Dayton, OH asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Ohio

Q: If my children are in a different time zone than what our court order states- what time zone do we follow?

Our court order states “ Father shall be permitted to have contact with the children by phone,

Instagram, Facetime, skype or similar electronic media a minimum of three

times per week for a maximum of up to one hour. The days and times may be

agreed upon by the parties. If no agreement, they shall be on Monday,

Wednesday, and Sunday between 6:00 and 6:30 PM.”

Our court order is based in ohio, she lives in Texas. The times were set based off what she told our GAL she was available for. She has been consistently late, cuts my time at exactly 30 minutes and refuses to speak to me or allow me to make up time that I missed due to her not communicating. The courts know the children are in a different time zone, but our order doesn’t state which time zone we are to follow. She is demanding we use a parenting app as her new husband doesn’t want us speaking. But the app is not in our court order- she’s been any where from an hour to 30mins late each time. Is it contempt?

2 Lawyer Answers
Raquel Ann Parish
Raquel Ann Parish
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Delaware, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: The history of the parties plays a big role in how they conduct and carry out the terms of a shared parenting plan or child custody visitation order. Given the complexity of any case with a GAL etc there must have been some temporary orders in place while the case was pending. How were phone and video calls handled while the case was pending? This can give a clue as to how they should be handled after the case is finished. When communication of the parents is not addressed in any court order or local rule there is no requirement as to how the parents must communicate. Due to litigation purposes and for evidence related purposes it is much easier to extract messages from emails or a parenting app which keeps track of dates, times and other details. Emails and parenting apps also help to prevent confusion about the history of any communication.

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: Using the app can be helpful. Try to work it out. Or check if your decree requires mediation of any issues before you can file in court. If not resolved, then file with the court for a determination of which time zone applies.

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