For children of divorce, visitation is an important time that allows them to maintain a close relationship with the parent from whom they live apart. In some cases, however, physical distance between parent and child makes visitation difficult or impossible. In these circumstances virtual visitation may be an appropriate tool to enable a parent to keep in touch with their child.
Virtual visitation takes advantage of technological advances to use internet communications in place of traditional face to face contact. Online services offering video chat are commonly used, including Skype, Google Chat, FaceTime, and others. According to data from the National Center for State Courts, approximately 10 million American children are unable to visit a parent due to them living far away. A regularly scheduled video chat with a distant parent can help these children talk about day-to-day problems with their parent, helping to maintain a close and productive relationship. As with all decisions relating to the upbringing of children, the best interests of the child will be considered above all else when virtual visitation is seen as a possibility.
Improvements in technology first allowed the use of virtual visitation in the late 1990s. Since then, six states have adopted statutes allowing for virtual visitation; these include Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. A further twenty-two states are considering similar statutes. So far, Virginia has not formally adopted virtual visitation. However, judges are willing to allow the practice as a supplement to in-person visits, provided the child is of an appropriate age.
If you have questions about visitation options, an experienced family law attorney can provide you with the answers you need. The attorneys of DiPietro Family Law Group are versed in all visitation possibilities, and are ready to help you maintain a healthy relationship with your child. Contact them today by calling (703) 370-5555 to schedule a consultation.
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