It's normal to want to keep in touch with your children when they leave for visitation with the other parent. Unfortunately, sometimes exes, their new partners, or even the kids' grandparents purposely restrict communication attempts. Your kids may not even realize this is happening, though the adult blocking contact may claim the kids don't want to speak with you. If the other parent or guardian is withholding communication between you and your children, there are a few steps a family law attorney can help you take.
1) File for child custody
If you don't already have a child custody agreement, you should consider getting one. Your custody order will spell out clear times when the children are with each parent or guardian. A child custody attorney can also request that the judge add a provision regarding phone calls or emails between each parent and their children. For example, your court order may say that each parent can speak with the children for 5 minutes per night at 7 p.m. or once per weekend.
2) Modify your current custody order
If your ex or another adult is alienating you from your child, you can file a custody modification with help from a family law attorney. In your modification paperwork, you can explain that you are being denied a reasonable communication schedule with your children. Your judge can modify the custody order to provide a clause that outlines rules for communication, plus consequences for when they are broken. This may include contempt charges, which will be described in more detail below.
3) File a contempt motion
Sometimes a custody order isn't enough to make the other parent comply with legal requirements. If your ex continually refuses to let you speak with the children despite having communication guidelines outlined in your custody order, speak to a family law lawyer. A family law attorney can help you determine whether filing a motion for contempt against the other parent or guardian can help you protect your relationship with your children.
4) Request co-parenting counseling
Co-parenting counseling is a neutral space for each parent to air their grievances with the other. During counseling, you can create a phone or email schedule together so that you can each have reasonable contact with the minor children. If the other parent refuses to attend co-parenting counseling with you, a child custody attorney can file a motion requesting mandatory therapy for both parties.
Many parents purposely withhold communication between their children and the other parent. This can make the kids feel abandoned or unloved, so it's important to put a stop to restricted contact ASAP. If you're having a hard time contacting your kids, talk to a family law attorney about how you can resolve this matter.
For more information, contact a local law office, like James W Bodiford Jr Law Office.