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Do I have to supervise video chat visit if he's not ordered to have supervised visitation?

Spokane Valley, WA |

My kids dad wants me to be a part of all the visits he gets (video chat). I can't always be around since my work schedule doesn't permit. The PP says he gets once/week video chat for up to 60min on the same day/time every week. He's threatening to file contempt charges against me because he wants me in the visit because the kids (5, 7, & 8yrs old) won't stay and talk for the whole 60min. They go off and play. He says I'm violating the PP by not being there to make sure they stay put for the whole hour. Sometimes I have to have a friend or family member around while they video chat because I have to work. He isn't ordered to be supervised during the visits and I have a desktop in the living room where they visit. The PP ONLY says that he gets 1 video chat, UP TO 60min per week. Any advice?

Attorney Answers 3


NO. If the PP is silent on the issue, there is no way you can be in contempt of court.

Please note that THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and are for informational purposes only. This response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is only based on the limited facts given. The response might change should additional facts be learned and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who can properly assess the situation, as well as all pertinent facts, prior to taking any action based on the foregoing statements

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It likely is unrealistic to expect the children to sit in a room and chat with someone for an hour. Most children around those age likely would run off after talking with someone for a few minutes.

It would be strange for a judge to order that you stay and talk with someone with whom you have ended a relationship.

You should review carefully the court orders. If the orders do not specifically require that you be present, you should not be found in contempt of court for not being present.

If the parenting plan is not working out, perhaps you have a basis to ask the court to take another look.

On another hand, it does cost money, time, and effort to go to court. If the video chat is the only problem, perhaps you and the father can work out some sort of compromise. If a compromise is not achievable, perhaps you can wait for the father to file a petition with the court.

You should review the specific facts with your attorney to find out your legal options.

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You won't be in contempt unless you block or hinder the dad's visitation or contact with the kids. I've never seen the court order the custodial parent to stick around to force the kids to stay on a video chat. It’s always best to consult with a good family law attorney to discuss the details before you act. See my AVVO Legal Guides on contempt motions for more information about the legal issues raised by your inquiry. Please keep in mind that although these Legal Guides are often informative, they are no substitute for legal advice from an attorney you have retained for consultation or representation. There are always exceptions to the general rules. Click on my photo. On my AVVO home page click on "Contributor Level - View Contributions" or scroll down further and click on "Contribution - Legal Guides." Scroll down the list of my 31 Legal Guides and select the topics relevant to your question. If you like my answer and Legal Guides, please make sure you mark them as “helpful” or “best answer”. © Bruce Clement

©Bruce Clement. This AVVO Answer is provided for general educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree and understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the attorney responding, and no attorney-client confidentiality. The law changes frequently, and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information provided in this Answer is general in nature and may not apply to the factual circumstances described in your question. The applicable law and the appropriate answer may be different in the State or States where the relevant facts occurred. For a definitive answer you should seek legal advice from an attorney who (1) is licensed to practice in the state which has jurisdiction; (2) has experience in the area of law you are asking about, and (3) has been retained as your attorney for representation or consultation. Your question and the attorney’s answer may be used for promotional or educational purposes.

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