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Long-distance parenting might need virtual visitation

For parents, the one facet of divorce that might feel like a punch in the gut is the child custody issue. That issue can be especially troubling if you or your child's other parent isn't going to remain in the area. In that case, determining how the child can remain in contact with both parents must be a priority in the child custody case. Technology might just be the answer for some parents.

Virtual visitation is an option for letting a parent and child communicate when it isn't possible to do so in person. This might be the case if one parent is in the military and deployed. It could also be the case if the parents of the child don't live close to each other and the distance is too far to shuttle the child back and forth frequently.

It is possible to have methods of virtual visitation added to a child custody order. These can include emails, text messages, video calls, instant messaging and other forms of virtual communication. It is important for both parents to understand that neither parent can impede upon the child's ability to communicate freely with the other parent. This means that one parent couldn't hover over the child and try to keep him or her from saying specific things while he or she is video conferencing with the other parent.

While virtual visitations are a remarkable way for parents to keep in contact with a child despite the distance, in person visits are also important. If you think that your child custody case might benefit from virtual visitation, be sure to find out more about it before your next court date or proceeding about the issue.

Source: FindLaw, "Virtual Visitation," accessed Oct. 13, 2016

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