Communication about your child when the other parent is exercising custodial time or visitation – what is required? In the area of family law, there are many considerations for our clients that they find extremely stressful. None more so than issues child custody. When two people are in a child custody dispute, it is generally because both want to spend as much time with their child as possible. We have given many examples of how child custody is determined and how visitation is allocated.
In this blog, we will talk a little bit about the rights of the parent that is not currently exercising custodial time. Specifically, we discuss the rights to communication about the child. Like all our blogs, this is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.
While the child is away
The following specifically addresses what happens when the child is not currently in the care and custody of a particular parent. Meaning, this is intended to be an explanation of the rights of a parent who’s turn it’s not.
Do I have the right to know what my child is doing while they are away?
Typically, when a parent is exercising custodial time with his child, the child custody order would prevent the other parent from interfering. On a most basic level, what activities the child is doing with the other parent, where he is taking him, and what board games are being played with him are matters that do not necessarily have to be disclosed on a minute by minute updated basis (some people not only expect that but they demand it, believe it or not).
Urgent and important items, however, must be disclosed to the other parent. Examples of this type of required communication include but are not limited to:
- Where the goes to school
- If the child had any major injuries or health concerns
- If the child is involved in any dangerous activities
- Whether or not the child is seeing a therapist
- Who is babysitting the child
- Whether not the child is leaving the country for a long period of time
What if I don’t like what my child is doing while he is away?
Typically, the parent exercising custodial time controls that custodial time as he or she sees fit. For example, if they a father wants to use his weekend so that his mother can spend time with her grandchild, he is free to do that, and he does not have to communicate this to the other party, unless other circumstances exist. North Carolina courts want parents to have free access to their children without interference when they are exercising their custodial time or visitation.
Any major decisions regarding health, education, and religion that cannot be agreed upon are usually left to the provisions of the legal custody portion of the child custody order.
Child custody matters can be very complicated, very stressful, and lead to many questions. Expert advice is paramount because in the end, nothing is more important than your child. If you are in need of a child custody lawyer, contact us.