Keith B. Schulefand, Esq.
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Virtual visitation can help in relocation cases

Circumstances arise when one parent, custodial or non-custodial, may have to move following a divorce. This is hard on the kids and for the parent who will lose out on his or her parenting time.

There is nothing easy about relocation cases. When the potential move can affect child custody or visitation, the parent needing or wanting to relocate will have to petition the court in order to adjust custody or visitation orders. In New York, parents are able to ask for the addition of virtual visitation to their orders as a supplement to their allotted physical time. This is a great option, as it allows parents and children alternative ways to keep in contact.

What exactly does virtual visitation mean?

If you are able to add virtual visitation to your parenting agreement, it means that you will be able to use some form of technology to contact your children. The form of technology agreed upon and how often you are able to virtually visit your children will have to be discussed. The details will then be included in your parenting plan.

Virtual visitation examples

Most adults own or have access to computers, cell phones or tablets with internet access. Many children, if their parents believe they are old enough, do as well. With these devices, parents and children can communicate in the following manners:

  • Email
  • Instant messaging
  • Social media sites
  • Video mail

What must I do to get a virtual visitation order?

If you want virtual visitation added to your parenting agreement, you will have to file a modification request in court. The determining of the details of a virtual visitation order often takes place in private between parents, with the assistance of legal counsel, in a mediation setting or - if necessary - a judge determines the details. Regardless of how a virtual visitation scheduled is reached, it will have to be court approved before being put into effect.

Seek help with your relocation case

Relocation will affect at least one parent's time with his or her children. While this is never really wanted, sometimes life demands make it a necessity.

Virtual visitation does not replace the physical time you are allowed to have with your children, but it is a great supplement for when physical time is limited due to a move. An experienced New York family law attorney can assist you in seeking to add this type of visitation to your parenting agreement to ensure the minimization of the effects of relocation on your parent/child relationship.

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