One of the unfortunate consequences of divorce is that children no longer live in a household with both parents. This means that the child’s time must be divided between the two parents. Very few parents are satisfied with visitation plans but acknowledge that it is necessary. Typically, the non-custodial parent feels that they deserve more time with the child.
Virtual visitation occurs when a parent or grandparent uses computers to see and talk to the child. Using programs like Skype or Facetime a parent can see the child while talking. Furthermore, this occurs in real time. As a result, parents can do a lot more than just chat with a child. I had one client who played duets over the internet with the child using one instrument and the parent another. Parents can teach yoga, karate, and dance using virtual visitation. Children can show parents art projects from school. There is no limit to creative use of the internet when using these programs.
When I draft separation agreements, I usually include language that allows virtual visitation. Even if the parties don’t have computers, I include the language as they could get computers or smart phones in the future.
If you don’t have virtual visitation and would like to use it, consult an experienced family law attorney to discuss adding virtual visitation to your custody arrangement.