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Put virtual visits to work for long-distance parenting

When you aren't in the same area as your child, spending time with the child can be difficult. Decades ago, you would have had to rely solely on phone calls or letters to build a relationship with the child if you didn't live close enough for frequent visits. With the current technology available, you can rely on virtual visitation to give you a chance to interact with your child on a regular basis between the in-person visits.

One thing that both parents must understand about virtual visitation is that the communication between parent and child has to be unimpeded. This is the equivalent to what an in-person visit would be if the parent had the child for the night or weekend. Be sure the custody agreement spells out the terms of the virtual visitation.

You can use a variety of methods to have the virtual visitation with your child. You should find the methods that work best for you and your child. You might use programs like Skype or other video messaging programs. Private messages, emails, text messages and any other means of communication that you can think of can be part of virtual visitation.

Another consideration is when the virtual visitation should take place. The time has to be a time when it is convenient for the child. If you are in another time zone, particularly if you are across the world, this might mean that you are inconvenienced, but the child has to be put first.

There is almost no end to how you can interact with your child during virtual visitation. You can go over homework with a teenager or read a bedtime story to a toddler. Figure out what your child wants and go from there.

Source: FindLaw, "Virtual Visitation," accessed Feb. 24, 2017

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