A Child Custody Lawyer Rockville MD Trusts Discusses Virtual Visitation
Under new legislation regarding child custody, virtual visitation could change the way a child and parent maintains a communicative relationship.
As the name may imply, virtual visitation, is a type of child visitation that implements technology such as email, video, video mail, instant messaging, conferencing, and so forth. Rather than using these methods to communicate as an option, they are generally included in a parenting agreement or ordered by a Rockville MD family court judge.
Virtual visitation requests are usually made by the non-custodial parent and his or her Rockville MD child custody lawyer. In most cases the custodial parents has moved out of the area with the child or is seeking to relocate. In either scenario the non-custodial parents’ visitation rights are hindered. It is also possible to ask for virtual visitation in unmarried fathers or non-divorce cases.
Current Laws Regarding Virtual Visitation
Most states refer to these child custody laws as virtual visitation; however, the terms “electronic visitation” or “internet visitation” might also be used. Currently the following states have enacted specific laws that enable courts to order virtual visitation.
- North Carolina
Several other states are also considering passing siminal virtual visitation laws within the year. Even if your state does not yet have any laws regarding virtual visitation, it may be an option that you could discuss with a child custody lawyer in Rockville MD. For example, in New York, a state with no current virtual visitation laws, the courts have ruled in favor of using digital technology to extend the visitation rights of parents.
In general these laws are only meant to supplement the face to face, in person time a parent would have with their child. They are not a replacement and may still require a parent to:
- Encourage virtual visitation time
- Permit the time
- Make the time available, within reason
- Allow time that is uncensored
Examples of virtual visitation tools include, but are not limited to:
- Video conferencing
- Social media websites
- Instant messaging
- Photo sharing sites
- Messaging applications
Similar to other arrangements regarding child custody, the judge will likely consider the best interests of the child when choosing whether or not to order virtual visitation. Usually if traditional visitation would not have been ordered, or has not been granted, virtual visitation may also be denied.
The Benefits of Virtual Visitation
Virtual visitation enables a parent who is not near the child to be actively involved in his or her life. Examples of how it could be used include:
- Helping the child with homework
- Reading a story to the child
- Seeing facial and body expressions on the part of the child and parent
- Encouraging the child to show the parent an award, achievement, or other milestone
- Talk about the day’s events
- Witnessing a special moment like a sports game or dance recital
It should be emphasized that this is not a replacement to child custody. A non-custodial parent is still expected to physically visit their child whenever possible.
Would You Like to Know More About Virtual Visitation
Virtual visitation can be very beneficial for some parents and even grandparents or non-immediate family members. To learn more about virtual visitation, please contact a child custody lawyer Rockville MD clients turn to.