With advances in modern technology, there are more ways than ever for parents to spend time with their children without actually being in the same room. If you and your future ex are working out a custody agreement, consider whether or not virtual visitation is right for your family. Virtual visitation includes the use of the Internet and electronic devices to connect with your children remotely. Here are a few things to think about when considering virtual visitation as part of your custody agreement.
Continuing Daily Routines
Video calls made on a laptop or tablet device can help you and your spouse to maintain some continuity with daily routines after the divorce. The parent not present in the home on any given day can read bedtime stories or help with homework after school by using video calls. This can give the custodial parent extra time to tend to housework, and it gives your children the chance to spend time with both of you every day. To make this work, set a time each day for calling your children. No matter who has custody on any given day, the parent not physically present with the child should place the call. If you don't already have an electronic device that can be used for this purpose, be sure to have your divorce attorney help determine how the cost of the equipment will be split.
Send Regular Emails
You can set up email accounts for each of your children so they can write to you and your spouse whenever they want to. Be sure that both parents have the passwords to the account so any other incoming messages can be monitored, and ensure that each email gets a prompt response. These emails provide a chance to ask questions, send pictures and share the events of the day. Consider sending an email each afternoon asking about each child's day at school, and then discuss the response during your next video call.
Texting And Voice Calls
Even if you think your children are too young to have their own mobile phones, you may want to consider setting up phone lines for each child as a direct line of communication with each parent. You can find kid-friendly phones with parental controls, which only allow your children to contact the phone numbers you program into the phones. Put both of your phone numbers into the phone, and add any emergency family contacts you feel would be appropriate. Work with your divorce attorney to determine who will pay for the phones and phone bills if you choose this option.
Speak to your divorce attorney about the family laws in your state concerning virtual visitation. You may be able to add these options into your agreement to supplement the amount of time you get for physical custody. Having virtual visitation added to your agreement also ensures that your former spouse will need to comply with digital visitation in the same way he or she complies with physical visitation.
When my ex-husband decided to contest my choice to homeschool our children, I knew that I had to defend my right as the custodial parent. Our custody agreement gave me authority over educational decisions, but he still took me to court. I spent a lot of time working with an attorney to find out how best to handle it, and I did a lot of research on the laws as they applied. If you're trying to defend your educational choices amidst your divorce, this site may help. I've built it to share everything I learned and explain the process that I went through to secure my rights.