My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Ohio (Clermont County specifically)
Can anything be done about a custodial parent's constant harassment of non-custodial parent in the form of 40-50 texts a day (yes, each day and he does not respond to them), constant phone calls, constant nasty language to children when non-custodial parent is trying to talk to them on the phone ("nobody here wants to talk to you", "it's your f**king father on the phone" - kids are 9 and 3). Custodial parent can be heard in the background cussing and screaming about "loser father", "he doesn't f**king love you", "why don't you ask him if he's ever coming home" - those kinds of things to the point that now the 9 year old refuses to talk to non-custodial parent whenever the custodial parent is around.
Poor kid is being forced to chose between his parents because of this and being 9, is in an impossible position. Non-custodial parent provided a cell phone to the 9 year old so that they could have better/easier contact (non-custodial parent calls every day at 8am, 330pm and 8pm without fail and is rarely allowed to speak with the children as the custodial parent hangs up the phone, turns the phone off or will not give the phone to the children most times), however, custodial parent confiscated the phone within a few days of child having it. Custodial parent is now having children call non-custodial parent on the day before visitation weekends to tell him that they don't feel good and can't go with him that weekend. Usually though, he is allowed to see them every other Saturday evening but has to return them by Sunday afternoon and is forced into taking custodial parents other child (not his) as well or she will not let him take his children.
Parents have been separated since Oct, 2014, were married 8 years prior to that. Custodial parent was a stay-at-home who now has a part time job, non-custodial parent still pays all bills for household, including providing $1200/mo in cash payments to custodial parent as child support (via direct deposit into her bank account from pay check through employer, so there is a paper trail), he also pays for her cell phone, car payment and insurance, half of the daycare bill for the 3 year old as she works during the school day and all of the kids school fees and extra-curricular activities (including those for her other child) as ordered by judge until divorce and child support order are final, per judge there will be no alimony and once paperwork is final he will be required to pay child support and pay car insurance until car is paid for (by him).
He has no argument with any of this. He is happy to make sure she has a good working car as it provides safe transportation for his children, he is also happy to pay for the other stuff as well as it all benefits his kids. Custodial parent has been served divorce paperwork several times but refuses to sign and sends it back unsigned. Non-custodial parent's lawyer (who is not very proactive, but since he has to pay for all of these things, he cannot afford another lawyer now and feels stuck with the one he has. When asked to file for temporary custody back in May, lawyer convinced him that the issue would get dragged out and since hearing was going to be in August it was pointless to do.
I know better, you know better but he has never been through this before and followed the lawyer's advice) has finally secured another date in front of judge (in December) to either force custodial parent to sign or just order the divorce. Of note, the custodial parent has sold off all of the non-custodial parents belongings that were ordered divided by the judge. There is nothing left to divide. The non-custodial parent wants what is best for his kids, and is willing to go broke to make sure they have it. He is literally on the verge of bankruptcy because of how much money he has had to spend as a result of this. Its the constant harassment from the custodial parent and the blocking of his attempts to communicate with and see his children that has him incredibly stressed out and feeling like his kids hate him. His poor boys are stuck in the middle of all of this.
Without a signed decree he's sure nothing can be done. However, would the state really order the parenting class and have all these rules about not doing the things she is doing if there is no way to enforce them? He would love for them to come live with him but he is worried that his job (he's a specialty truck driver on call 24/7, with 2 days off every 2 weeks) would be viewed as too big a hindrance to a judge being willing to give him custody (his employer will give him every Wed evening off for visitation once paperwork is signed but his job requires the call time. It's the nature of the industry he works in). Also, she does take good physical care of the boys, it's her mouth that is the problem. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Also - I know you all like to hear from the person involved. I am simply asking so that I might be able to point him in the direction of someone who can offer real help. He does not have much access to the internet, computers, etc. from the cab of his truck. He's just a desperate father trying to be involved with his kids and is feeling stuck because she keeps blocking his access to them and now he is worrying about the mental health effect this is having on the boys as well. I have suggested counseling to him for the children for the health of the kids, but also because children's counselors can see what is happening and can contribute to any court proceedings that may become necessary, but that would mean he is actually allowed to see them in order for that to happen.
I have also suggested having his lawyer send her a letter alluding to contempt of court charges if she continues this behavior, but I'm not sure that's possible without the final signed decree - is she legally doing anything wrong if there is no finalized court order? There is no temporary custody order, nor is there any form of child support ordered in writing. He has been paying everything since last October when he moved out and is doing what the judge told him to continue to do (verbally) at their first court hearing in March. Again, there is nothing in writing anywhere other than the unsigned divorce paperwork. And, honestly, if she will not sign the divorce documents, she is unlikely to give much weight to a letter threatening contempt of court charges. I don't know how to help him. He is a very dear friend and he is absolutely miserable, but going back to her is not an option for him, though I have suggested it. At the end of the day, he just wants her to be reasonable, stop harassing him and allow him to participate in his children's lives. Again, any advice would be appreciated and will be given to him immediately.