Virtual Visitation: It’s a Mobile Place

It’s a mobile world.  You can work, call, text, etc. from nearly anywhere.  But, can a parent can visit from “remote” rather than in person?  

Increasingly, the answer will be yes.   

Recently, as part of a court order, a mother’s move from New York to Florida prompted visitation modifications that included directives for virtual visits through Skype, an online video and audio phone service.  Technology has enabled people to communicate in more ways than ever before, and the courts are recognizing their usefulness in a world where people frequently move.

However, this order raises the issue of whether virtual visitation should be limited to instances where physical distance is the primary barrier.  Even parents who live nearby can have difficulty facilitating sufficient levels of contact between children and parents – work travel, odd shift hours, and even gridlock can be real barriers.

Parents should consider whether these ever-changing (and improving) communication technologies would serve their children’s needs well.   In fact, children increasingly interact socially through non-traditional media and maintain/nurture their own interpersonal relationships with others through texts, Skype, and other means.  Technology does not have to be reserved for the kids’ friends; the parents can benefit from it, too.

New York Case

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