Virtual Visitation As Part Of Your Custody Agreement
Divorcing parents can find that maintaining a robust and healthy relationship with their children can be a challenge, especially for parents who live far away, travel extensively, or work hours that are incompatible with the children’s school and activity schedule. In Missouri, the courts favor shared custody agreements as the ideal, but recognize that in some situations it’s just not viable. In these and other circumstances, virtual visitation can help to fill in the gaps of lost in-person visitation opportunities.
What is Virtual Visitation?
Virtual visitation is a way of communicating that involves electronic methods. Common platforms include Skype and Facetime. Other forms of communication could include phone calls, texting, emailing, and so forth.
Who Benefits from Virtual Visitation?
Undoubtedly, virtual visitation may reduce the bite of missing their kids for parents who live far away from their children and don’t see them in person regularly. But that’s certainly not the only time these technologies can be helpful. Even those who enjoy shared custody of their children can maintain daily contact with children using virtual visitation. Parents who agree that parental contact is in the best interest of the kids generally should cooperate and allow this contact so the children always have two loving and supportive parents in touch with them.
Mitigating Negative Impacts of Divorce
Studies show that divorce can be tough on kids. Compared to peers whose parents are still married, children of divorce are more vulnerable to emotional discord. They may have feelings of frustration, anger, or even guilt, which can lead to physical health issues, behavioral difficulties and poor academic performance. Older children face a greater risk of engaging in criminal activity and/or early sexual activity. But the news is not all bad. Studies show that kids who have a strong bond with both parents experience fewer of these kinds of difficulties. Virtual visitation is one way to demonstrate to kids that both parents love and care about their well-being. Additionally, it can enhance the relationships between half- and step-siblings who don’t live together.
Making it Work
Virtual visitation is no alternative for in-person contact, but it can really be a lovely addition to it. It is imperative that both parents pledge to making virtual visitation successful. That means agreeing to some basic principles:
- Parents need to have a schedule for regular virtual visits, and be open to spontaneous visits on occasion as well;
- The visits should be a private affair that allows for open discussion without having the other parent listening in if kids are old enough;
- The objective of the visits should be to communicate with and support the children. They should not be used to snoop on the other parent.
Real Custody Issues
If the distance between households or other issues impede your child sharing arrangement, virtual visitation may be a partial solution for you. At Courtney & Mills our experienced Springfield 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 Springfield office today.