If you have a parenting time agreement you need to play close attention to your child's behavior & whether your parenting plan is in the best interest of your child.
Paying attention to his or her behaviors and deciding whether or not there's something that you need to do differently or you need to work with the other parent on. You need to make sure that your child is above all happy. When you're in the middle of a custody case it really is all about the children. I've talked about in many of my videos how everything that the judge is going to consider points to what's best for the child.
I'm raising this issue because I just got out of court and in this particular case it really should be an easy case result. But it hasn't been unfortunately because from my perspective the father is really angry and bitter and he's trying to control the mother. So at a prior court hearing the parties agreed that when the other parent was having parenting time with the child that the parent who was not having parenting time was going to have a phone call a day with the child. It was actually the father who requested these phone calls. The mother consented and she said no problem. Let's set the phone calls between this time and this time. Each of the parties can talk as long as the child wants to talk.
What ended up happening is that the child doesn't really want to talk much to father on the phone and I guess that's upsetting to the father and it's upsetting to the child. So now the father has changed his position and he's decided that he doesn't want the phone calls to happen. So he has asked the mother to stop the phone calls. So when the child's with one parent the other parent would not get any contact with the child.
In talking to mother I told her that this was a situation where the parties had made a parenting agreement and she had every right to insist on him following this agreed upon arrangement if that's what she wanted to do. She agreed but said I would love to talk to our child when he's with Dad but this is what I'm observing when the child's with me. When it's time for the phone call with Dad and Dad calls the child might be involved in playing with his siblings and his cousins and he's having a fabulous time and that's what children should be doing. The child is totally distracted. He has the phone call with the father and then he comes back and he's crying and he's upset.
He goes in his room and shuts himself in. So she said I really don't think that it’s best for these calls to continue. She said by the same token when I call to have my telephone call while the child is with father, the child is really nervous on the phone. He's worried that I'm mad at him and he's worried that the father's mad at him and she said I just don't think it's good for these calls to continue right now.
So I was really surprised and I was pleased at mom's position on this because there's so many people out there who would have insisted and said no I need to have contact with the child because I want to know how they're doing and this is an agreement that they made. But really what mom is looking at just what's going to make the child happiest. She is putting her child first in her custody case. Now Mom doesn't have any concerns about Dads parental fitness or anything like that. And there is a lot of other factors that could come into play in different types of cases. You have to look at those as well but Mom’s head was at and is in the right place because she's looking at what is best for the child and what's making the child happy.
As a side note the child is having some problems and mom is hoping that the parties can explore counseling for the child to help him work through these problems. The child is about seven years old so counseling might be appropriate in this situation and by all means look at that if you think it might help in your case.