Spending Time with Your Child When You Can’t be Physically Present
Along the same lines as relocating, virtual visitation is another aspect of child custody that has become more and more important in recent years.
There’s lots and lots of different media out there that allows parents to stay in touch with their children, even when they’re not physically present. You can FaceTime and Skype. You can text, you can text videos, you can use social media to keep track on what’s going on with the other child.
Virtual visitation is becoming more and more popular, and it’s a great way for parents to stay in tune, and stay in communication with their children if they’re not going to actually see them. Maybe they’re going to spend the whole summer with the other parent. You have this great new way of staying in touch, and you can see them. You can even go as far as to say that you can tuck the child in at night, through virtual visitation.
It’s a great resource for parents to use. I will say that it’s not a complete replacement for visitation by any means, but in situations where you find yourself where you’re going to have to go a long period of time without a physical visitation, this is a great resource that you can consider.
Now when it comes to whether Judges will actually order visitation being done virtually or not, the Judge is going to look at certain factors. The Judge is going to say, “How available is the technology? How accessible is it? How affordable is it?” Those are the 3 main things that the Judge is going to look at.
Is this going to require a parent to go out and buy a computer, and get Internet, where he otherwise wouldn’t? Is it going to require the parent to get a special device? Those things are going to be important.
Availability, accessibility, and affordability of the virtual visitation is going to be something that the Judge is going to consider.
The other thing that the Judge is going to consider is that they don’t want to disrupt the other parent’s visitation too much. The Judge isn’t going to want that child to be Skyping with one parent every night, if that means that the other parent doesn’t have the ability to spend that evening time with the child. We don’t want it to be so much virtual visitation that it’s disruptive to the other parent’s custodial time, but again it is a great resource for the parents to spend some time with their child if they’re not face-to-face with their child.