Telephone Visitation/Calls w/ young children


#1

This sounds, to me at least, as though your stbx is trying everything possible to keep the stress level high. If he really wanted to talk to his son, he would call regardless of when. He’s trying to control the situation.

You have done the right thing by letting him know that he is welcome to call at a designated time. If your court order does not specify anything about telephone communication, then it is up to the parents to work that out. You are not violating the order by requesting that communication be initiated by the father. If your son were a little older, I think it would be alright to have him call his father. Since he is so young, it would actually be you calling him. Actually, it sounds as though he’s hoping that the name of your roommate will show up on caller ID or that he’s going to attempt to show the court that you are refusing to allow him contact with the child.
Since he has forbidden you to contact your child during his time, then I would suggest that in the next e-mail you put in a scheduled day and time that you will call your son while he’s with his father and that will be the same schedule that he is allowed to contact the child while he’s with you. Ex: “You can call on Wednesday anytime between 6:30 and 8pm. This will be the same day that I will call our child while he is in your care. If the phone calls take place at any other time, I can not assure you that he will be available for you to talk to him. If we can not agree on this, there will be no guarantee that there can be any communication between you during my custodial time.”

If you are bending over backward to try to accomodate him and give him the necessary time with the child and he is not working with you, then joint custody can not work. Joint custody can only work if the parents are able to communicate and work together to raise the child separately. It’s a constant struggle and the child’s best interest should always come out on top. But as with most ex’s, yours sounds as though he’s more about keeping stuff stirred up than about what’s best for your child. Unfortunately for you, you must put your foot down on every little detail until your stbx understands completely that your life is no longer his concern.


#2

I am standing firm without being rude. He agreed with a schedule just a bit ago but still wanted me to call. I told him he is more than welcome to call his son between 6:30pm and 7:30pm tonight on my cell phone (the time frame he asked me to call him.)

I also let him know I would tell our son he was calling and he’d being waiting by the phone and that I was more than certain he’d be happy to hear from him.

I am documenting everything. I am standing firm and doing my best to not lose my temper. These are small issues/steps the last few days for me but they have been huge shoves back for him. Even if I wasn’t granted the DVPO I made it clear no more controlling and manipulative behavior will be tolerated.

The callschedule will also be very good for our son. It establishes a schedule that can help provide structure for him.

Thank you for your input and advice.


#3

Is there any particular reason you are reluctant to call and hand your son the phone?

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Sutton Station
5826 Fayetteville Rd. Suite 205
Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (919) 321-0780

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#4

I have tried that in the past and he always tells my son to hand the phone back to me and use it as a time to verbally attack me. I have also dealt with the issue that he asked for me to have him call, I give him a time frame and he does not anser and I have to keep calling back.

The calls are about him and our son. They are about maintaining a father/son relationship, they are not an oppurtunity to be rude and pick a fight with me.

It is better for our son to establish a schedule for us to be sitting by and waiting for a call from “his daddy.” Rather than us attempting to call and him not answering and me trying to explain it to a 3 almost 4 year old, he gets quite upset when he doesn’t answer.

He also needs to take a step forward as a parent. He is living out of state (approx 8 hours away) for a military school. He declined his summer visitation, though he could have found a daycare there and had our son for the summer.

That aside, he called and spoke to our son. He had a good conversation that lasted until our sone was done talking (6 minutes, long for a child his age.) I do not tell him to hang up, I let him talk until he doesn’t want to talk anymore.


#5

You might find the situation less stressful if you did not tell your son in advance that you were calling. Have you tried calling one time leaving a message that his son would like to talk to him and then not worrying about it? You do not have to be chained to the phone, just return phone calls when they are made and call when your son wishes to do so. It might be easier if you don’t let your son know his father is supposed to call at a specific time. If he asks for the phone to be given to you simply take it and say, “Please email me any issues, have a nice day,” and then hang up. He only has the opportunity to use the phone calls to fight with you if you allow it. If you refuse to engage he can’t do it.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Sutton Station
5826 Fayetteville Rd. Suite 205
Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (919) 321-0780

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#6

My STBX keeps texting me and emailing me asking for me to have our 3 (almost 4 year old) son to call him.

I sent him an email 13 Aug 08 telling him that he was more than welcome to call our son 2-3 times a week sometime between 6:30pm and 8 pm and that if he let me know the dates in times in advance I would clear our schedule to ensure he was available and waiting by the phone.

He emailed asking again today for me to have our son call him. In the past I have done this, but I want to see him step up to the plate. So I sent a copy of the previous email to him and told him the same thing again.

Our joint custody order does not discuss phone calls what-so-ever, it only discusses physical visitation. I think he is refusing to call becasue he has forbidden me from calling our son during long visits with him.

That aside, am I wrong with the 2-3 times a week - a set time frame and telling him he is welcomed to call his son himself? Am I violating our court order with this? Do I have to have our sone call him becasue he asks me to have him call or is it okay to make him call his son?

Thank you.