Cell Phone


My 9 yo son came to my house with his father’s old smartphone. He apparently gave it to him to play games on. It has wifi capabilities and when connected (which it does automatically apparently), it has internet capabilities. I always closely monitor my child’s use of the internet and electronics. Upon inspection of this phone, I found tons of emails and texts that my ex left on the phone. I discovered that many contained disparaging and hostile remarks about me which he sent to various family members and friends. I questioned my ex as to why he left those on there given that he gave the phone to our child who could obviously read them. He became upset and accused me of invading his privacy. I explained that this phone was in the possession of our minor child and connected to my wifi so I had the right to inspect it as the internet can be a very dangerous place for kids. Was I wrong to inspect the phone to see what he was being exposed to? I also learned that he gave our 9 yo son his email password. For what reason, I don’t know. He shouldn’t be exposed to those types of remarks as I feel it is emotionally harmful.


As with any issue regarding a dispute between parents regarding custody, I would first look to your order or agreement on child custody. The document may in fact address these issues. If not, consider revisiting child custody to address them. If you think your son should not have access to cell phones and email and your former spouse disagrees, it is something that needs to be addressed. If you have an order or agreement on custody, check to see if it has a clause prohibiting either parent from making disparaging remarks in front of the child. If so, you could argue that your former spouse has breached this by leaving bad remarks about you on the phone that he gave your son.