Virtual Visitation and Long Distance Parenting
It’s no secret that every family is different. In some circumstances, it is not feasible for parents who are separated to live within the same suburb, state, or even country. This might be because of work, a new relationship, moving closer to extended family.
Invariably, due to practicality issues, a Family Law Court would have no choice but to award one parent with primary care. So, how can the ‘long-distance’ parent ensure that they still remain an important part of their children’s lives?
Over the last decade, Internet is faster and more readily available, and electronic communication has developed exponentially. Now more than ever parents are able to maintain regular visual and audio contact with their children, through virtual visitation.
Interstate and international travel is also more accessible and affordable than ever; so virtual visitation can be used for the ‘interim’ period while you are not spending time with your children face-to-face.
Virtual visitation between a ‘long-distance’ parent and a child might include a combination of the following:-
- Telephonic communication, such as:
- Video calling;
- Text messaging ;
- Communication through devises such as ‘Firefly’, which are five-button functional device for very young children which allows easy communication with parents;
- Computerised electronic communication (including tablets), such as:-
- Instant messaging (through various apps such as Viber, WhatsApp, MSN Messenger or Facebook Messenger);
- Webcams, video conferencing and internet conferencing (through apps such as Skype);
- E-calendars and shared private document sites (through sites such as ourfamilywizard.com, www.sharedgroup.com, Google Chrome or Dropbox); and
- General social media sites (such as Facebook, Myspace, Instagram).
Virtual visitation and travel are both matters which can be negotiated and/or agreed upon between the parties, and they can be included in a Parenting Plan or Parenting Orders.
For more information, or advice about parenting matters generally, please contact Ramsden Lawyers on (07) 55 921 921.