The brother of Warren Jeff, the purported leader and prophet of the Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who is serving a life sentence in a Texas prison for sexually assaulting underage girls who he claimed were his wives, is facing his own legal troubles. The polygamist leader recently went through a legal dispute with his first wife regarding custody of their children.
The brother is believed to be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the religious sect, which originated from the traditional form of Mormonism that proselytized that members would receive exaltation in heaven by being polygamous. However, Mormons abandoned this practice in 1890. The man's estranged wife presented evidence in the couple's child custody case, claiming that she believed that the religious leader would hide or ship away the children. The evidence included audio recordings of large trucks moving near the compound, which the wife believes is a sign that children are being moved across the Utah-Arizona border. Earlier in 2015, police had to intervene when followers of the purported prophet blocked a former follower from taking her children. The religious leader did not attend the hearing.
After the hearings, the couple agreed on shared custody of the children, a 17-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl. The two agreed on child support, which will drop down after the boy turns 18. The religious leader also agreed to pay for the children's medical expenses, education expenses and the boy's vehicle. The religious leader also agreed to pay up to two-thirds of his estranged wife's living expenses. The children will primarily stay with their mother, but the father is allowed time every other weekend and for longer periods of time in the summer.
Child custody is often a contentious issue when parents are ending their marriage. A family law attorney might endeavor to negotiate an agreement on behalf of a divorcing parent that is in the best interests of the child and which can obtain court approval.