Take a minute to think about how many people – loved ones, friends, colleagues, professional contacts, etc. – you communicate with via electronic means. If you’re like most Americans, you make regular use of email, texts, video chat platforms, social media and a host of other electronic resources to keep in touch with others.
If you and your child’s other parent are ending your romantic relationship, it may be time to think about keeping in touch with your child via electronic means during the times when they’re residing with your co-parent. This arrangement is commonly referred to as virtual visitation.
Depending on your child’s age, developmental capacity and social tendencies, they may genuinely benefit from speaking to you on the phone, chatting with you on Zoom, hearing you read recorded bedtime stories or even receiving postal letters from you in the mail. By setting expectations for virtual visitation in your child’s parenting plan, you can better ensure that your relationship remains strong, healthy and connected even when you’re apart.
No two families operate in the exact same ways. Therefore, you shouldn’t be afraid to take your family’s unique needs into consideration when crafting your child’s parenting plan. If your child would be best served by speaking with both of their parents every day and both you and your co-parent will gladly embrace this opportunity, craft virtual visitation provisions accordingly. Similarly, if your child and their other parent just need to be in touch weekly to make their relationship work effectively, you can craft terms that reflect this reality.
No matter how you approach the issue of virtual visitation in your child’s parenting plan, craft the terms in question in ways that are clear, flexible enough to allow “life to happen,” sustainable and realistic. Should you have any questions about how to approach this undertaking, don’t hesitate to seek legal guidance at any time.