MEETING OPTIONS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS: The Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen understands your concerns regarding the spread of the Coronavirus, and now offers different meeting options to our clients and those seeking legal representation. All meetings, including initial free consultations, can be handled either through the phone, FaceTime, Zoom, or in person.

Rules for Virtual Parenting Time

In recent months, an increasing number of families with divorced parents are taking advantage of virtual parenting time. In fact, the coronavirus pandemic made this type of visitation more commonplace. More recently, parents that relied on connecting with children virtually at the height of the pandemic came to realize benefits associated with the experience. As a result, more people today are utilizing technology when it comes to supplementing face-to-face parenting time. With his in mind, there are a number of important rules that need to be focused on when parenting time is undertaken virtually.

  • Virtual parenting time is not a replacement for traditional connections
  • Make certain your children buy into this type of parenting time
  • Schedule specific virtual sessions
  • Know the technology
  • Do not abuse the concept of parenting time undertaken virtually
Virtual Parenting Time is Not a Replacement for Traditional Connections

Perhaps no other rule associated with parenting time undertaken virtually is that it is not to be considered a substitute for “real world” or traditional parenting time. Virtual time should be regarded as a supplement to traditional parenting time.

In some circumstances, it can be the primary type of parenting time between a noncustodial parent and a child when real world connections are not possible. For example, if a noncustodial parent is on a military deployment, virtual parent time can be the only viable means through which that parent and a child or children can spend time together.

Make Certain Your Children Buy into Parenting Time that is Virtual

Discussions regarding parenting time undertaken virtually need to be discussed in advance with the children. Depending on their ages, it is important to attempt to get them to buy into the idea of conducting parenting time in some situations. This is accomplished through open communication and respecting feedback presented by a child or children regarding the idea of parenting time occurring in a digital setting.

As an aside, you also need to make sure that the timing of a virtual session considers a child’s other commitments and desires. This is particularly the case as children grow older and get into middle school and high school.

Schedule Specific Virtual Sessions

Do not approach parenting time sessions to be conducted virtually in a haphazard manner. As you do with face-to-face parenting time, you will want to be certain to schedule virtual sessions at agreeable times and far enough in advance to ensure timing is as convenient as possible for everyone intended to be involved in a session.

Know the Technology

In advance of a parenting time session to occur virtually, all parties to the engagement need to be certain that they understand how to use the application or technology that will provide the connection. For example, if Zoom is the platform of choice, the parties need to be sure that they are clear on how this technology works. This extends not only to the individual who will be setting up the Zoom encounter in the first instance but also to any person who will be connecting into the session.

Do Not Abuse the Concept of Virtual Parenting Time

Finally, when it comes to the rules associated with parenting time undertaken virtually, take care not to abuse it. For example, because this type of visitation is undertaken virtually, do not take a scheduled session lightly. In other words, simply because there is no physical connection doesn’t mean that the time allotted for a virtual session should be treated in a cavalier manner.

Moreover, custodial parents need to take care not to abuse the concept of parenting time done virtually. By way of example, merely because parenting time is conducted virtually doesn’t mean that a custodial parent can interrupt a session absent a truly compelling reason for doing so.

Protect Your Legal Rights

If you have issues arising out of marriage and divorce matters, including associated with parenting time that is virtual, the legal team at the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen are here to assist you. You can arrange an appointment by calling us at 201-845-7400. There is no cost for an initial consultation with a member of our legal team.

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