Category Archives: Parenting Plans

What Can You Do When the Other Parent Stops Communicating About Your Child?

A father asks on Avvo about resolving a communications issue with his ex-wife:

My ex-wife of six years has not been communicating with me about our son, who is 14. I have tried every avenue to reach her, with no response. My son, with whom I’ve had a great relationship, is suddenly acting differently and won’t talk to me. I moved to Florida last year to be closer to my gravely ill mother, and it is important for [me to receive] those updates. My ex-wife leaves my son home with his grandmother, who lives there and is now diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. There seems to me to be a breach of a parenting plan. (She has physical custody, but we have shared legal custody.) I have no news on my son’s health, school, or emotional well-being. What can I do?

Simple answer to a tough situation for the father in the above scenario: He needs to retain an attorney and exercise his legal right to access and order that he be communicated with. It sounds like he has no other choice.

What Can Be Done When One Parent Does Not Follow the Parenting Plan?

A divorced woman posted on Avvo recently:

My ex-husband is trying to have my daughter go out of state with his girlfriend’s mom and pick her up the next day so that his girlfriend can go to the dentist. According to the parenting plan, if a parent requires child care by a person who does not reside in the home for a period to last longer than four hours, then they have to offer the other parent the opportunity to parent the child during that time. What can I do legally? Can I involve the police if this person takes my child? He is also refusing to give me any contact information for this person.

I responded to the woman that I would certainly memorialize these concerns via e-mail prior to the ex-husband’s actions – especially the lack of contact information and the leaving the state. She should call the police if she has specific concerns about this person (i.e., violent history or sexual offender). Otherwise, I suggested threatening a contempt motion and making good on your threat. (And checking in with an attorney in her area as to the specifics, especially as a contempt finding would gain her fees paid.)