Not all parents live close enough to their children to be able to have in-person visitation frequently. For these parents, staying in contact with their children can sometimes require a bit of creativity. In the past, these parents would have to rely on mail and phone calls to stay in touch. Now, parents can rely on technology to help them keep in contact with their children.
The use of technology, which includes video chats, emails and other forms of electronic communication, is considered virtual visitation. While it is true that virtual communication isn't an ideal alternative to face-to-face visits with their children, these virtual options can help the parents to remain very active parts of the child's life.
There are many possibilities for virtual visitation. A parent could read a young child a bedtime story over a video chat or help an older child with their homework using the same technology. It is up to the parents to find ways for the child to be able to communicate with both parents.
When it comes to virtual visitation, it is important that parents allow the communication to be uncensored. The child and parent should feel free to speak to each other without having to worry about the physically present parent jumping into the conversation. The virtual visits should also be allowed to commence when reasonably appropriate.
Parents who aren't able to have frequent in-person visits with their children should explore the option of virtual visitation. In some cases, turning to the court system or having a child custody order modified to include this form of communication might be necessary.
Source: FindLaw, "Virtual Visitation," accessed Nov. 07, 2016