Using technology wisely when you share custody

Technology can be a double-edged sword with regard to family legal battles. For instance, it can spark contentious battles during a divorce when spouses use GPS or malware to spy on each other, but it also can preserve relationships between parents and children by allowing them to stay connected when they cannot be together physically.

If you have are a joint or sole managing conservator, then you should know some of the important ways technology can help — and hurt — your arrangement.

Beneficial uses of technology in custody cases

Generally speaking, children benefit from having frequent and continuing contact with both parents. Some of the ways parents can use technology to achieve this include:

  • Video chatting with a child after a big event, like losing a tooth or winning an award
  • Connecting on social media to stay engaged
  • Texting a quick “good night” message
  • Using shared calendars to keep track of special events
  • Sharing pictures

Potential consequences of technology in custody cases

The use of technology can be detrimental if there are not adequate guidelines that comply with Texas laws in place. Potential abuses of technology that can interfere with custody and/or the other parent’s rights include:

  • Excessive texts or calls
  • Location monitoring
  • Replacing physical visitation with virtual visitation when it is not necessary to do so
  • Unnecessarily banning electronic communication with the other parent
  • Asking a child to spy on a parent’s computer or phone

When in doubt, consult an attorney

Good communication is the foundation of effective custody and visitation plans, and this includes utilizing technology and electronic communication wisely.

If you have questions about how to address technology in your parenting plan, or if you feel that the other parent of your child is interfering with your parental rights by misusing electronic communication, then you can discuss any legal remedies or solutions with an attorney.

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