Virtual Visitation: Divorced Parents Use Technology to Bridge the Distance

Apr 9


Scott David Stewart

Scott David Stewart

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With the economic pressures parents face these days, relocation after a divorce is fairly common. With new virtual visitation technology, out-of-state parents can now have visual contact with their children. Contact a Phoenix divorce attorney from the Law Offices of Scott David Stewart at (602)548-3400.

There are many reasons why a parent would relocate to another community or even another state. With the economic challenges that many people face today,Virtual Visitation: Divorced Parents Use Technology to Bridge the Distance Articles it is not unusual for a parent to cite employment opportunities as the primary reason for the move.Whatever the reasons, when the parent with primary physical custody of the child chooses to relocate out-of-state, or plans to move 100 miles away within Arizona, a 60-day notice of the proposed move must be given to the other parent who can then petition to prevent the relocation of his or her child.When the custodial parent’s relocation is successful, how does the remaining parent make up for some of the lost parenting time with his or her child?There are no substitutes for in-person contact between a parent and child. In a relocation case, the non-custodial parent can request that the court order enhanced internet communications with the use of technology -- known as e-visitation, or virtual visitation. Improved communications technology creates a virtual visitation experience well beyond that of a faceless telephone call. When you talk to your son on the telephone, can you hear him roll his eyes? Can you hear your daughter waive her hands in excitement?In some U.S. courts, including Utah and Texas, custodial parents are being ordered to allow virtual visitation between the other parent and the child. This is accomplished with the use of internet tools like Skype, iChat, Facetime, and Google Voice, to name only a few. Not only do these technologies create a real time audio-visual connection, many parents have found that the length of their calls double or triple because the child remains fully engaged in the conversation.After examining what is in the best interests of the child, a court ordering virtual visitation will schedule when the e-visitation will occur and for how long.We’ve found that virtual visitation may encourage more frequent communications between the child and the non-custodial parent. Children adjust well to the use of technology. An online parent-child conversation complete with video and webcam can be a more meaningful, more productive, and more satisfying experience for both parent and child.Are you facing child relocation? Contact an experienced Arizona parental rights lawyer to discuss your situation.

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