Virtual Visitation Rights

Family Lawyer

Keeping in close contact with your child after a divorce is critical to keeping the lines of communication between you open and maintaining a parental relationship.

Virtual communication has become a valuable tool in facilitating communication between parent and child as well as between parents in discussing issues involving parenting. Virtual visitation laws are relatively new on the legal scene and adapting and changing with available technology.

Virtual visitation defined is a type of child visitation using technology to keep in touch with a child. This can be through email, video chat, and text and video messaging to cite some examples. This can be implemented as a part of the child custody order or in a parenting agreement.

The non-custodial parent is usually the one to request virtual visitation when the parent with primary custody moves out of the area and takes the child, which is counter to the parental visitation rights that currently exist.

If you believe virtual visitation would benefit your child custody agreement, talk to an attorney who can work with you to ensure you are able to utilize every virtual option available to communicate with your child. The laws in every state vary and some states do not even have specific virtual visitation laws in place, so have this discussion with your lawyer to make sure virtual visitation can be a part of your custody plan.

Please know that virtual visitation is not meant to replace in-person time between parent and child. It is a great way to add to the time spent with your child. The laws currently in place require a parent to:

  • Encourage and permit virtual visitation
  • Allow the parent/child to communicate without being censored or through a third party
  • Make the child available for the virtual visitation

The courts will always look at what is best for the child when deciding whether or not virtual visitation is a viable option. Also, note that if the court decides that traditional visitation is not allowed, they will likely not permit virtual visitation either.

Virtual visitation offers a variety of benefits to both children and parents. Both parents can stay involved in their children?s lives regardless of where they live. ?Positive uses for virtual visitation include:

  • Helping your child with their homework
  • Seeing your child in person lets you see their expressions, making it easier to see how they are actually feeling
  • You can see them while reading a bedtime story
  • Your child can show you a school project, play music on an instrument, witness a recital or sporting event
  • Talk about daily events, things that happened at school

Being able to communicate with your child virtually is changing the way the court views custody agreements. It may help lessen the stress of a parent moving away by assuring them they will be able to talk to and see them on a regular basis. This generation is so in tune with technology it is second nature to children to talk with each other and now a parent via the internet. ?It is not meant to replace the in-person visits, only enhance and substitute when visiting in person is not an option. Contact an attorney, like a family lawyer in Collin County, TX, familiar with custody and time sharing to discuss how virtual visitation can be incorporated into the custody agreement.

Contact Scroggins Legal?to learn more about family law.

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*Mark L. Scroggins is *board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Unless otherwise noted, other attorneys are not *board-certified.

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