Here are some things to think about when you’re attempting to enforce your child custody agreement. Visit a child custody lawyer if you need more specific information.


Q: Can I secretly tape my son’s telephone conversations with my ex for possible use in court?

  • A:Generally, under the federal wiretapping statute, the answer is “no.” Federal law makes it illegal to tape a telephone conversation unless one of the participants in the conversation consents. But the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a parent may “vicariously” consent for a minor child. If the parent has a “good faith, objectively reasonable basis for believing that it is necessary and in the best interest of the child,” he or she may not be liable under the federal wiretapping statute. Whether a parent meets this test is up to a jury. There are state laws on this topic as well. In many states, consent from all parties is also required, and there might not be a “vicarious” consent rule.


Q: Can the mother of my child get a modification of our visitation order because our son has a lot of homework to do?

  • A:In most states, a court must find a change of circumstances before even considering a modification of a visitation schedule. Any change must be in the “best interests of the child.” When visitation presents a severe conflict with a child’s schoolwork, it may be the basis for a modification. Changes could be made to the time and length of a visit, or visitation could be changed to another day. Also, many courts use a standard visitation schedule, and assume that when the child is with the non-custodial parent, he or she is keeping up with homework and school obligations.

    If visitation interferes with school, the non-custodial parent may be violating the terms of the court’s order. In most states, a court must find a change of circumstances before even considering a modification of a visitation schedule. Additionally, any modification must be in the “best interests of the child.”


Q: How can I enforce my visitation rights in another state?

  • A:The Visitation Rights Enforcement Act of 1998