Virtual visitation helps parents and their children to maintain contact through technology when they are not under the same roof. Most virtual visitation arrangements accommodate communication between a child and whichever parent they are not residing with on any given day.
Although virtual visitation arrangements can be informal in nature, it is generally a good idea to formalize a basic schedule and set of expectations within the context of a parenting plan, just to better ensure that everyone is on the same page.
The ins and outs
Here’s how virtual visitation typically works in a practical, day-to-day sense:
- Communication Platforms: Co-parents and children can connect through various communication platforms specifically designed for virtual visitation. These platforms can include video conferencing apps (such as Zoom, Skype or FaceTime), messaging apps or dedicated co-parenting platforms that offer virtual visitation features. The primary mode of virtual visitation is typically video calls to facilitate face-to-face interaction.
- Interactive Activities: Virtual visitation can involve engaging in various activities together. Parents and children can play games, read stories, do art projects or participate in shared hobbies virtually. Coordinating these activities in advance and ensuring both parents and children have the necessary materials ready enhances the interactive nature of virtual visitation.
- Supervision and Privacy: Depending on the situation, virtual visitation may require supervision or monitoring. This can be necessary in cases where court orders or custody agreements stipulate specific conditions for virtual visitation. Privacy considerations are important to ensure that children can have uninterrupted and private conversations with their parent, fostering a sense of trust and confidentiality.
Virtual visitation provides an opportunity for parents and children to maintain regular contact, foster relationships and participate in each other’s lives even when physical distance or other constraints exist. It is important for co-parents to communicate effectively, be flexible and create a positive virtual environment to make virtual visitation a meaningful and beneficial experience for everyone.