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Author Topic: BM not allowing phone calls  (Read 2504 times)

snowrose

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BM not allowing phone calls
« on: Jul 06, 2009, 03:30:13 PM »
DH has had custody for 18 months.  He got custody due to BM's BF being abusive to my SD who is 9.  Due to the BF, they had supervised visitation through last summer and so they didn't have any summer vacation schedule.  But this year BM is supposed to have 2 weeks of uninterrupted vacation time with SD.  There are only a few problems. 

1 A few weeks ago BM decided she didn't want SD calling *her*, so now she's assumed she somehow has a right to tell SD that she's not allowed to call her father!  We've told BM that per the custody order she must allow SD to call DH when SD is with BM - but we have no idea how well that's going to work.  (The custody order allows for "reasonable telephone access".

2 SD just told us the other week that BM's BF has started drinking again.  CPS had determined that the BF became abusive because he was drinking and he was to go to AA to keep him from drinking.   BF was in a snit over their cat last weekend which scared SD (due to her experiences with him abusing her) and she asked to come home to us but BM told her no.

We are really worried about what will happen with their two weeks of vacationtime.  They seriously aren't capable of handling SD.

What would you do about the contact problem? 

I've seriously thought that if SD can't call us and if BM gives us trouble with talking to SD, that we just might call the police and let them do a "wellness" check.  At that point I think that BM would be more likely to let us talk to SD on the phone.


MomofTwo

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Re: BM not allowing phone calls
« Reply #1 on: Jul 06, 2009, 04:02:52 PM »
There are two issues here...1) She has not actually violated any court orders as of yet so you can't do anything about that  and
2) generic orders like "liberal phone contact" are very hard to enforce. Reason being, what you consider reasonable is certainly not going to be her definition of reasonable and therefore hard to enforce or get contempt on.
 
You have a very good idea, but be aware - if you call one or two days and don't get a response, that really is not appropriate yet to call and have a check done.  It may need to be several days of no response.  Additionally, can you get the child a cheap pay as you go phone and give it to her and tell her to call?? Show her how to work it, enter the numbers she can reach you.... I did that for my children and it worked, but she (Mom) may flip, but its worth a shot.  You can get them for as cheap as $15.00.
Also, for future, consideration, if it does turn out to be a problem of Mom not allowing her to call, file for either a modification or clarification and get specific phone times for when child is with her.  Specific orders are easier to show contempt on if she vilolates the order.

Kitty C.

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Re: BM not allowing phone calls
« Reply #2 on: Jul 06, 2009, 04:09:18 PM »
Welfare checks are certainly a good option...at least at this time.  But if you do call local law enforcement for a welfare check, also let them know the history of the case (especially of the BF and the drinking).  Provide them with a copy of the order....they may or may not want it, but offering it to them also shows that you have no 'ulterior motives'.  But also make them aware that IF the child has to be removed from the home for safety reasons, that they bring her to YOU and not put her into the foster system.  If they understand they history and realize what the child has already gone through, they should understand that the less trauma and stress for her, the better........and 'remind' them gently of this if need be.

Your approach with LE should be one as an ally.....that you and they are working together to alleviate a potentially dangerous situation.  Treat them as such and their cooperation will go a LONG way.  Be even the least bit confrontational in any way and that cooperation will come to a screeching halt.  I've worked (and even dated in the past) with local LE and I have a pretty good idea of what they will and will not tolerate.

If they do a check and let you know all is well, ask them how often you can legitimately ask to have this done.  Let them know that your main concern is the safety of the child and that she already is somewhat scared of the situation.  If they are willing to work with you, they should be able to give you some idea.  And if it appears they are agreeable, ask if it's possible for extra patrol in the area of BM's residence, for all the same reasons.  At worst, all they can say is no, but you won't know until you ask.  If it's a large metro area, they probably won't be able to do that, but if it's a more urban or rural area, they just might agree to it.

It's possible that one of two things will happen if the above wheel is set in motion:  either BM will realize she is being watched and will mind her P's and Q's...or it will piss off the BF to no end and he does something stupid again.  Just hope that if it's the latter that the collateral damage is minimal.......
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

snowrose

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Re: BM not allowing phone calls
« Reply #3 on: Jul 07, 2009, 08:24:27 AM »

You have a very good idea, but be aware - if you call one or two days and don't get a response, that really is not appropriate yet to call and have a check done.

We wouldn't even think of it unless we hadn't heard from SD for a good 4 or 5 days.  We know that SD is so uncomfortable that she wouldn't go any longer than that without trying to call us. 
 
It's not like SD'll be busy and forget.  BM only takes her while they'll be working and they'll be working the entire 12 days that they're taking her, so they won't be doing anything.  (They won't take her on the 2 weekends they have off on either side of that time, even though that would add up to the full 14 days that they're allowed to have her.)
 
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Additionally, can you get the child a cheap pay as you go phone and give it to her and tell her to call??

There's a problem with this.  Back in Nov/Dec SD was refusing to try to extend to overnights at BM's.  She was afraid because of what she'd gone through there.  So working with her therapist we gave SD a cell that only calls 911, so she would have a way to call out in an emergency.  We told her not to tell anyone, but she told BM about it anyhow in the mistaken belief that BM would allow her to use the phone in an emergency.  (BM and the BF have taken the phone from SD before, but I guess SD needed to believe in her own mind that BM would protect her - but BM won't.  BM will protect the BF first - and has.  That's why SD was taken from her.)
 
Anyhow, since BM knew about the first cell phone if we get another cell phone there are two possible scenarios here.  1) SD will once again tell BM about the cell, and BM will confiscate it.  2) BM, knowing about SD previously having a cell, will search SD's minimal luggage, find the cell, and confiscate it. 
 
Of course, BM might not look for a cell, but then again she might.   
 
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Also, for future, consideration, if it does turn out to be a problem of Mom not allowing her to call, file for either a modification or clarification and get specific phone times for when child is with her.  Specific orders are easier to show contempt on if she vilolates the order.

 
Thank you!!  That's an excellent fall back option.

 

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