How do i handle interference from the other parties significant other in a mediation matter?
4 attorney answers
I agree with both above. If the significant other is keeping you from getting your conversation time with your child then you should insist that your ex do something to prevent it. If they refuse or fail to prevent the issue you can seek a court order to establish a way to do so.
You may also want to take note of Mr. Pickard’s comments about the calling times interfering with the way life works in the home your child is in. It may be that reasonable minds can come up with some compromises that make things smoother for all and in the end benefit the child and your relationship with them.
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I agree with Mr. Pickard. One's significant other should exercise effort not to involve themselves in any way in the relationship between you and your child or you and your ex for that matter. New love interests are a reality post break up, but the establishment of new relationships should not adversely impact the parenting relationship. Should your ex allow the interference to continue, a motion to the Court on the issue will likely be necessary.
If you are talking about calls between you and the child that are being interrupted by your co-parent's significant other, then you can demand the co-parent act to prevent the interruptions as they interfere with your custodial contact. If they refuse, you can take them back to court for an order. If instead you are talking about calls between your child and your co-parent that are being interrupted, then that's really up to your co-parent. If they are ok with the interruption, you have little standing to complain, unless of course the child is harmed in some way.
What often happens in these "unlimited access" issues is that a parent calls too much, which acts as a significant impediment to the child's day-to-day flow. This is particularly the case when the calling parent is actively alienating the child, and the co-parent or their new partner objects. It creates a lot of angst for the parties and the child. The courts tend to take a really dim view of the over-calling and view it as more interrupting of a healthy environment than the significant other's involvement. In other words, this stuff is not looked at in a vacuum, but rather as a larger dynamic.
In any event, you would do well to sit down with an attorney to whom you can explain the details and they can then give you a better answer.
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A motion is the right approach, but I would clearly warn him in writing first that he needs to put an end to it or you will bring a motion and seek fees/sanctions.
Plus, keep in mind it will be important to have sufficient evidence of the behavior for your allegations to "stick", and if you have an audio recording, there will be much less risk that they play down the severity of the "rudeness" you describe, or maybe even deny such interruptions took place. Regardless of the rudeness, the interruptions shouldn't be taking place period. Moreover it seems to suggest the conversations are being monitored, or perhaps there is some kind of coaching taking place. The child's relationship is influenced by such things, and seeking carefully-worded prohibitions can be key to setting a boundary that is healthy for the child.
Although I would have to do a little research to be sure it wouldn't run afoul of any wiretapping laws, you might consider recording the conversations from your end. I seem to recall that in Nevada if you tell someone you are recording their conversation, and they continue to talk to you, their consent to record the conversation is inferred.
With that in mind, I would think maybe you could warn him to cease the interruptions, and warn that if they continue, you will begin recording the conversations in support of your motion from then on. This will have two potential benefits: 1) He actually takes you seriously and the issue is resolved; or 2) Another interruption occurs, you begin recording, and then when it happens AGAIN, and ONLY then, you bring your motion. The admissibility of such evidence will likely be challenged, but I think there is a distinct avenue through which it could be admitted.
Keep in mind I have never tested this theory in court, and also keep in mind I would need to refresh my memory on some of the case law and know some additional details before I could specifically advise you to follow this course of action. I would need to do research not just to evaluate the admissibility of the evidence but to rule out the possibility of civil/criminal liability.
You could always make the "threat" of recording the conversations with no intent to follow through on it, just in hopes of obtaining result #1 above.
I would welcome my fellow attorney's opinions on this subject.
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