Illinois parents who have gone through a divorce and who have primary physical custody may wonder if they can prevent the other parent from contacting their child via text, phone or video call. In general, as long as the other parent has some custodial rights, this is not permitted. If a parent attempts to do so, the noncustodial parent may be able to take legal action.
However, there are circumstances in which one parent might feel that doing so is necessary. If the other parent is harassing the child, it might be necessary to limit or block communication. This may also be the case if the other parent is abusive. A parent should document the harassment as evidence to use in court.
Since cutting off a child’s contact with the other parent could be harmful, a parent may also want to discuss the situation with a child psychologist or therapist. One solution might be to set up a schedule for communication. Parents might be able to reach an agreement that suits them both better than a judge’s decision would.
Parents can also include rules about communication in the parenting plan that they put together during the divorce. This may include a plan for conflict resolution as well that might help prevent them from turning to a judge when they have a disagreement. Children generally benefit from spending time with both parents and adjust better to divorce when parents are able to maintain a functional co-parenting relationship. If the relationship between parents is particularly contentious, they can still strive to avoid open conflict in front of the child by limiting their communication to their attorneys or to brief exchanges about dropoffs and pickups for visitation.