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Virtual visitation: A long distance option for child custody

Not living in the same area as your children can be difficult for parents. You can't spend as much time with them as you could if you lived in the same city. When this occurs, you have to find alternative ways to spend time with your children.

Virtual visitation is one option that you have. While it isn't meant to replace in person visits, it can give you and your child a chance to spend time together when actually meeting up isn't possible.

The arrangements for virtual visits can vary based on the child's needs and the method of visits that is being used. The age of the child and the schedule of parents can also have an impact on virtual visitation schedules.

There are many different options that are open for virtual visits. Online video chats are one option. Text messages, emails and instant messages are others. Choosing appropriate methods for the age and needs of your child can help you and your child to build and maintain a meaningful and connected relationship.

You aren't limited to choosing only one type of virtual visit. Instead, you and your ex can find a system that works for all of you. Maybe you can read a young child a bedtime story or help an older child with homework through a video chat. You might be able to stay abreast of what is going on with your children through texts and emails.

Make sure that your virtual visits are included in your child custody agreement. It should be clear what is expected with these visits so that you and your ex are on the same page. Also, remember that the terms of the visits can be changed over time, just like any other component of the child custody agreement.

Source: FindLaw, "Virtual Visitation," accessed March 16, 2018

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