Q: I was just wondering what the responsibilities are for a Custodial Parent with Joint Custody?
Non-Custodial, FOC, lives in a different state. He will not call our children, at all, and says it’s my responsibility to make sure they talk to him. Our children do NOT want to talk to him. When I have them call every 2-4 days it’s a constant battle. They cry and get upset. Then I’m left forcing, bribing and Coercing them into talking. They even leave the room when we end up calling. I ask them daily if they want to call and I am always told no. They are 5 and 8. I do not want to force them to talk to someone who they have said has been abusing them, mentally, physically and sexually. Is it my legal responsibility to maintain that relationship between them and the FOC? We just finished trial due to him trying to terminate my parental rights after disclosures of abuse. We still have Joint Custody as me as the Custodial Parent. He gets one weekend a month of supervised visits. What repercussion would I face if I stopped having them call and let FOC be completely responsible of calls?
A: If there is a court order that order must be followed. What do you mean by FOC?
A: Even though they do not want to talk to the FOC, if there is a court order then you must adhere to that. However, the times chosen to make that contact still have to be reasonable times. In other words, he cannot force you to have the contact at 3:30 in the morning. Best bet, try to keep talking to the children and explaining the importance in following what the judge has ordered. In the meantime, you may pursue a modification.
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