For many families, virtual visitation has become an important element of co-parenting arrangements, especially when significant distance makes in-person parenting time a challenge and/or when kids are going through a rough time and parents need to be more present than usual.
If your family doesn’t already benefit from this approach, know that incorporating virtual visitation terms into your parenting plan can be immensely beneficial, as long as you are thoughtful about how you schedule virtual visits and how you set expectations for everyone involved.
Benefits of this approach
One of the primary benefits of virtual visitation is that it allows for regular and consistent contact between your child and whichever parent they are not residing with at any given moment, regardless of the physical distance between them. Video calls, text messages and emails can supplement in-person parenting time, better ensuring that the parent and child remain a significant part of each other’s lives.
As a result of this consistent contact and investment, virtual visitation helps to maintain and strengthen the emotional bond between a child and each of their parents. Regular face-to-face interaction, even through a screen, allows both to share experiences, communicate effectively and maintain a meaningful relationship. This is true even when kids are very young. Bedtime story time via video chat can become a favorite time of day, for example.
Virtual visitation can also help to facilitate participation in everyday activities like homework, extracurricular games/performances or just casual conversations, which might not otherwise be possible.
Including virtual visitation terms related to scheduling frequency, etc. in your parenting plan provides legal clarity. It sets clear expectations and guidelines for both parents, which can be enforced by the court if necessary. This effort also lets your child know what to expect. As such, you might want to consider seeking legal guidance to make these adjustments – ideally, with your co-parent’s agreement but litigated, if necessary – so that you, your co-parent, and your child can start benefitting from this arrangement.