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Child custody rules change as virtual visitation is a reality

Arkansas couples might agree that it may not always be possible to connect with their children in person after divorce. Virtual visitation or communication through email, video, or webcam is recommended for those who cannot keep in touch in person. In fact, virtual visitation is changing child custody rules throughout the United States.

Virtual visitation often forms part of the parenting agreement. The request to stay in touch with your child virtually typically comes from the non-custodial parent. This often occurs when the custodial parent has moved out of town. Unmarried fathers may also request virtual visitation. Electronic visitation has become popular in quite a few U.S. states. However, it should be noted that virtual visitation can supplement but should never replace traditional parenting time.

Child custody laws generally require that a parent encourages meeting over electronic media and allows uncensored communication with the child. Even now, the telephone remains the easiest mode of communication. However, video conferencing, social media, and photo-sharing sites like Picasa are slowly becoming more common.

Virtual visitation has its share of advantages and disadvantages. As the number of parents sharing child custody increases, virtual visitation helps to enhance the child-parent relationship. Staying in touch, even in virtual space, helps a parent to be more involved in the child’s life. The parent can help with homework, read a book to the child, and discuss daily occurrences. That way, a child can share happy moments with his or her parent, such as when a child gets an award. Virtual visitation, on the other hand, should never be viewed as a replacement for in-person time together. The child needs to interact with his or her parent in person and there are many things that can only be done face to face.

If virtual visitation sounds like something worth pursuing, it might help to speak with an experienced family law attorney. He or she will know how to implement such an arrangement into a child custody agreement or modify your current arrangement, if necessary.

Source: FindLaw, “”Virtual Visitation,” Accessed on Aug.17, 2014

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