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Virtual visitation may be an option for your child custody plan

Nothing can replace the important time that a parent spends with their children. Any California parent who has had to spend time away from their kids knows how much a parent can miss in just a short time away. For parents who do not have physical custody of their children, being away from their kids between scheduled visitation times can be excruciating.

Although courts look to preserve the children's best interests when establishing child custody arrangements, it can sometimes be hard to work time in with a noncustodial parent for visitation. Whether due to distance, divergent schedules or other barriers, some noncustodial parents find it next to impossible to have meaningful face-to-face time with the children they love.

A relatively new type of visitation is being approved in California courts, as well as other American jurisdictions. Termed "virtual visitation," this type of visitation between a parent and child capitalizes on the emergence of communication technologies to allow parents to have real time experiences with their kids. Either through video phone calls, visual chatting or using computer webcams to share live videos of each other, parents and kids can have virtual face time with each other when physical face time is not possible.

Not every noncustodial California parent includes virtual visitation in their custody plan, and the rules surrounding a family's use of virtual visitation should be evaluated and established on a case-by-case basis. However, parents who believe that virtual visitation may be an asset in protecting their important relationships with their children are encouraged to discuss their options with their family law attorneys.

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