Thanks to the advances in technology, it’s easy for a noncustodial parent and a child to keep in touch. With these technological advances, courts have begun awarding virtual visitation, particularly when parents live too far apart to make regular visitation practical. However, sometimes, a parent may not want their child’s other parent contacting the child at all. Courts are generally very reluctant to put such an order in place barring abuse, neglect, or some other extenuating circumstance.
Unless a court order authorizes such action, one parent can’t block another parent with custodial rights from contacting their own child. Otherwise, the blocked parent will have legal recourse through the family courts. Courts are typically agreeable to creating phone schedules or policies when there are disputes about excessive phone, video call, or text message contact that a noncustodial parent is making, or if one parent has been denied access.
When to Block Communication
If a noncustodial parent is harassing their child, or you, via phone or text message, or if they have a history of abuse or domestic violence, then it might be a good idea to limit or block communication, at least until the offending parent can get some help.
These situations can be very tricky, particularly if there is already a court order in place that requires a child be made available for phone calls. So long as the threats do not rise to the level of criminal threats, involving the police may not provide much benefit. Typically, a parent’s recourse is through the family courts, however, a parent may wish to consult with a child counselor or therapist before making the decision to entirely block or even limit communication between noncustodial parent and child.
If a parent is seeking to limit or block communication, contacting a qualified family or child custody attorney is highly advisable. Additionally, documenting all incidents of excessive contact, or harassment, including any harmful effects, will be beneficial in preparing the petition to modify a court’s prior order. Furthermore, an attorney may be able to achieve a negotiated resolution which can provide more certainty than requesting a judge make the decision.
Blocking Is Shocking
Divorce and child custody can unfortunately be messy legal battles that embitter parents toward one and other. What’s worse is that the children are innocent victims of the bitterness.
Parents that attempt to prevent a noncustodial parent from calling or texting their child might be doing more damage than they think. And while one parent may think that their former spouse, or the other parent, is an awful person, passing that subjective view on to children does the children a great disservice. If a noncustodial parent wants to be involved in a child’s life, it may be in the best interest of a child to allow the involvement, but limits may be necessary depending on the specific details of the familial situation.