You have a job that requires you to travel extensively, so you accepted a custody plan that left your child mostly in your ex-spouse’s care. You do much of your regular visitation via electronic means – like video calls, chat apps, phone calls and text messages.
The only problem is that your co-parent occasionally (or often) restricts your child from their electronics as a form of discipline. Since this interferes with your ability to communicate with your child and your only method of regular visitation, is this allowed?
Probably not. Here’s what you need to know:
Your co-parent can’t interfere with your parenting plan
Once you have a parenting plan in place, your co-parent has to abide by that agreement – and that includes any provisions that make it easier for you to preserve your parent-child relationship through electronic means.
If you have an official agreement regarding electronic communication with your child to facilitate long-distance parenting, you need to remind your co-parent that they have an obligation to uphold it. They’ll have to find another way to discipline your child.
If you do not have a parenting plan in place (or it doesn’t address this particular issue) and your co-parent isn’t willing to accommodate your needs, you can ask the court for a modification of your custody agreement to resolve the dispute.
Custody agreements always look into the best interests of the child, and that includes each parent’s ability and willingness to facilitate contact between the other parent and the child, so you have some pretty strong ground to stand upon.
Sometimes a co-parent simply isn’t thinking about the repercussions on your visitation rights when they react to a frustrating situation with a child. Other times, cutting off their electronics can actually be a ploy to actively disrupt your ability to connect with each other. If you cannot resolve the issue quickly, find out more about your legal options.