While New Jersey residents consider virtual meetings a way of life and employment these days, it is still an up and coming part of child custody decisions across the country. Many courts have recognized how online communication can improve a child's relationship with their parent during physical visits.
What is virtual visitation?
As the name implies, virtual visitation is when email, video conferencing, instant messaging and video mails are used to stay in touch. The exact details and type of virtual communication can be detailed in a child custody agreement and is typically requested by the non-custodial parent if he or she is relocating or if the custodial parent is moving out of the area with the children in question. While many families may already be incorporating virtual visits in their child custody agreements informally, having it included legally can ensure its consistency.
What are the benefits of virtual visitation?
Video calls allow parents to remain an integral part of their child's life, even if they are far away. Parents can read story books to their children at bedtime, watch important events such as soccer games and musical recitals, and can keep in touch generally during in-person visitation.
Limits of virtual visitation
Virtual visitation should never take the place of in-person visitation, and the fear of this happening is one of the reasons why courts are hesitant to allow it. When included in a parenting plan, parents can encourage virtual visits and make them reasonably available. However, it can also allow the custodial parent to place limitations, such as times between which calls can be made.
There are many benefits to virtual visitation, but it might not be the right solution for every family. To create a parenting plan that works for one's individual circumstances, it might be best to consult an experienced attorney.