Is Virtual Visitation Right for You?
Child visitation laws allow parents to meet with their children through the contemporary forms of virtual visitation using digital devices. Non-custodial parents can use internet technology for interacting with their children. This is also known as e-access or e-visitation.
You can use Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Facebook Messenger, or any other video chat application to speak with your children. Virtual visitation also includes access to children via email messages, text messages, telephone conferences, and instant messaging.
Increasing Popularity of Virtual Visitation in Kentucky
Virtual visitation has steadily gained popularity over the years as a form of child visitation. It has allowed an increasing number of non-custodial parents to visit their children on a regular basis.
The popularity of virtual visitation grew substantially during the Covid-19 shutdowns. It has since then become recognized as a convenient form of visitation among many parents, especially those that live far away from their children.
The parent can speak with their child without physical custody of the child. This is convenient for ex-spouses too since they can share parenting without having to come into direct contact with each other. This helps in preventing any altercations.
Laws regarding virtual visitation vary as per the state making it important that you work with a local attorney to protect your and your child’s best interests. These laws govern the days and times that e-access can occur. It also states the length of these online sessions.
Benefits of Virtual Visitation
There is no alternative to being physically present with your child. However, digital options make it easier to stay connected when you are required to remain apart. You can stay in touch with your child in the following ways:
- Instant messaging
- Skype, FaceTime, and other similar video call service
- Social media interactions
- Text messaging
- Calling your child
These methods can be used for reading to a young child, hearing about the child’s day, helping them with their homework, and broadly letting them know that you are interested in their lives and want to stay involved.
Digital means can let you remain in touch with your child when you are too busy to visit. Virtual visitation is increasingly being used by parents when they are traveling for work, relocated to another state, or are too occupied with other things to physically visit when in the same town.
Granting of Virtual Visitation Rights by a Judge
It is important to understand that a judge will not grant virtual visitation rights if it places the child in danger. You may not be allowed e-access if you have a history of physical abuse, substance abuse, illegal activities, and sexual abuse among other things.
These are a few situations in which virtual visitation can be very useful:
- Whenever it is in the best interests of the child. E-visitation is allowed when the activities don’t interfere with or negatively impact the child’s routine.
- When the non-custodial parent lives far away from the child. Virtual visitation proves to be a convenient method of visitation when children and parents live in different countries or states. It also reduces the pressure on travel costs.
- Situations that warrant frequent contact. E-visitation can be a convenient and safe mode of visitation when the parent and child need to meet more often.
The custodial parent is required to provide the other parent with access to digital contact information when the court awards virtual visitation rights. This may include email addresses, social media accounts, and instant messaging information, among other things. The custodial parent has the legal obligation to notify the other parent of any changes in contact information.
Virtual visitation can work only when both parents respect each other’s boundaries and privacy rights. The custodial parent should try and keep from interfering during e-visitation sessions. The court may designate the e-visitation times or both parents may come to an agreement.
Virtual Visitation Can Be Used for Supplementing In-Person Visits
You should begin by reviewing state laws if you are interested in finding out whether virtual visitation is a viable option for you as a parent or not. This form of child visitation is not yet recognized by every state. You should consider speaking with an experienced family law attorney if the laws are unclear to you.
Virtual visitation should not be considered as a complete substitute for traditional child visitation standards. It should only be used for supplementing physical visits so that you feel more involved in your child’s life. Your child may feel disconnected if you use virtual visitation as a standard.
Get Legal Advice from a Trusted Family Law Attorney in Louisville
There is no specific legislative provision regarding virtual visitation in Kentucky yet. However, this doesn’t mean that courts don’t favor allowing convenient and frequent visitation through e-visitation.
The legal team at John H. Ruby & Associates will evaluate your unique situation, explain all available legal options, and provide you with strong representation. To request a free and confidential case evaluation, give us a call at (502) 373-8044 or reach us online.