By: Stephen Plog
Virtual visitation refers to using technology to keep a parent connected to his or her child after a divorce or child custody case. It may take the place of in-person visitation as part of a child custody order or parenting plan agreement if the circumstances permit. Virtual visitation has become even more common among families in the last year due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. Learn how to implement virtual visitations into your parenting time schedule for an arrangement that works for everyone.
States with Virtual Visitation Laws
Virtual visitation – also referred to as electronic or internet visitation – is part of the law in some states. States that do not have these laws, however, may still incorporate virtual visits into parenting plans. Common technologies involved in virtual visitation are Skype, Zoom and Facetime. These videoconferencing technologies allow parents and children to meet face-to-face without traveling. Modern technology has made virtual visitation a more popular choice in recent years, especially among families with significant physical distance between a noncustodial parent and a child. Currently, six states have laws permitting the courts to order virtual visitation at custody court.
- North Carolina
Many other states are also currently considering passing virtual visitation laws. It has become a more imminent concern in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual visitation can be very effective when trying to prevent the spread of the virus from a noncustodial parent to a child while still upholding a visitation agreement. If either parent is concerned about the spread of COVID-19, he or she may opt for virtual visitation in lieu of an in-person visit. Both parents would have to either agree to virtual visitation, however, or receive a specific court order requiring this method to engage in virtual visitation sessions.
Instances When Virtual Visitation Is Added to Parenting Time and its Benefits
Virtual visitation can be part of a court order in Colorado. Two parents may also agree to virtual visitation without a court order. Even though Colorado is not one of the states with a specific virtual visitation statute, a judge may accept this method of visitation in certain scenarios. In most cases, virtual visitation supplements in-person visitation rather than replacing it completely. Virtual visitation may become an official part of a parenting plan in Colorado if it would be in the child’s best interests. Certain circumstances call for virtual visitation more than others.
- When there is a lot of distance between the parent and child.
- When a noncustodial parent is away for work.
- When a child wants increased contact or communication with a noncustodial parent.
- When circumstances require decreased in-person contact, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Virtual visitation can help a parent and child bond after a divorce. It is a simple and cost-effective way to encourage communication and one-on-one time between a noncustodial parent and a child. It does not involve traveling for either party and can be an effective solution for a long-distance family or a busy parent. Virtual visitation can also have health and safety benefits if the family is concerned about the spread of a virus, such as COVID-19.
How Can a Parenting Time Attorney Help?
If you have questions about virtual visitation or wish to implement this into your parenting time orders, contact an child custody attorney to schedule a consultation. A lawyer will have the in-depth knowledge of Colorado’s visitation laws you need for a successful case. Your family law attorney will be able to answer your questions about virtual visitation, help you request a modification to your current parenting time schedule and protect your rights as a parent with a visitation order. Your lawyer will also have years of experience negotiating child visitation plans for the best odds of coming to a mutual agreement with your co-parent. Speak to an attorney today for more information about virtual visitation.