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Is virtual visitation right for you and your child?

In today's mobile society, after a divorce or a relationship ends, former partners frequently go their separate ways, which sometimes can be hundreds or even thousands of miles apart.

While there's nothing inherently wrong with this, if the two had children together, it can make visitation quite difficult. Inevitably, the non-custodial parents will wind up missing out on many of the significant moments of their children's lives.

This can bring feelings of resentment or even estrangement if the child is very young and doesn't get to bond closely with the distant parent. Fortunately, technology has advanced to where "virtual visitation" can allow parents to keep in touch with their offspring in ways that they could not in years past.

While nothing will take the place of an in-the-flesh visit with hugs and kisses from the kids, using technology to remain in touch can be the next best thing.

Military dads half a world away can Skype with the kids, helping sons and daughters with algebra homework or reading "Goodnight, Moon" for the umpteenth time.

Moms who have to travel on frequent business trips can text and do live Facebook videos from hotel rooms, sending virtual kisses across the miles.

When parents can't be there for dance recitals or ballgames, the other parent can film the performance or home run. If the former partners don't have a good enough relationship for that, a friend or relative can step in and do the video to send to the absent parent.

Parents can purchase a phone for their child to use to communicate with them and set up certain pre-arranged times to call or video-chat. In some instances, these virtual visitation arrangements may be incorporated into the custody agreement and signed off by the family court judge.

It should be noted that these types of visitations do not replace actual physical visits, and parents should make every effort to arrange to see their children as often as is possible.

Source: Findlaw, "Virtual Visitation," accessed Dec. 09, 2016

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