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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 09-13-2012, 02:13 PM
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Default Phone calls?

How often if at all am I "required" to have my children call their father - I have temporary full custody. They are small, both under 8 yrs. old.

In the beginning, he would text/call a few times a day, about twice a week - and I would ask my kids to call back. If ever they did not respond immediately, he would complain to his lawyer that I was "attempting to alienate the kids from him".

He lied in his affidavit (said I used to beat him up with a bat and that I'm also so angry that I break other people's property during my "uncontrollable tantrums" - BTW, I'm all of 5 feet and 100lbs.) He also claims that my children are not fed.

Anywhoo, during the time, he began interrogating the kids - asking them what I fed them, where I took them, who was there, what they saw on tv...etc, etc. I noticed that my older one would get stressed out when talking to him on the phone.

I informed my lawyer and she asked through his lawyer that he stop questioning the children. He continued harassing me through text, so I requested via email that he no longer text me - unless for emergencies and that I would have kids CALL HIM every other day, no need for him to text me.

Well, he has begun once again interrogating the kids and now also takes it upon himself to have them tell me how I should go about taking care of them - kids will come and tell me for ex: "Daddy says to give me tylenol and an ice pack for the elbow that I bumped earlier today" - Mr man, BTW never took care of these things while we were married.

Basically, my question is - what to do now, if we solved the problem of his texting me but the questioning and interfering continues. I feel as though he is intruding in our daily lives. When the kids go with him he NEVER has them call me.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:30 PM
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Ask your ex if he wants to go to court to have someone else decide when children should call their parent and to resolve all of the other petty issues - his choice.

On many occasions when I have been sitting in family court waiting for my issues to be dealt with, I have observed lawyers battling about these very same issues. Total waste of money.

You have to shrug off his remarks and merely tell your children positive things like you think he is a terrific father who does a good job looking after them. Hopefully the positive remarks will trickle back to him and he will stop sending the negative, overbearing remarks back via the children.

He is probably just trying to set you off and obviously wants a reaction. Some people do this as a way to keep in contact with their ex's.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:44 PM
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Yep, I agree. It's called "Negative Intimacy" Some ex's thrive on it. It is their drug. They engage with you every chance they get to get a reaction. Stop reacting.

My ex calls my kids every day. I think it is too much but when I suggested less, he flipped and started discrediting me too. If he can't get us, I tell him to leave a message if he wants them to call him back. My kids never want to call back but I make them. Demand the same from him. If you want to call your kids call them. You want them to call you back, ask for it.

I don't call my kids every day they are with their dad unless they want me to. That is my choice not to disturb them. If he cannot or won't do the same don't try to make him. Allow him "reasonable access" to call the kids.
Difuse the bomb by making it a non issue and the bs he does will eventually decrease. My ex stops calling as much whenever he gets a new girlfriend and gets busy. It starts again when they leave him and he wants to engage again. You are dealing with a full blown narcessist. Read up on it and it will help you manage by understanding their insecurities.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by impendingtruth View Post
How often if at all am I "required" to have my children call their father - I have temporary full custody. They are small, both under 8 yrs. old.
1. Twice in any 7 day period for which they do not see the other parent.

2. The duration of the call should be the combined age of the children.

Also, remind the other parent that the duration should be expected to last about their combined age in minutes but, that if they talk longer to the other parent it won't be a problem. As well, that children of their ages have short attention spans and it isn't a reflection on you or the other parent if the children only talk for the time of their combined age (say 6 minutes) or less. Consistency of the access is the key element.

Good Luck!
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by impendingtruth View Post
In the beginning, he would text/call a few times a day, about twice a week - and I would ask my kids to call back. If ever they did not respond immediately, he would complain to his lawyer that I was "attempting to alienate the kids from him".
I would recommend you consider setting up a access call schedule. Just make an official offer to settle that outlines the call access schedule. If you can do it, I highly recommend you recommend doing the calls via video conference calls. It is more beneficial to the children and requires a schedule to coordinate. So you can set a schedule that on Monday at 7:00 PM there will be a skype call, with video, originating from your children to him.

This curbs the "call any time" game that a lot of parents play. As well, visual and audio contact with the other parent is a much better form of access. They will get way more out of a video based call than a legacy "telephone call".

Quote:
Originally Posted by impendingtruth View Post
He lied in his affidavit (said I used to beat him up with a bat and that I'm also so angry that I break other people's property during my "uncontrollable tantrums" - BTW, I'm all of 5 feet and 100lbs.)
As always with allegations of abuse, there has to be cogent and relevant evidence to support any claim like this. Police incident reports, doctors reports, actual witness accounts who saw this conduct, etc... Not just a blanket statement or some story typed into an affidavit. A judge doesn't accept that which is put into an affidavit as "truth" based on a single accounting from the alleged victim.

False allegations of intimate partner abuse are common before the courts and many people fabricate them or exagerate the interactions with the other parent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by impendingtruth View Post
He also claims that my children are not fed.
Not fed? That is a stretch to claim against someone as a blanket statement in an affidavit. Sure the judge wasn't impressed at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by impendingtruth View Post
Anywhoo, during the time, he began interrogating the kids - asking them what I fed them, where I took them, who was there, what they saw on tv...etc, etc. I noticed that my older one would get stressed out when talking to him on the phone.
Now, I would be very careful with interpreting his intentions. What is he supposed to talk to the kids about if he has every other weekend access or less? Should he not ask what the kids did at daycare too that day? How the weather is? Both your children are under 8, these are common questions that a parent would ask when coming home from work of their child.

What did you have for lunch at daycare?
Did you have fun at daycare?
Did you see your friends?
Who is your best friend at daycare?
What did you do with your best friend at daycare?

It is how you get to know your child, be involved in their lives and demonstrate you are interested in their lives and want to know about them, how they feel and are interested in what they are doing.

What do you propose he should be saying on the phone? What should an example conversation with the child be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by impendingtruth View Post
I informed my lawyer and she asked through his lawyer that he stop questioning the children. He continued harassing me through text, so I requested via email that he no longer text me - unless for emergencies and that I would have kids CALL HIM every other day, no need for him to text me.
Move all communications between the parents to Our Family Wizard. Get off SMS now as it is not immutable, not persistent and anything you get on it is useless evidence. SMS can be spoofed easily to appear from any phone number.

Tools to simplify shared child custody. - Our Family Wizard - child custody, parenting time

If you want to rely upon anything being stated to you and contain the over communications... OUR FAMILY WIZARD is what I strongly recommend (or a similar platform).

Quote:
Originally Posted by impendingtruth View Post
Well, he has begun once again interrogating the kids and now also takes it upon himself to have them tell me how I should go about taking care of them - kids will come and tell me for ex: "Daddy says to give me tylenol and an ice pack for the elbow that I bumped earlier today" - Mr man, BTW never took care of these things while we were married.
That isn't an example of interrogating the child. It is also doesn't demonstrate you in the best light as a parent in my opinion. Furthermore, you are interpreting what children, by your own statement, who are under 8 years of age are telling you.

Try to see the statements from your children's eyes, at their level of perspective. You raise something like this in an affidavit as evidence and the judge will NOT be impressed with YOU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by impendingtruth View Post
Basically, my question is - what to do now, if we solved the problem of his texting me but the questioning and interfering continues. I feel as though he is intruding in our daily lives. When the kids go with him he NEVER has them call me.
OUR FAMILY WIZARD

Tools to simplify shared child custody. - Our Family Wizard - child custody, parenting time

How long are the children with him? If just the weekend then generally a Custody and Access evaluator wouldn't recommend that the children have to call you. If the children want to call you they should be allowed to but, it should be up to the parent to decide on a 2 day span what is appropriate. See my other posting for the general guide lines for access telephone calls.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:17 PM
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Fed Up with the system View Post
Yep, I agree. It's called "Negative Intimacy" Some ex's thrive on it. It is their drug. They engage with you every chance they get to get a reaction. Stop reacting.
On the other hand, it may be the interpretations of an over anxious parent trying to play "child psychologist" before the court by having their lawyer claim what children under 8 years of age say.

These are always the most gruesome motion hearings when one parent presents hearsay from their child against the other parent and attempt to use it to "gain control" over the other parent by trying to state they are "interrogating" the child.

I highly do not recommend this kind of conduct before the courts and if truly emotional harm from statements are being made that the Children's Aid Society get involved rather than trying to use it as "evidence" against the other parent.

First thing a judge will think is... If what is being said is so dangerous... Why didn't you call CAS? Why is this even in the affidavit? This is hearsay evidence from a parent claiming something that was said to them by the child was said to this child by the other parent. How does this reflect on the parent who even puts this kind of "evidence" into an affidavit? What does this say about the counsel representing them to even commission this affidavit? Who is truly the highly conflicted litigant in this matter? The parent who based on hearsay is supposedly saying something or the parent who actually puts this stuff into an affidavit or correspondence through their lawyer?

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:25 PM
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:33 PM
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:34 PM
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