Father never returns phone calls, so I can speak to child, while child is in his custody, what can I do?

Asked about 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

I have primary physical custody of my 6 yr old child. Child goes with father during summer, per court orders. I call every 3 days to try speak to her for a few minutes. The most I call is 2x and not in a row and leave a polite message to have our child call me back. I wait and wait, and he does not bother. Court orders say we have to keep phone communication available to the other parent when child is in custody. I follow through, and never prohibit his communication to child when she is my custody and return his phone calls with her on the phone, in a timely manner. Its been a wk now and I haven't received a call back or message. I don't want to blow up father's phone or leave abrupt messsages, I find it immature. My child is my focus, our mother/daughter relationship is important to me.

Additional information

It has been a week since I spoke to my child (child's grandmother has child call me when she has child), but 3 1/2 weeks that this has been occuring.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Cathleen Elisabeth Norton

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    Answered . You may need to bring this issue to the court's attention. In doing so, you want to document the times of your attempted calls, and dad's lack of a response. You may also want to consider suggesting to dad that you use Skype or some other form of video conferencing so that your daughter's communications with you seem more "real" since it is difficult to get a 6 year old to stay on the phone more than a few minutes.

    I suggest you speak to a family law attorney to explore the legal options available to you. While you do not want to over-react and take the matter to court, it may be necessary before any more damage is done. I am including some links below regarding custody and visitation and parenting plans which you may find helpful. Good luck to you.

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  2. Rebekah Ryan Main

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    Answered . My suggestion would be specific orders saying that father will place a phone call to mother at a specific time on specific day. Then if dad fails to do that you can ask the court for a sanction because he would be clearly and obviously in contempt.

    Best of luck to you.

    Attorney Rebekah Ryan Main

    If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer. It’s easy and appreciated.

    This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges.

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