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What is Virtual Visitation?

By Betty Wang, JD | Last updated on

What is virtual visitation? In this modern day and age, it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that there are forms of child visitation for divorced parents that occur via technology.

Virtual visitation is a new trending form of visitation for parents. A parent can now "visit" his or her child through technology portals like Skype, Facetime, or Google video chat.

Do courts embrace this kind of visitation? Is virtual visitation a part of a parent's "regular" visitation rights? Here's a general overview:

What is Virtual Visitation?

Virtual visitation, is a form of child visitation that occurs by way of technology, usually through some type of video conferencing program such as Skype. Usually, it's included as a part of one's parenting agreement or child custody order.

Typically, requests are made by the non-custodial parent in situations where he or she may be too geographically far to physically visit. Virtual visitation requests might also occur in non-divorce cases, such as with unmarried couples who share children.

Virtual visitation laws are also known as "internet visitation" or "electronic visitation" laws. They are a growing trend in this modern age, and many states have laws that allow courts to order virtual visitation. In these states, virtual visitation is generally available as an option to supplement, but not replace, physical parental visitation time.

Growing Trend, Focus Still on Child

State laws regarding visitation rights will vary but judge will generally create schedules which outline the dates, times, and duration of virtual visitation sessions for requesting parents.

Despite visitation rights being a new trend, the ultimate goal remains the same. Family courts will still always look to the best interests of the child when considering any type of visitation rights. Factors that determine the best interests of the child include:

  • What the child wants;
  • Age and sex of child;
  • Stability of each respective parent;
  • Religious and cultural preference of each parent; and
  • Evidence of parental drug, alcohol, or sex abuse

Still have questions about child visitation rights and virtual visitation? Consult with an experienced child custody attorney today.

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