Meaning Of "Reasonable Telephone Contact"


#1

Our custody agreement states “The party who is with the children will allow the other parent reasonable telephone contact with the minor children.”

I have purchased cell phones for both my daughters and he has their phone numbers. However, they don’t always want to talk to him (he calls every single night and they sometimes are busy or otherwise occupied and don’t want to talk to him). I don’t encourage nor discourage this behavior. They are 9 and 11 years old and very mature for their ages. Both are straight A students in school. I don’t feel that they should be FORCED to talk to him if they don’t want to. However, he seems to think that every night is “reasonable” contact and if they don’t talk to him, he verbally berates them until they feel awful. He also has gotten his new girlfriend to also guilt them into it. However, when THEY call ME on the weekends that they’re with him, he yells at them to get off the phone.

Do they HAVE to talk to him when he calls every single night? What exactly is considered “reasonable contact”? I have provided cell phones to them and he has their phone number. In my eyes, it should be up to them if they pick up or not.


#2

There is no hard and fast definition for what constitutes “reasonable telephone contact.” It would be up to a judge to decide upon the facts and circumstances of an individual case if there was such reasonable contact or not. If the children have their own cell phones, and he has their phone numbers, then I do not think you have to worry too much. He has a direct line to the children and you are not prohibiting nor discouraging them from speaking to him.