Family Law Lawyer
Virtual visitation, also known as online or digital visitation, has become an increasingly popular solution for parents who live far apart from their children due to various circumstances such as divorce, job relocations, or military deployment. It allows parents to maintain regular contact with their children through video calls, instant messaging, and other digital platforms. To better ensure that virtual visitation works effectively and benefits everyone involved, consider the following strategies.
Establish a Consistent Schedule
Consistency is crucial for successful virtual visitation. Establish a predictable schedule for virtual visits, just as you would for in-person visits. Stick to the agreed-upon times and duration to provide stability and routine for the children. Having a regular virtual visitation schedule helps children anticipate and look forward to spending time with both parents, creating a sense of security and normalcy.
Use Reliable Communication Platforms
Choose communication platforms that are reliable and easy to use for all parties involved. Video calling applications like Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime offer face-to-face interaction, which can be valuable for building and maintaining connections. Ensure that both parents have access to the necessary technology and internet connection to facilitate smooth communication.
Be Flexible and Respectful
Flexibility is essential, as unforeseen circumstances may arise that require adjustments to the virtual visitation schedule. Be willing to accommodate each other’s schedules whenever possible. Additionally, show respect for each other’s time during virtual visits and avoid disruptions or distractions during the calls. Being respectful and considerate fosters a positive environment for virtual visitation.
Plan Engaging Activities
Engage in meaningful activities during virtual visits to make the experience more enjoyable and interactive for the children. Read stories together, play online games, or participate in virtual arts and crafts projects. These activities can help strengthen the parent-child bond and create lasting memories. Tailor the activities to the children’s interests and ages to ensure their active participation and engagement.
Encourage Open Communication
Promote open communication between parents and children during virtual visits. Create a safe and supportive environment where children feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings. Be attentive to their needs and emotions, and encourage them to express themselves freely. Maintaining open communication helps parents stay connected with their children on an emotional level and understand their experiences and challenges, even from a distance.
Respect Each Parent’s Role
As an experienced family law lawyer – including those who practice at Robinson & Hadeed – can confirm, it’s crucial to respect each parent’s role and decisions regarding the children’s well-being in order mitigate the kind of tension that can send co-parents racing back to court. Avoid criticizing or undermining a co-parent during virtual visits, as this can create tension and stress for the children. Instead, focus on maintaining a positive and supportive relationship with the children, reinforcing the idea that both parents love and care for them.
Be Mindful of Time Differences
If there is a significant time difference between the parents’ locations, be mindful of the scheduling challenges it presents. Find mutually convenient times for virtual visits that do not disrupt the children’s daily routines or sleep schedules. If necessary, make adjustments on special occasions or holidays to ensure both parents can participate in important family events.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that the focus should always be on the well-being and happiness of the children, fostering a loving and supportive connection with both parents, regardless of the physical distance between them.