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Don't pull the plug on custody -- consider virtual visitation

Figuring out your new normal after a divorce can be difficult, especially if you are a parent. You might go from seeing your child every single day to only a handful of days out of the week or even less. If your ex is planning on moving out of state, your visitation with your child could be even more restricted.While there may not be a replacement for in-person interactions, shelling out for a plane ticket or spending hours behind the wheel of a car can be both expensive and time-consuming. This type of frequent back-and-forth travel for visitation is simply not feasible for everyone in Florida. If this is your situation, virtual visitation can supplement your time spent together.

What is virtual visitation?

The world of technology is rapidly expanding. Most people now carry smart phones that are more powerful than many computers were just a decade ago. And now, you can use technology to maintain a meaningful relationship with your child regardless of distance.

Virtual visitationĀ involves the use of technology to stay in contact with your out-of-state child. While this might seem like an obvious solution that you do not need to write into your custody plan, failing to do so could be disastrous. For instance, what happens if your ex grounds your child from the internet or takes away their phone as a punishment? You will want to have terms in place that protect your ability to communicate.

Will I still see my child in person?

Virtual visitation is not to replace meaningful, physical contact with your child. Instead, it should act like a supplement during periods of time when you cannot be together. You should expect your ex to help facilitate this by not only encouraging your child to engage in the virtual visitations but to also give them reasonable opportunities to do so, and in private when necessary.

Your own virtual visitations do not have to resemble a weekly, scheduled video chat, although doing so is perfectly fine. However, remember that virtual contact can take many ongoing forms. A text message chain, emails and instant messaging are all good options.

You can still have a good relationship

In today's work climate, finding a meaningful, well-paying job often means leaving a hometown or even crossing state lines. This can be especially difficult for divorced parents who must figure out whether moving for work is truly in the best interests of their child.

You do not have to give up onĀ having a meaningful relationship with your child due to either you or your ex's move out of Florida. Instead, consider how a dedicated virtual visitation plan could work in your custody agreement. If you are unsure of how to proceed with doing so, an experienced family law attorney can explain things more fully.

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