The pros and cons of virtual visitation

With the meteoric rise of smart phones and high-powered home computers, our world is closer than ever. Thanks to inventions like video conferencing, texting, instant messaging, video mail and email, we can talk to friends and family members like they’re in the room, even if they’re actually half a world away. Technology penetrates virtually every arena of life, and child custody is no exception. Virtual visitation is a quickly-burgeoning tool for divorcing and divorced parents to be a part of their children’s lives on a daily basis, even from a different state or country.

Texas is one of the states with laws on the books allowing a former spouse to be awarded virtual visitation in child custody cases. It does come with a couple of caveats: it’s not meant to be a substitute for in-person visitation, and the spouse with physical custody must allow the virtual visitation to be uncensored.

Let’s look at some of the pros of virtual visitation:

  • The parent can “tuck” the child into bed by reading a story.
  • Both parent and child form stronger bonds by at least seeing one another every day.
  • The child gets to share the events of the day with the parent, an important element in raising a healthy child.
  • The parent could virtually attend ballgames, plays and piano recitals via video conferencing.

And some of the cons:

  • Some feel that virtual visitation might be a refuge for lazy parenting.
  • It doesn’t include any physical touch.
  • Ex-spouses might be more apt to move away from the child.

If you have questions or concerns about a child custody case or visitation rights, you may want to think about contacting an attorney.