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Should California laws address virtual visitation?

People have become incredibly mobile in the past few decades. In a matter of days, someone can be offered a job position, accept and move across the country. When parents do not live together, it is often not even a matter of being in different homes but in different states.

The distance between parents can interfere with the amount of in-person time a parent spends with their children. While being physically in the same room at the same time is still the best way to bond with a child, virtual visitation can help make bonding easier when a parent is away from a child. In fact, six states have already enacted laws addressing virtual visitation. Should California become one of them?

Time spent away from a child is inevitable in custody agreements. Many of these agreements have a shared custody plan that leaves each parent away for a measure of time. Even when sole physical custody is involved, the non-custodial parent often wants to remain in their child’s life.

Virtual visitation has helped many families across the nation. Instead of only being able to listen – such as a telephone provides – a parent is able to see their child smile in connection with a laugh. They can help with homework online and tell them how beautiful the picture they drew in class was. Seeing the facial reactions and mannerisms face-to-face can help strengthen the bond between a parent and child.

Although virtual visitation has its upside, it is important that courts continue to weigh the balance of what is in a child’s best interests. Virtual visitation can be very helpful in some situations and harmful when used incorrectly, which is why it is important to discuss any creative alternative with an experienced family law attorney to ensure that your rights as a parent are upheld.

Source: The Washington Times,
“Virtual visitation: a sensible child custody option,” Myra Fleischer, April 15, 2012