Common Ways Parenting Time and Telephone Access to the Other Parent Creates Feelings of Imposition:
1. Non-custodial parent wanting calls daily to increase their involvement in child’s life.
2. Custodial parent wanting to check up daily during the non-custodial parent’s parenting time.
3. Safety concerns create a reason to feel there is a need for a check in.
4. Calling at Inappropriate Hours During the Other Parent’s Parenting Time
5. Disagreements about cellular telephone access at a young age.
Finding a solution to telephone access during non-parenting time:
1. Does one parent get to buy a phone for their children to use during the other parent’s parenting time?
First, when the non-custodial parent insists on buying a phone against the wishes of the custodial parent, judges often allow the parents to make their own decisions on their parenting time. Meaning, if the non-custodial parent wants to buy the children a phone, the children are permitted to use it during that parent’s time, but the other parent who doesn’t want it can take the phone away on their parenting time. Obviously, this largely defeats the purpose of such a phone purchase. However, depending on the age of the children, judges might allow this to happen.
For instance, if it is a 13 year old, it is commonly accepted that a phone is an appropriate thing for such a child to have, so the judge might allow the purchase and force the other parent to accept it.
2. How often are calls appropriate?
When dealing with the issue of how often calls are appropriate, judges typically specify a two or three call a week schedule, laying out specific days and times where the children need to be made available. Other times, the judge will order something like “both parents must make the children available to speak on the phone for reasonable duration, with reasonable frequency, and at reasonable hours.
Typically when children are old enough to have their own phone, the judges will allow the children to monitor how much they talk to the other parent and make their own decisions. Every situation though is unique, and it always boils down to what a judge believes is in the best interests of your specific child.
Hopefully this answered some of your questions about how parents can deal with telephone access to the other parent during their parenting time. We addressed some common ways this often creates problems as well as common ways judges tend to deal with the issue. It is also common that people are quite able to allow children to have this access and make it work well for both parents. It can be very helpful for the child to feel that both parents are involved throughout the week even during the other parent’s parenting time. When this is possible for parents to work out it very frequently has benefits for the child.