After parents divorce, there is the possibility that one of the parents will have to move away from the area. In the past, that meant that the child didn’t get to interact with the parent who didn’t live nearby. With the advances made in technology, it is now possible for the parent and the child to interact on a more regular basis than what was possible in the past.
Virtual visitation is something that can be included in a child custody and visitation order. This enables the parent who doesn’t live near the child to have contact with the child through phone calls, emails, video chats, text messaging and other forms of virtual communication. This means that the parent can read the child bedtime stories or help the child with homework.
Parents should realize that virtual visitation isn’t meant to replace the in-person time between the parent and child. Instead, it is simply a way for the parent and child to build and maintain a meaningful relationship between in-person visits.
When virtual visitation is ordered, the parents are required to allow the communication between the parent and the child to occur without censorship. Both parents must encourage the virtual visits and work to make them reasonably available.
For some children, showing a non-custodial parent a loose tooth or award from school will help them to realize that the other parent is still involved. While virtual visitation might not be something that is appropriate in every case, it is something that parents can consider if they must move away from their child or if the child moves away.
Source: FindLaw, “Virtual Visitation,” accessed Oct. 11, 2015