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Is it reasonable for a father to demand to Skype with our…

Is it reasonable for a...
Is it reasonable for a father to demand to Skype with our son every night? We were busy Friday/Sat/Sun and he is very upset about me not Skyping with him. Will I get in trouble in front of a judge about this?
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
11/21/2017
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 15,221
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Good evening,

I would say that this is not reasonable. "Reasonable" phone/Skype contact is not defined in the law anywhere. Obviously, what's "reasonable" for one situation may not be reasonable for someone else's situation. Both parents should work to be flexible and accommodating regarding telephone contact. Two to four times a week is pretty typical, although you need to take into account the child's age- younger children often lose interest quickly and may not want to talk on the phone as long as older children do (again, this varies widely with the child).

Due to each parent's differing work schedule and outside activities, regular telephone contact may be difficult to arrange. A non-custodial parent has to understand that things are going to come up - school events, a child being sick, appointments that run late, people going on vacation, etc. Daily phone contact, while admirable, isn't reasonable, and I don't see a judge having an issue with you so long as you are not intentionally going out of your way to deny contact.

Some non-custodial parents will misuse telephone access in the form of a control issue or 'power-play'. They may insist on calling every single night, or 3 or 4 times a day- an excessive amount in most instances. These kinds of issues occasionally find their way into court, oftentimes to little or no effect. Judges dislike dealing with these kinds of low-level disputes, and many consider it a waste of their time. In short, it is rarely worth the cost in time and money to engage in formal litigation over telephone contact issues, and would be far better if it could be settled between the two of you amicably, but if it cannot be, then you may have to go to court to amend your visitation/custody agreement to spell out exactly when contact via phone/Skype will occur and make sure your son is available on those days and times.

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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
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