You and your child’s other parent are going your separate ways, but you both plan to remain active in your child’s life. As a result, the courts are insisting that – regardless of whether you’re negotiating or litigating your situation – you draft a parenting plan as part of your broader child custody order. Your parenting plan will outline your co-parenting expectations, responsibilities and many of your rights.
For example, you and your co-parent may want to assert that you each have a right to engage in virtual visitation. You can even specify what kinds of virtual visitation must be respected and on what schedule. To better determine whether this could be a beneficial arrangement for your family, it will help to have a firm grasp on exactly what virtual visitation is and how it works.
Virtual visitation: The basics
In a nutshell, virtual visitation consists of communication between a child and the parent they’re not currently residing with that is enabled by technology. It includes video chats, emails, texts, and phone calls.
There are numerous benefits associated with virtual visitation. Chiefly, these alternative communication arrangements help to ensure that children and their parents remain bonded while they are apart. If your child is small, whichever parent is not around could be granted the right to read them a bedtime story over video chat. If your child is a teen, permitting open-ended texting with their other parent could be appropriate.
If you think that your child could benefit from communicating “virtually” with whichever parent is not physically around at any point, consider seeking legal guidance concerning how best to integrate virtual visitation rights and expectations into your parenting plan.