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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13880
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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My daughter has custodial physical custody in Ct and the

Customer Question

My daughter has custodial physical custody in Ct and the father has visitation the baby is 15 months old The father cut his hair too short two times in the last two visits and never communicated he was going to do so to me he also sprays the baby's clothes every single time he gets visitation with strong perfume when he gives him back we had the pediatrician write a note to stop but it still continues every visit One visitation the baby got asthma reaction immediately after his visit with the father the baby had to go straight to the hospital because of allergies is this contempt can anything be done my grandson has a sleepover two days every other weekend he comes back very upset he hits our faces and pulls yanks our hair and just looks us in the eyes confused he didn't have this behavior till the two day overnights what Can we do
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The baby and mother live with me I'm the maternal grandmother
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The father will not speak at drop offs he silent it's been hostile since day one the baby's mother is a full time college student and has worked the father is pt employed he demanded child support and joint custody from the mother my daughter
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Nothing is going right all on their part they are hostile we are willing to do anything to make it stop especially perfuming and cutting the baby's baby locks hair off and not asking or communicating they were going to then we mention it and they did it again him and his mother
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
All a lawyer says is get evidence have a pediatrician write a note court is September 6 2016
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you. I'm sorry to hear your grandson is having a difficult time with visitation.

What you are describing is not contempt. Contempt occurs when a person violates an existing court order/agreement. For example, if the custody agreement said that the father was never to cut the child's hair, and he does anyway, he could be held in contempt. Quite honestly, in my professional opinion based upon experience, I think a judge would tell the parents to "work it out" between themselves and that these aren't issues that need to come before the court. If talking to the father about the issues (more specifically the spraying of the clothes which is causing an allergic reaction) isn't getting through to him, then the mother may want to try a letter from her attorney to stress that his cooperation is necessary for the well-being of the child and that if it continues she will consider going before the judge.

Mom can certainly petition the court to modify the agreement to have a provision added that the parents will each take care not to use heavy perfumes, lotions, sprays, etc. around the child to prevent any allergic reaction. She can also petition the court to change the visitation agreement to stop overnight visitation, although she would have to show that there is some sort of danger or harm coming to the child by him staying overnight with the father (e.g., he is coming back with bruises, constant diaper rash from not being changed, dirty, etc). I understand he is acting out when he gets back, but at 15 months, it's hard to know what is going on. It could very well be that the child has difficulty adjusting to being away from mom and then coming back. What I'm telling you though is that without some sort of substantial change, the court will be reluctant to change the agreement.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The parents were told to communicate at the past court dates only the mother communicates about how the baby does never the father he ignores her completely anything she asks or tries to tell him about the baby . He also will never communicate through email and the court ordered that if he did communicate it was a hostile two letter word NO and no explanation it was always related to can we change visitation hours by one hour because of rush hour or sitting in traffic too long if the court said numerous times you have to communicate about the child and he doesn't is this contempt ? Also he only has visitation does he still have the right to cut the baby's hair without asking ?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Unless specifically court ordered not to, yes, he can have the child's hair cut without having to ask. Much like he wouldn't have to ask whether he could dress the child in a certain outfit or take him to the park, he doesn't have to ask the mother for permission. That is something as I said that a judge would typically say is not for a court to decide (family courts are not there to micromanage every detail about how parents are to raise their children). I think mom needs to communicate with dad in email --and if she talks to him about the child over the phone or in person follow up via email -- and save all communications or lack thereof from him. Then she can show the court at a hearing that she's been trying to talk to dad about A, B, C and D and he doesn't care. I think then she's in a better position to seek modification of the custody agreement because it shows dad isn't acting in the best interest of the child.

If the court ORDERED that he communicate via email about the child with mom and he refuses, that's contempt. But a judge just saying from the bench something like "You need to do a better job of talking to mom about your son" isn't contempt if he doesn't do it. It has to be in a written order/agreement.