Virtual Visitation As Part Of Your Custody Agreement
When parents divorce, it can be very difficult to maintain a strong and healthy relationship with children for a parent who lives far away, travels a lot, or works hours that are incongruous with the children’s school and activity schedule. Of course, shared custody is ideal for everyone involved, but in some cases it’s just not feasible. Oftentimes, virtual visitation can help to fill in the gaps of in-person visitation.
Situations That May Benefit from Virtual Visitation
Certainly, when parents live a bit of a distance away from their children and don’t have the opportunity for regular in-person visits, Skype and Zoom, in addition to email, texting, and calling, could help to take the prickle out of missing visits. But that is by no means the only time technologies can be helpful. Even when parents enjoy shared custody of their children, they can maintain daily contact with their kids through virtual visitation. When both parents agree that this contact is in the best interest of the kids, they generally cooperate and allow this contact so the children always have two loving and supportive parents in touch with the kids
The Benefits can Mitigate the Negative Impacts of Divorce
Divorce can be tough on kids. Compared to their peers whose parents are still together, their vulnerability to various problems can increase significantly. Many children of divorce suffer from feelings of anger, guilt, and frustration, which can lead to health issues, behavioral problems and poor academic performance. As they get older, there is a greater risk of criminal activity and teen sexual activity. But research indicates that having a strong bond with each parent can minimize these problems. Virtual visitation is one way to show kids that parents love and care about their kids. Another added bonus is that the relationship between half- and step-siblings who don’t live together can be strengthened.
Keys to Making it Work
To be sure, effective virtual visitation is no substitute for in-person contact, but it can really be a sweet addition to it. It is crucial that both parents commit to making virtual visitation successful. That means agreeing to some basic principles:
- Both parents should schedule the time for regular virtual visits, as well as being open to spontaneous visits on occasion;
- The visits should be between the non-custodial parent and the children—a private affair that allows for open discussion without having the other parent hanging around in the background with kids who are old enough;
- The focus of the visits should be on communicating with and supporting the children. Visits should never be used to spy on the home or the other parent.
Addressing Real Custody Issues
If you are anticipating custody issues in your divorce due to the distance between households or other problems, virtual visitation may be a partial solution for you. At The Law office of Hasson D. Barnes, our dedicated Baltimore family law attorneys are committed to helping you achieve the outcomes that are most important to you. To discuss the possibilities, schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.