Virtual Visitation (Internet Visitation) in Texas Child Custody Matters
Internet visitation is becoming more common in Texas child custody matters. Learn more about it, and how it can help in your situation.
May 10, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- In today's mobile society, it is increasingly common for a parent to relocate after a divorce. According to a report for the National Center for State Courts, 75 percent of newly single mothers will move within four years after a separation or divorce. Another 30 percent will move more than once. Also, an estimated 18 million children have separated or divorced parents, with one in four having a parent who lives in another state. As such, nearly 10 million kids do not have regular face-to-face contact with one of their parents.
Being away from your children can certainly be challenging. Because of this, it is critical to maintain relationships and emotional connections so that your children will understand that you are still a part of their world. Thanks to technological advances, virtual visitation can make long-distance parenting easier. Virtual visitation, also called Internet visitation, is a means for parents to have face-to-face time with their children via electronic means. Aside from a parent who has relocated, a parent who is away from his or her child while in the military, business traveling, or on vacation, can also take advantage of technological advances.
The most popular interface is Skype, which uses voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) to generate cheap long distance calling and video calls using a computer and a webcam. You may also speak to anyone in the world for free if they have a Skype connection. This allows parents to share more than just their voices and provides a much different experience than just talking on the telephone.
Video chat and webcams have become so popular that more courts are including virtual visitation schedules into parenting plans. Texas enacted a law giving non-custodial parents (the parent who is granted possessory conservatorship) electronic or virtual communication rights in 2007 (Family Code ?153.015). Since then Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Illinois have passed similar laws. Twenty two other states have bills at various stages of consideration.
Proponents of virtual visitation say that it is a great way to strengthen the bonds between parents and kids across the miles, but caution that it cannot replace face-to-face contact. It is best used to supplement visits and to share spontaneous moments, such as a lost tooth, a report card or a recent award. However, some parents may abuse this medium and use it to spy on their ex. A parent could ask the child to walk through the house with a webcam to find evidence of a new boyfriend or girlfriend.
Nevertheless, virtual visitation is an easy form of communication that gives a child the psychological benefit of constant contact with a distant parent. Of course, virtual visitation is not a substitute for personal contact or visitation between a child and parent.
If you have questions about electronic communication and how it can be included in your order, an experienced family law attorney can help. As well as representing your interests in divorce litigation, a lawyer can also help you determine whether alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or collaborative law, might be right for you and your situation.
Article provided by Bertolino LLP
Visit us at www.belolaw.com
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