I deploy for 2 1/2 months to the Middle East as a contractor. My divorce is almost final, and my soon to be official ex and I arranged, a while back, for me to call once a week so I can talk to my daughter when I was gone. Because she is unreasonable and has been using our daughter against me to get certain things her way, she will now not let me talk to her. We agreed to joint custody but she's not letting me talk to her out of her own personal anger and hatred towards me. She feels that I don't deserve my daughter and is hell bent on tarnishing our relationship for her own gain. I see her when I'm home but 2 1/2 months is a long time not talking to her. She is almost 6 and don't want her to think I don't care. What can I do about this?
Child Abuse Lawyer
This is a difficult question to answer without knowing what the status of the divorce filing . I strongly urge you to retain an attorney to represent your interests ESPECIALLY if you will/are out of the country.
Was there a Temporary Order entered with the Court? If yes, was the telephone contact written in the Temporary Order? If yes, file a Motion to Enforce that portion of the Temporary Order if you are not getting telephone acess [tell your spouse you will file a Motion to Enforce if you are deployed and she does not allow the telephone contact]. If there is no Temporary Order, you should get one in place so all parties know what their rights and duties are while the divorce is pending, and also so that you have something to "enforce."
Also, active military that are deployed can ask the Court to award their periods of visitation and access to another person that they designate. Usually it is a relative, grandparent, new spouse, other relative but it does not have to be a relative. The designee will take the child during the periods of possession. You are likely getting "standard visitation." So, you may want to consider requesting to have a designee during the times you are deployed...that way you will have open and complete telephone access to your child. The Courts will now also grant Skype, email or other forms of electronic communication if properly requested in your pleading and in the Final Decree.
I strongly urge you to contact an attorney in the county where your divorce is pending. Contact the local bar association in your county for family law attorney referrals.
DISCLAIMER: This answer does not constitute legal advice and no attorney client relationsip has been, or will be, created until a valid engagement agreement is signed. No duty arises from this posting. Answers posted here are general and made with limited knowledge of the actual facts of your case. Always speak with an attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction if you wish legal advice specific to your case.
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Speak to your attorney about this. You can included electronic communication in your divorce decree as a supplement to visitation. Specific times when the child will be available so you can speak to her on the phone or video conference with her. If your ex violates this order you will have remedies.
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Child Custody Lawyer
You can have your lawyer include language that you have weekly, bi-weekly or daily communication with your daughter in the Final Decree of Divorce or even in a Temporary Order. If your wife refuses to follow the court order on the communication, then you can go back to court and have her held in contempt. More importantly if a spouse cuts off communication between a parent and child, it may be ground to be named the primary managing conservator of the child and designate the child's residence.
This information in my answer is not intended to be legal advice because I do not know the particulars of your case.
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