Cell phones are pretty much indispensable to modern life — and it’s no longer unusual for every member of a family over 12 years of age (if not younger) to have their own phone. Many households have “cut the cord” entirely on their landlines.

That makes your child pretty unreachable if your ex takes their cell phone away (unless, of course, you want to route every communication with your child through your ex). Does it seem a bit unfair to you, since you’re effectively cut off from your child except when you have visitation? Well, it probably is.

This is a common problem in modern parenting between divorced parents. Even parents who are married find themselves disagreeing about how much freedom a child should have with their phone — and whether an appropriate punishment involves taking that phone away for a while. When parents are divorced, the issue takes on extra weight because a noncustodial parent may feel isolated and cut out of their child’s life. (Frankly, that may even be an ulterior motive your ex has for denying your child access to the phone.)

 Ideally, you’ll have already addressed this issue in your parenting agreement. If you haven’t, it may be time to open negotiations about making some revisions that won’t leave you feeling cut off. Keep in mind that the Michigan courts consider a parent’s willingness to facilitate “a close and continuing parent-child relationship” on your ex-spouse’s part to be important to your child’s best interests.

 If your ex-spouse is unable to listen to reason, it may be time to get an attorney involved. Disputes over parenting plans and requests for modifications are common after a divorce, so don’t be afraid to take action.