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Custody agreement in the digitial age

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
PLEASE DON"T JUDGE! Ok I'm going to try and condense a VERY long story that leads me up to this. For 10 years my 2dsd have lived with us. Through a series of events in the last year they started spending more time with their mother. Anyway in the last 6 months our soon to be 14yo sd starting acting out ALOT at her mother's home. She has had sex with a boy when her mother dropped her off at the boy's house without our knowledge (mom was doing the whole "don't tell your dad, he's so strict" thing) been in contact via cell phone provided by her mother with a 22yo man and an 18yo man and had sexual coversations via text. It is very important to state that her mother supplied her with the cell phone as we have no access to her phone records and it makes it much more difficult to monitor but you know "she has a right to privacy", and has sent nude photos of herself online to the above stated men along with several other boys at school one of which forwarded them to the whole class. SO we have sought professional councilling, she was admitted to a treatment facility for depression, and we are working towards mending her esteem. In the mean time her mother is still allowing her access to her cell phone while at her house and access to facebook and email. So my question is CAN YOU HAVE IT WRITTEN IN YOUR CUSTODY AGREEMENT SPECIFICALLY BANNING OR HAVING DETAILED RESTRICTIONS ON CELL PHONE AND INTERNET USAGE? I mean will a judge roll his eyes at this or do you think given the medical and legal records stating these occurances took place that it is a valid and legal concern? UGH.
post #2 of 10
It doesn't seem unreasonable to me that her access to phone/email/internet should be monitored or restricted. My children are younger, but also saw a counselor regularly for about 2 1/2 years. When I went to trial with their father, I had their counselor write a report for the judge, to provide her professional opinion on how the kids were doing, and what their needs were. It was quite costly... her hourly rate per page (and it was nine pages long!) but it was well worth it.

The only other thing I can think of is for your husband to write an email directly to facebook stating that he is a legal guardian of her, and he does not give her permission to be on facebook. I don't know if they'd take her profile down or not, but it might be worth a try.
post #3 of 10
I dont really have any information based on experience, but to me considering that your stepdaughter safety is at stake. No 14 year should be related to a 22 year old men in a sexual way, I think a judge might be able to hear you out. At least I'd hope they would.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auraji View Post
I dont really have any information based on experience, but to me considering that your stepdaughter safety is at stake. No 14 year should be related to a 22 year old men in a sexual way, I think a judge might be able to hear you out. At least I'd hope they would.
Yeah, that. Not to mention it's illegal! And if it turns out the mom knew she could be charged. Hope your DSD gets some help, and soon!
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
[QUOTE=brookie514;15248304]Yeah, that. Not to mention it's illegal! And if it turns out the mom knew she could be charged. Hope your DSD gets some help, and soon![/QUOTE
Her mother didn't know but if she would have cared to monitor in the smallest of senses she would have. It took me 5 minutes alone with the phone to find out. We have pressed criminal charges on both the 22 year old and the 18 year old and are looking at 2-5. We have already admitted her to an intense treatment program and she is now in outpatient. Unfortunetly her mother is still allowing her access to the computer and phone when at her house which is very dangerous at this point IMO. For this reason we are looking at heading into mediation to hammer out a new custody agreement and wanted to know if it would be unheard of to designate internet and cell phone usage in the agreement.
post #6 of 10
I've had stranger things on my custody agreement! Can't imagine why you wouldn't be able to ge that on paper with all the evidence. HUGS, mama. So sorry your family is going through this!
post #7 of 10
The problem is that even if you get it in the agreement, how enforceable is it? Would her mom honor it? Because if she blew off that part of the agreement, you would have to keep dragging her back to court for contempt, etc; it could take forever while your sd is still texting naked pics all over.

Could you go for supervised visitations?
post #8 of 10
Go ahead and try, with the mediation and/or petition for stricter guidelines through the court. But in my experience, a parent who undermines the other parent and who's more concerned with being the favorite parent than with guiding and protecting the child is not going to change her behavior because of new court orders or mediation agreements.

Putting specifics in writing is good when divorced parents see more or less eye-to-eye and want to work together for their child's good, but occasionally they may need to review what exactly they agreed to do. But in your case, the ex-wife seems to strongly disagree with (or at least to disregard) your husband's parenting instincts and you guys seem to hope a mediator or judge can show/convince/threaten her that your husband's approach is really best. But how would orders with specifics about phone contact and internet access be enforced? What would the penalty be, for violating those orders? If Mom violates them, but denies it, how would you prove that to a court, when you're not at Mom's house with your SD?

If a child is being endangered and the NCP is facilitating or encouraging it, or even just turning a blind eye and failing to care for or protect the child, then that child might need to have supervised visitation with that parent. I know that sounds harsh, but it would be effective in your situation. I just can't see how revised court orders would be. Like a PP pointed out, a 14-year-old having sexualized contact with a 22-year-old is against the law. It might not be so hard to get a judge to agree to supervised visits, for the time being.

Another PP said your SD's phone and internet access shouldn't be restricted or monitored. What?? A 14-year-old girl may WANT to believe she's a woman with rights to privacy, but she's not. She's more vulnerable, hormonal and impulsive than a grown woman. She's also at a critical crossroads in her life, where boys, sex, emotions, drugs and alchohol can distract her from the academics and personal development which would help her to become a confident, capable, stable woman. She can easily enter a path now which leads to teen pregnancy, fewer opportunities in adult life and a tragic vision of herself as primarily a sex object. She may WANT independence, but she NEEDS careful guidance from loving parents who will set limits that protect her; parents who are strong enough to swallow her anger and resentment about it. She will have a right to unfettered phone and internet access - and to date whomever she wishes - when she is a self-supporting adult. Until then, her parents are legally and morally responsible for her and therefore they have the right - and the responsibility - to know what's on her phone, on her computer and in her room.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mummoth View Post
The only other thing I can think of is for your husband to write an email directly to facebook stating that he is a legal guardian of her, and he does not give her permission to be on facebook. I don't know if they'd take her profile down or not, but it might be worth a try.
I think this will work. It is an immediate fix for part of the problem. FB is trying to listen to parents and do what is right, they have been under a bit of scrutiny these days.
post #10 of 10
curious about what has happened...TOTALLY different digital issue here.

My 14 yo lives with his dad. As soon as physical custody changed (he was 12) dad got him a cell phone. HUGE issues when he was here of a different sort. Dad also allows him to carry a pocket knife all the time -- another huge issue.

I began meeting him at the door when his dad dropped him off and stated that if either the phone or knife became a problem while in my home and under my supervision, they would be taken into my posession. He had a choice to leave them with his dad. He always kept them and I confiscated them more than once and not without a scene. I may sound like a flake but we (son and I) finally "agreed" to my possesion being "said items locked in the glove compartment of my car" and I have the one and only key.

Due to issues with another child, I sleep with the key around my neck and it is never off my person. Issues with the other child are the reason Dad and 14 yo don't get it. And they wonder why there is a problem
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