A Legal Virtual Visitation Agreement Can Help You During Long-Distance Parenting
You're planning to get a divorce and your ex wants to relocate with the children. If you've decided not to fight this decision in court, don't despair about maintaining a close relationship with your youngsters. Especially with 21st-century technology, you can communicate with them regularly. In fact, divorce attorneys are increasingly setting up a legal arrangement known as virtual visitation to guarantee routine scheduled contact.
The Basics of Virtual Visitation
Decades ago, long-distance parents were essentially relegated to phone calls and written letters when they couldn't see the kids in person. The Internet and smartphones have changed all that.
Virtual visitation is intended to supplement the in-person visitation you do have with your youngsters. It can replace some of the in-person visitation you would have if the children lived closer.
Also known as electronic visitation, the process usually includes free real-time video chatting and instant message conversations. It also includes text messaging, pictures sent by cell phone and videos sent through email. You may even be able to watch events such as band concerts and soccer games in real-time.
Long-distance parents now can communicate with their youngsters on a more personal, routine and convenient basis than ever before.
Legally Arranged Virtual Visitation
You might expect to do these activities with your kids as a matter of course, but it's wise to set up an arrangement legally. That's especially the case if your divorce is acrimonious or you suspect your ex wants the kids to move on in a new life without you.
Your lawyer will draft the visitation agreement just as they would an agreement for in-person visitation. Now, you're guaranteed to have a video chat and other types of communication with your kids at certain times of the week. In addition, you can set up favorite activities in the schedule, such as playing a game together online at a certain day and time.
What You Can Do Now
Work with your lawyer to set up a schedule for video chatting and other virtual activities in your visitation agreement. This can be arranged as a temporary schedule, such as for one year, to be modified appropriately as the children get older.
In the best-case scenario, your ex won't dispute your right to virtual visitation. If this does happen and you must go to court, be reassured that family courts increasingly back this type of visitation to support parent-child relationships. Six states have even passed laws supporting the use of virtual visitation. For more information, speak with professionals like the Law Office of Jared T. Amos.