If you and your child’s other parent are no longer together, you are likely either in the process of creating a parenting plan or your co-parenting arrangements are already subject to the terms of an existing parenting plan document. If your plan does not yet contain terms that facilitate a virtual visitation arrangement for you and your co-parent, it is time to consider adding some.
Virtual visitation is usually a formalized arrangement wherein a child can communicate with whichever parent they are not residing with on any given day. These communications are not made face-to-face but are, instead, usually made via phone calls, video chats, email, texts, social media or even story time apps.
Making a virtual visitation arrangement work for everyone
It is important to be thoughtful when crafting expectations for virtual visitation. Otherwise, this arrangement could cause tension to build between co-parents or even between parents and their child. Essentially, you’ll want to craft a schedule that is considerate of everyone’s needs. Although the best interests of the child are always paramount, if one parent’s calls always interrupt the other’s family dinner time, for example, what should be a positive experience is quickly going to become a point of contention.
Additionally, it’s important to keep a child’s developmental needs, their communication style, the ebb and flow of how busy their life may be at any given time and other relevant factors in mind when considering virtual visitation expectations. It’s also important to consider whether virtual visitation is going to be the primary means of interaction between a child and parent (for example, if one parent lives some distance away) or whether it’s simply used on days of the week when the child is with their other parent.
Every family’s needs are unique. If you have questions about how to craft virtual visitation terms that best suit your family, don’t hesitate to seek legal guidance at any time.