My ex-wife will not allow me to have private phone calls with our son. She is the custodial parent, but we have joint decision making on all decisions regarding the kids and they stay with me three weekends every month.
Is there anything I can do?
I do not practice law in your state and therefore cannot provide you with specific information or procedures. However, I can offer you some insight to your situation to be discussed with a family law processional whom practices in your jurisdiction.
If your state’s laws are similar to Pennsylvania, there are two types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. The physical custody is the actual location of the children. Legal custody is who has the right to make decisions about education, religion, and medical matters.
The physical custody schedule does not affect a parent’s right to make decisions pertaining to the children. In most jurisdictions, physical custody and legal custody are specifically addressed in the order of court.
It appears as though you have a custody order setting forth both the physical and legal custody provisions.
Telephone contact is not typically a legal custody issue. If telephone contact is not addressed in your order, you may be able to seek relief through the court by presenting a motion to address this matter and ask that a provision be included in your custody order.
If there is a provision in your custody order that does not permit you to have private calls, you may wish to consider filing a request to modify the custody order. The court can add provisions into an order or modify a provision in an order if deemed appropriate.
The court may require a hearing if there is a dispute as to if privacy is warranted or in the best interest of your child. The court may make this decision based on the past circumstances of your case. For example, if a party is able to prove that the other parent is negatively discussing them or the pending case, the court may limit the privacy and permit both parties to participate in the phone call.
I cannot provide you legal advice so please consult an attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.