“Virtual visitation” is a way for parents to enjoy face-to-face interaction with their children through electronic means. The exact technology used to achieve this communication can include personal video conferences, video phones, and web cameras. The purpose of these visits is to enhance as well as sometimes act as a substitute for communicating in person.
Why Use Virtual Visitation?
Virtual visitation is most commonly used by divorced, non-custodial parents. There are, however, a number of other reasons why parents might decide to use virtual visitation.
Sometimes, parents who are traveling for work or business, in the military, or imprisoned also use virtual visitations. Other times, adults besides parents like grandparents or uncles and aunts who are close to the child can decide to use virtual visitation as a method of communicating.
Virtual Visitation is Not a Replacement
Virtual visitation should never be used as a substitute for personal contact between a parent and child. Custodial parents should not feel free to move far away under the argument that a child will still be able to visit with the non-custodial parent through virtual means.
Instead, it is often best for parents to permit and encourage reasonable communication with a child in person, when possible.
Creating a Virtual Visitation Agreement
Virtual visitation agreements are either very general or very detailed in nature. At the least, virtual visitation agreements should make sure that any information shared between the parent and child during virtual visitation remains private.
It is also often a good idea to agree that parents will not use a child to communicate regarding any issues related to their divorce.
Advice During Virtual Visitation
There are several helpful steps that parents can follow during the virtual visitation process that make interaction much more enjoyable. Some of the steps that parents follow include:
- In addition to talking during the visitation process, try engaging in creative activities together. Having something fun to do will make the conversation proceed much more easily and will also strengthen the relationship.
- During virtual visitation, share your interests. Some parents even decide to learn enough about a child’s hobbies that they can keep up to date with interesting developments and email or text the child pertinent news.
- It is also a good idea to discuss the little details of your daily life. Some parents decide to share pictures and videos of things they have seen with their children.
The Downside to Virtual Visitation
There are several reasons why some people do not prefer virtual visitation. Some parents are afraid that using virtual visitation will evolve into limited in-person contact with a child.
Regardless of whether a person supports or opposes virtual visitation, it is important to understand that the popularity of this method of communication is growing among divorced parents and their children.
Speak with an Experienced Family Law Attorney
While virtual visitation can play a valuable role in maintaining your relationship with your child, there are a number of challenges that it poses. If you need assistance navigating virtual visitation or any other area of family law, do not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney at Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C. today.