Caring, Professional and Ethical

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Tips for virtual visitation

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Child Custody

You and your co-parent may agree that your children need both of you to be steady presences in their lives – and virtual visitation seems like just the thing to keep everybody in touch as often as possible.

Now, you have to make sure that you and your co-parent are both on the same page about how things will actually work. Since “the devil can be in the details,” it pays to clarify some things in advance.

Here are some questions you should ask

The more clearly you define the expectations surrounding visitation in your parenting plan, the easier it may be to avoid conflicts with your co-parent in the future. When it comes to virtual visitation, some of the most important variables to nail down include:

  • Who is expected to provide (and pay for) the electronic device to be used?
  • Will visitation occur at set times? If not, are there any restricted hours?
  • Can the children initiate virtual visitation with the absent parent at will? 
  • Can the device (particularly if it is a phone or laptop) be taken away from the child as punishment? Will that be permitted to affect the virtual visitation schedule?
  • If a visitation date is scheduled and it has to be missed for any reason, will it be rescheduled? How will that be coordinated?

Finally, the ages of your children have to be taken into account. If your children are very young, they may need your co-parent’s help to initiate or receive virtual visits. That may require some careful negotiation to ensure that your parenting time with your child isn’t constantly being “monitored” by your co-parent unnecessarily.

Virtual visitation gives you a unique and modern way to stay in touch with the everyday aspects of your child’s life, whether you spend your time listening to how their day went at school or reading them a bedtime story. That’s an important part of maintaining the parent-child bond. Legal guidance can help make sure that your agreements with your co-parent are both well-considered and fair.