Technology has provided new avenues for communication and helped make our lives easier. When it comes to child custody and visitation, virtual technology has helped give parents a better way to interact with their children when once a phone call was the only means. Some courts now allow child custody arrangements to include specific terms for virtual visitation.
Florida is one of six states that have already enacted laws to help address virtual visitation. While it can be very helpful in many situations, it is important that courts do not forget that it cannot replace in-person contact. Courts use the best interest determination to help decide what course to take in terms of custody, visitation or modification of any agreement. They must weigh all factors, including how virtual visitation could affect a relationship with one or both parents.
Virtual visitation can improve some situations and hurt others at the same time. If a parent becomes only a "cyber-parent" it could have a very serious affect on their relationship with the child as well as the child's development and growth. Whether virtual visitation it will help or hurt a situation involves an individual, case-by-case determination.
If you have ideas or questions about creative alternatives to custody plans, it is important that you discuss your wishes and your options with an attorney experienced in custody matters. If your spouse is attempting to implement alternatives you disagree with, an attorney can also help protect your rights to that in-person communication.
Source: The Washington Times, "Virtual visitation: a sensible child custody option," Myra Fleicher, April 15, 2012