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Custody arrangements in the Internet Age

The Internet has changed so much of modern life and it is now changing how parents share custody. Virtual visitation is the practice of allowing technologically assisted visitation, and such an arrangement may be pursued in Connecticut.

Although it is generally intended as a means to supplement in-person visitation, it may be useful in cases where the custodial parent relocates. Some states have already enacted virtual visitation laws and others are considering doing so. Even in states where there are no such laws, family courts have ruled in favor of the practice in some custody and visitation cases.

Virtual visitation can help bridge distance and reduce scheduling friction in order to help parents remain strongly involved in the lives of their children. It can allow a distant parent to read a bedtime story, help with homework or see a live recital that would be missed otherwise. It can also allow a parent to be more familiar with daily occurrences in the child's life.

However, some suggest that there is the potential danger that virtual visitation may become an excuse to reduce the amount of time a parent might be given to physically spend time with their child. For example, the availability of virtual visitation may influence the decisions of judges hearing cases that involve the relocation of a custodial parent.

Virtual visitation is intended to be a tool to enhance the quality of life for all parties. It is best used as a means to help both parents better meet the needs of the child. An attorney may be able help the family determine how best to use this relatively new tool while trying to avoid the potential pitfalls inherent in navigating a new custody landscape.

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