With good jobs remaining difficult to find in these economic times, more and more people may find themselves choosing the place to live based on where they are working. For many, this is not a problem but divorced parents with children in New York may find themselves asking how it would affect their child custody and visitation rights. As expected, when a noncustodial parent-the parent who does not have physical custody of the children-has to move away, it can affect their visitation rights. However, technology is proving to be very useful in this situation, as parents can use various technological means to remain in touch with their children.
Virtual visitation, whereby a parent can retain their relationship with their children through the use of technology, is growing in popularity across the country. It includes utilizing videoconferencing, video mail, instant messaging, and email to keep in contact with kids and is usually included in the parenting agreement. Though New York is not among the states that have laws on the books about internet visitation, courts have been seen to favor the use of technology to extend parental rights.
Many see virtual visitation as a means of supplementing parental visitation rights. Parents not in the same location can read bedtime books, help with homework and even witness important events such as piano recitals and sporting events. However, others fear that virtual visitation may replace traditional visitation and children may be deprived of seeing their loved ones face to face as more and more parents elect to relocate and remain in touch on-line.
Every family has a different situation and their parenting and divorce agreement reflects their individual circumstances. Where virtual visitation may benefit some, others may find it distracts and unsettles their children. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of different child custody arrangements and make informed decisions that work best for one’s own situation.