For some parents, the likelihood of being able to see their child on a regular basis isn’t very high. In many cases, this is because the parent and the child don’t live close to each other. Think about a military member who is stationed overseas while his or her child lives with the other parent in the United States. Being able to see the child every other weekend would be virtually impossible. In those cases, parents might have to get creative with ways they can participate in their child’s life.
One option that some parents choose to use is virtual visitation. With this type of visitation, the proximity to the child isn’t an issue. Instead, parents rely on technology to make it possible to participate in the child’s life.
Virtual visitation can include activities like video chats, emails, text messages and private messages on social media. In each of these options, the parent and child can spend time communicating in meaningful ways. Reading a book to a younger child while on a video chat or praising an older child after watching a school concert via a video feed are some examples.
If virtual visitation is being used to facilitate a relationship between the parent and child, both parents must work to ensure that the technology is available for the visits. This means that the parent and child should be free to communicate without censorship from the other parent.
It is sometimes possible for the custody order to include stipulations about virtual visitation. If that is the case, both parties must ensure that the stipulations are complied with. Failing to comply with the stipulations and terms could mean more time in court.
Source: FindLaw, “Virtual Visitation,” accessed June 24, 2016