Virtual visitation is a tactic by which parents communicate with their kids digitally. Instead of stopping by the house for an evening, for instance, they may just spend an hour talking on Skype or FaceTime. This can also include things like instant messaging, emails, conference calls or video messages.
If you’re getting a divorce and considering this as part of your custody arrangement, you may be wondering about the benefits or the reasoning behind virtual visitation. Why would someone choose this instead of a traditional visitation?
Distance isn’t an issue
In some cases, one parent travels a lot or has to work out of state. Distance would keep them from ever seeing their kids, so they use virtual visitation to stay connected. They may just do this on a temporary basis, such as if they have to spend a few months overseas for a business trip.
It’s all that the court allows
In other cases, the court may feel that it is unsafe or unwise for a parent to have traditional custody and visitation rights. To make sure that that parent can stay involved with the child – but also that the child can still be safe – virtual visitation may be ordered. The court may reassess this in the future if it seems like things have changed and it would be safe for the parent to have traditional visitation rights.
It can supplement a traditional plan
Often, virtual visitation isn’t all that is used by the parent. It’s just a way for a non-custodial parent to check in at times when other options don’t work. They may have custody or physical visitation rights at other times. They can then add virtual visitation in so that they get more time with the child overall.
Do you have to use virtual visitation?
You simply have to do whatever the court orders when you go through the child custody portion of the divorce case. If the court orders that you only get virtual visitation, then you do have to follow that order. But parents who have not been ordered to do so can consider if they would like to use this as an extra option or not. They’re not obligated to do so, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not helpful in some situations.
When your child custody schedule starts to get complicated during a divorce, you definitely want to know about all of the options at your disposal.