court had made
its order granting unsupervised parent-time to Mother
"permanent without explaining the basis for its
decision." Id. ¶ 16. Because the court
modified the parent-time requirements without providing any
findings, we concluded that we were unable to review its
decision and remanded for more detailed findings.
Id. ¶ 21.
Regarding the changed circumstances, on remand the district
court made the following findings of fact: (1) Mother had
continued professional therapy; (2) Mother and Mother's
father were maintaining a relationship with Child by going to
Father's house and being allowed to spend time with Child
in their car, at the curbside, for about one hour, two to
three times a week; (3) Father's brother (Uncle)
supervised visits between Mother and Child during the
Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays without problems being
noted; (4) Child was allowed to sit and visit with Mother and
her family during a church Christmas program without
incident; (5) Mother was allowed to speak by phone with Child
two to three times per week; (6) Child was older when the
district court modified parent-time; and (7) Child had
received substantial therapy at the time the district court
modified parent-time. The court also identified three
circumstances that rendered the 2010 Order unenforceable: (1)
the parties were unable to afford the cost of supervised
exchanges, supervised visitation, or the services of a
special master; (2) the therapist identified in the 2010
Order to oversee therapy of Mother and Child was no longer
available; and (3) the agency assigned to supervise
Mother's parent-time in the 2010 Order was no longer in
business in Mother's geographical area.
Regarding Child's best interest, the district court on
remand noted that both parties "wished to reasonably
accommodate a relationship between [Child] and
[Mother]." The court explained that "curbside
parent time . . . was not in the best interest of [Child]. He
needed a more reasonable and less artificial opportunity to
know his [Mother] and her family."
The district court further described the process by which it
granted Mother unsupervised parent-time. Because parent-time
supervised by Uncle had been "successful and without
incident," the court concluded that Mother should be
allowed to exercise unsupervised parent-time on a temporary
basis. At the time the district court modified parent-time,
Mother had been exercising unsupervised parent-time for
nearly one year without any reported incidents. Although
Father speculated that Mother was engaging in "parental
alienation" during her parent-time, the court noted that
Father offered no evidence to support this contention. The
court concluded by pointing out, "[Child] was 6 years
older and in spite of the curbside restrictions and other
difficulties over the years, he and [Mother] had developed
and continued to maintain a positive parent/child
relationship." And with regard to Mother, the court
noted that she had "demonstrated an ability through the
evaluation and her practice over several months to maintain a
reasonable relationship with [Child]." Thus, the court
concluded that it was ...