Child's phone privilages withheld is that larceny


#1

I have been divorced since 2007 and have joint physical and legal custody of the minor children from the marriage. My daughter was given an iphone by the other parent as a gift at the start of the school year. Daughter has posted “Look at my new phone”, other parent “look at daughters new phone” etc which say’s to me it’s the daughter’s phone. Daughter got in trouble at school with phone, texting, snap-chatting and going on the internet more than a few times. Daughter stays with me every other week and last week I took the phone away from daughter as a consequence for her using it in direct conflict with school policy for a week time period. Daughter then decided to go to other parent’s house that evening and hasn’t returned to my home. Other parent’s significant other confronted me, saying the phone is not daughter’s it is actually theirs and to return it or it is larceny and they will press charges. Other parent went to Sheriff’s office this morning and got message to call back as Sheriff says report made by other parent (not signif) that the phone is hers. I do not feel that a child having consequences for actions is larceny. I am the legal guardian of the child and can withhold privileges; phone, TV, or contact friends as I see fit for inappropriate behavior.

Basically as one of legal custodians of our children is it larceny of the phone, if the phone is and has been in the child’s for the past 3 months, and now all of a sudden it’s the other parents???


#2

First, you should always look to the language of your order or separation agreement. Is there a clause addressing punishment? Do both parents have to agree to punishment, or may you unilaterally make this sort of decision while the child is in your care? As far as the larceny issue goes, you cannot withhold his property under the auspices that you are punishing your daughter. You should return the phone to avoid any further issue regarding the phone larceny. It imagine the bigger issue here is that your order needs to be revisited. Undoubtedly there have been changed circumstances since your 2007 order was entered. I would suggest making a motion to modify custody and make sure your new order addresses punishment.