Ms Storey was asked:
Can my son’s dad deny me my right to Skype with my son because he got his computer taken away for “bad” behavior?
My son is 12 and lives with his dad in TX. I live here in Colorado with our daughter.
Lately my ex husband and his girlfriend came up with the idea to take my son’s computer away if he “misbehaves”. I have been trying for the last 3 weeks to get a hold of my son. We usually Skype every Sunday but in the last few months it has been very hard to get a hold of my son because they keep taking his computer away from him for disciplinary reasons. They take his phone as well. I understand that he needs to be disciplined for not behaving but is it right to not let me, the mom, Skype with my son? I am very upset about this and would like to know if there is something I can do legally.
Ms. Storey’s Answer:
Discipline should not include interrupting contact between parent and child. Have you contacted your former husband and made arrangements as to specific days and times that you and your son can Skype and speak by phone during these periods? That will allow the contact between you and your son to continue, and also help your son respect the boundaries of the discipline. Additionally, your son will see his parents are a common front, working together.
If you have tried to coordinate with your former husband, and he has taken the position that no computer and phone means no contact with you, review your Parenting Plan. Most contain specific provisions for telephone or similar contact. I would think this would be especially true given the two state Plan you seem to have in place. If your former husband is violating those terms, put him on notice that you expect his compliance. If he still fails to comply, relief can be sought from the court. I am not sure where the case is located, Texas or Colorado, but Colorado has a specific statutory provision for disputes concerning parenting time compliance. Best of luck to you
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