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Benefits and drawbacks of virtual visitation

Non-custodial New York parents who may be moving some distance away from their children might want to consider the possibility of virtual visitation. With virtual visitation, parents can fulfill their visitation agreement by using technology to communicate with their child. This might include Skype, instant messaging, or an exchange over email or social media. New York is one of several states in which courts have agreed to virtual visitation in some custody cases.

Virtual visitation functions in much the same way as in-person visitation in that if an individual is denied visitation rights, that will most likely extend to virtual visitation. Virtual visitation can be an excellent way for a child and a parent to stay connected when they are far away from one another. It may permit parents to do things like help children with their homework and see milestones like a missing tooth or an award won. It might even be possible for parents to virtually "attend" special events such as recitals and sporting events.

However, some fear that virtual visitation may have its drawbacks. It may not provide the same degree of bonding as in-person visits, and furthermore, the fact that it is an option might encourage judges to approve child custody relocation where they might not have previously.

Parents who are divorcing and trying to negotiate visitation may want to work with an attorney. It may also be necessary to renegotiate child custody and visitation if one parent is moving. While this may be difficult on both parents and children, there are also situations in which it is ultimately in everyone's best interests such as better employment or educational prospects for the parents that will in turn mean a better quality of life for the child. Virtual visitation may be an option in these cases.

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