Virtual visitation: What busy parents need to know

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Time Sharing and Child Custody

As a non-custodial parent, you have a significant role in maintaining a relationship with your child. In Florida, courts acknowledge this by encouraging all parents to be actively involved in their children’s lives. This is more than just a statement—it’s a commitment to children’s emotional and mental well-being.

Children often want both parents to be involved in their lives. They appreciate regular contact and engagement. However, maintaining consistent activity in your child’s life might not be easy, especially if you’re a busy working parent, live far away, or have other commitments that make regular visits challenging. This is where electronic communication or ‘virtual visitation’ comes in.

Establish how you can make it work

Virtual visitation is using technology to keep in touch with your child. During the child custody proceedings, the court in Florida can order this kind of communication. This means that even if you’re on a business trip or live in a different city, you can continue bonding with your child through:

  • Video calls
  • Phone calls
  • Emails
  • Text messages
  • Social media messaging

Before the court allows these communication modes, they will consider several factors. The court must determine if it’s in your child’s best interest and if you can easily and affordably access the necessary technology. They will also look at each parent’s history, including any instances of substance abuse or domestic violence.

Once the court orders virtual visitation, you and the other parent will need to share your contact information and keep each other updated if there are any changes. If setting up virtual visitation involves extra costs, the court will decide who pays based on each parent’s financial situation.

A supplement, not a replacement

Virtual visitation is an additional way to stay connected with your child. It’s not a replacement for in-person time together. It is meant to supplement face-to-face contact, not replace it. So, those face-to-face weekend visits are still crucial even if you chat with your child over video call during the week.

If you need guidance on the visitation aspects of a parenting plan, consider seeking an attorney. This professional can help you understand how to integrate electronic communication effectively and responsibly into your plan, ensuring you can “maintain contact with your child even when you can’t physically be there.