New Jersey divorced parents who do not reside with their children can easily contact them via texting, calling or FaceTiming. However, there may be times when a custodial parent may want to stop the noncustodial parent from doing so.
Family courts are not eager to issue an order barring communication with the noncustodial parent unless there is a valid reason such as abuse or neglect. Without such an order, a parent cannot legally prevent the other parent from communicating with their child. If this does occur, the parent who is being blocked will have legal recourse. The family courts will likely create schedules and rules for telephone calls if there are disputes about too many video calls, text messages or phone calls the noncustodial parent makes, or if communication with the child has been completely denied.
Custodial parents who have a valid reason, such as a history of domestic violence, for limiting or blocking a noncustodial parent’s communication time with their children may encounter difficulties if there is an existing court order that stipulates the children should be accessible to phone calls. Unless the threat is criminal in nature, the custodial parent should make sure to document all occurrences of harassment and its effects and seek remedies in court. Parents who are considering completely ending all of the noncustodial parent’s communication with their child or who want to just limit the communication should consult with a child therapist.
Family law attorneys can often help their clients navigate the court system as they try to achieve a resolution to their child custody disputes. However, in some cases alternative approaches such as mediation might be possible and have less of an adverse effect on the children.