California has always been more socially progressive than a lot of other states. It’s no real surprise, then, that the state embraced the concept of virtual visitation wholeheartedly.
When parents have complicated schedules or travel a lot, virtual visitation can augment their in-person visitation and strengthen the bonds that they have with their children. This kind of visitation helps keep people from turning into “absent” parents because of the circumstances of their lives.
Tips for an effective virtual visitation agreement
As you prepare to negotiate with your co-parent over the terms of your virtual visitation with your child, these are some of the issues that you should prepare to address:
- How much (or how little) involvement does the child need from their other parent to facilitate the visits? Young children may need help operating the iPad, phone or computer, while older kids need little or no assistance.
- How can you preserve your privacy during your visits? Even with small children, your co-parent can step out of the room while you chat with your child on the phone or through Zoom. Your text messages and emails with older children shouldn’t be subject to your co-parent’s prying eyes, either.
- What times are appropriate for contact? Unless your visitations are going to be limited to a strict schedule (and they probably shouldn’t be without good reason), you still need to know when it’s too early or too late to initiate a call.
- What are the rules for the kids regarding electronic access? If your co-parent takes away your child’s phone as a punishment, that could drastically affect your ability to stay in touch. You need to have an understanding that such disciplinary measures won’t be taken without your consent.
The electronic age has made it easier than ever for parents and children to connect — but only when the right custody agreements are in place.