Virtual visitation agreements are becoming increasingly common. These arrangements allow co-parents to maintain regular contact with their children through virtual means, including video calls, messaging and child-friendly online platforms.
If you and your child’s other parent are thinking about including virtual visitation terms in your parenting plan, there are a few considerations that you’ll need to keep in mind. If you don’t set certain expectations for your virtual visitation arrangements now, you could suffer as a result of preventable tension and in-fighting later on.
Communication methods and scheduling
While phrasing the issue in a flexible way – because technology changes rapidly – you’ll want to broadly clarify the communication methods that will be used during virtual visitation times, such as video calls, phone calls or email. Outline the schedule, duration and frequency of virtual visits, considering factors including your child’s age, availability and the technological resources available to both parties. Otherwise, there could be a lot of crossed wires, assumptions and misunderstandings to overcome on a regular basis.
You’ll also want to outline guidelines for everyone involved so that each party knows its rights and responsibilities. Some additional points of consideration that may be worthy of consideration include:
- Technical Requirements: Specify any necessary technical requirements, such as internet access, reliable devices, and the use of specific software or apps. Ensure that both parties have access to the required technology and discuss how any limitations or technical issues will be addressed.
- Privacy and Supervision: Determine whether your child can have private conversations and communication, given their age, maturity and other “x-factors” unique to your family’s situation.
- Notice and Flexibility: Address how changes or cancellations to the virtual visitation schedule will be communicated and managed.
If you are unsure of how to structure a virtual visitation arrangement that is workable for everyone and serves your child’s best interests simultaneously, that is okay. You can seek legal guidance at any time to benefit from some personalized feedback.