Virtual Visitation and Child Custody
Co-parenting and Custody Issues Attorneys Guide You Through Virtual Visitation Options
Considered a godsend during the Covid-19 lockdown, as well as by military personnel on deployment, incarcerated parents, moms and dads who travel frequently for work, and grandparents unable to visit as much as they used to, technology has made the idea of “virtual visitation” or “virtual parenting-time” a reality. As parents are increasingly away from their children for extended periods of time, they are turning to Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp Calls, Portal, Facebook, and Instagram Live, Snapchat, Tiktok, webcams, and various VoIP’s to spend quality visual parenting-time with their children.
Although practical in its basic communicative aspects, this innovative alternative to being “there” may lack the physical contact that some children or their parents, may crave. Still, virtual visitation should be treated like regular visitation, in terms of letting the child “visit” with your co-parent without your presence. For parents considering a divorce or legal relationship dissolution, drafting child custody arrangements, child custody modification, or even considering relocating, including language in the child custody discussions that addresses using this type of technology to enhance, maintain, or build upon the parent-child bond and lessen the likelihood of parental alienation, should be strongly considered.
At Jacobs Berger, LLC our family law attorneys have over 45 years of combined experience applying our unique approach to child custody and relocation matters of all kinds across Madison, Florham Park, Randolph, Hanover, Morris County, and throughout New Jersey. Our firm takes pride in offering dynamic and creative legal solutions for individuals which support the stability of your relationship with your children and all that you have already worked to achieve in your life and helps to set the foundation for a successful legal, financial, and parental future for years to come.
Contact our firm today to discuss your needs, concerns, options, and how to best create a plan that meets the current and future needs of your children in a Strategic Planning Session.
Can Virtual Co-Parenting Work?
In 2004 Utah was the first state to enact a virtual visitation bill. Other states have followed suit by passing virtual visitation legislation or including such provisions in custody and visitation case law that grants family law judges authority to include electronic communication as part of visitation arrangements and help shape the future of custody law.
Divorce and separation can be traumatizing for both the children and the parents, especially those who lack physical custody or may have had to relocate post-divorce for work reasons. In the past, due to distance or daily obligations, both child and adult may have found themselves having to reintroduce themselves during each visit. While child support enforcement is possible in New Jersey, emotional support isn’t. If the parents and the child agree to virtual visitation, this option could be a feasible and cost-effective short-term alternative, not a replacement, to a physical visit.
When you are a Jacobs Berger, LLC client, you are given the personal attention that you need and deserve in any family law matter. Our firm can provide you with knowledgeable, effective, and informed legal counsel when it comes to matters affecting your family. We understand life doesn’t always fit into the “business day”, and we are here for you during the entire legal process, and as a continued source of support afterward.
Co-Parenting Advantages of Virtual Visitation
The topic of virtual visitation should be addressed in the parenting plan, as technological tools (i.e., instant messaging, Facetime, Skype, email, video mail and conferencing) can be used to enhance and not interfere with parenting time. As the number of divorced parents grow, virtual visitation has the potential to enrich existing parent-child relationships.
By allowing parents to become more involved in their children’s lives, even on a “remote” basis, both parties can benefit from basic family moments such as the example below where the parent traditionally had to be physically present with the child:
- stories before bedtime
- tutoring them with their homework
- childhood milestones (i.e., first steps, loss of a tooth, riding a bike)
- recitals, sporting events or graduations
- holiday celebrations or festive occasions
For parents whose visitation rights have been denied, due to domestic violence, parental addiction, or because they are in treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, virtual visitation may be an option to help maintain the parental bond and improve their recovery chances.
Contact Our Experienced Parenting-Time Attorneys Today
We seek to ensure that your individual needs, interests, and rights as a parent are properly taken into account in any parenting time agreement or post-divorce dispute, as well as to resolve these matters in a manner that protects the stability of your economic, legal, and parental future.
To speak with our firm today regarding your specific needs or concerns regarding how technology can help bridge the gap of your child custody and parenting time agreement in a confidential Strategic Planning Session, please contact us online, or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 710-4366.