Can Texas courts award electronic communication time to parents?

One of the things that is often the main issue in custody/visitation cases is how much time each parent will get to physically be with their child. However, being in the same physical place as their child is not the only way a parent can have meaningful contact with their child. There are all manner of different forms of electronic communication, such as phones, internet videoconferencing and instant messaging, that can allow parents and children to talk to one another when they are not together. Thus, in addition to wanting time in which they are together with their child, another thing a Texas parent who is separated/divorced might be interested in getting is electronic communication time with their child.

Here in Texas, custody/visitation orders can include awards of electronic communication time to a parent. Courts in the state have the discretion to grant such awards in response to a parent’s request for such an award. One thing to note is that state law specifies that courts are not to use electronic communication awards as a replacement for physical time with the child that the parent otherwise would have been entitled to, but rather as a supplement to such time.

There are many different things Texas courts can consider when deciding whether to grant a parent’s request for an electronic communication award. As is the case with most custody matters, the child’s best interest is one of the things courts are to factor in when making such a decision.

Texas family law attorneys can provide guidance to parents who are interested in making an electronic communication award request or some other type of custody/visitation-related court request. Such requests can sometimes touch on complicated issues, so having experienced legal representation can be helpful for a parent when making such a request.