Facetime for Toddler

My current temporary custody order stipulates 3 video calls per week with my 19 year old daughter’s father. There is no mention of how long these calls should be. I have historically been extremely accommodating and allowed him to facetime for up to an hour, and often allowed him to facetime several days a week as opposed to just three. Recently, he’s said extremely inappropriate things to me, used facetime as a way to harass me, and shouted at me in the presence of my toddler to the extent that I had to just disconnect several calls. I would like him to agree to a certain length of time for these video calls and my husband has taken over facilitating them. My ex doesn’t want a time limit imposed and wants to be the one to decide when the call should end. My toddler doesn’t have the attention span to engage with these calls for much longer than 15 or 20 minutes, especially without me there keeping her occupied. What would a judge likely deem an appropriate length of time for these video calls? He is refusing to agree to a set time limit. I already offered to do facetime more frequently but for 20 minutes at a stretch and he refused. I just want some structure and boundaries. Will the judge just leave it up to us to decide on the length of time? Our permanent custody hearing was postponed due to Covid-19 and I have no idea now when it will be rescheduled. Thank you!

FaceTime calls are usually for as long as the child will maintain their focus and attention. Since this is not reasonable in your case due to the father, then the judge would likely put a cap on the length of the FaceTime calls. You could expect the length to be no more than 10-20 minutes. One hour FaceTime calls with any age child is a very unreasonable duration.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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