The pros and cons of virtual visitation

On Behalf of | Jul 2, 2020 | Child Custody |

Some parents in New Hampshire who are getting a divorce may want to consider virtual visitation as a supplement to regular visitation. Virtual visitation is any kind of contact between children and parents that involves technology, including phone calls, social media, video conferencing and email.

Virtual visitation is most common when one parent needs to relocate. In fact, one criticism is that it might make judges more likely to approve a relocation. Critics point out that virtual visitation is not an adequate substitute for spending time with a parent in person. However, it can give parents a chance to have experiences with their children they could not have enjoyed otherwise. For example, a parent could help a child with a homework assignment or read the child a bedtime story despite being far away. A parent could also “attend” a child’s sporting event or recital or see a physical object, such as an award or a missing tooth.

Generally, when a virtual visitation is agreed upon, parents are required to encourage it and to allow the child to talk uncensored. Parents who are not permitted access to their children for physical visitation generally are also not permitted to have virtual visitation since the experience is considered similar enough that the risks are also the same.

Denial of visitation rights is uncommon since courts usually start with the presumption that children benefit from spending time with both parents. Usually, courts will only restrict a parent’s contact with a child if the child is unsafe with that parent. Otherwise, parents can negotiate an agreement for visitation and child custody, or they can go to court where a judge will do it. If they decide to try to negotiate, their attorneys can help, and this can be less stressful than litigation.