Parting couples who have children often express the same concern when they meet with their N.C. divorce lawyers for the first time: “Who gets the kids? How often am I going to get to see them?”
There is no standard answer to these questions. Many pieces of information must be considered when it comes to North Carolina child custody and visitation agreements, but the deciding factor is usually what the court views is in the best interest of the child.
The good news is that modern technology affords North Carolina spouses with an online option to stay in contact with their children after a split – even if they are thousands of miles apart. It’s called virtual visitation.
Six states, including North Carolina, have passed virtual visitation laws that allow non-custodial parents to get face time with their children electronically, using online tools such as Skype or Google Chat. Many parents relocate after a divorce and are unable to see their children as often as they would like. As many as 10 million children do not have regular interactions with one of their parents, according to a custody and visitation report.
Here’s how it works: A judge can grant virtual visitation to a non-custodial parent and set up specific parameters for how the electronic arrangement will work – how much contact there will be, how often, and what topics are out of bounds. Remember, decisions are always made in the best interests of the child. It is essential that you respect those rules and avoid bad-mouthing your ex or mentioning the divorce while you are visiting virtually with your child. The purpose is to provide him or her with extra psychological and emotional support. The added benefit is that you get the same comfort, no matter where you are.
The courts emphasize, however, that virtual visitation is NOT a replacement for face-to-face contact. But virtual visitation can bridge the gap until the next time you can be together again.
If you are going through a divorce and will be living at a distance, talk with a North Carolina divorce attorney about the possibility of virtual visitation. It’s a win-win situation, as long as you and your ex adhere to the agreements set forth in court.
Source: The Washington Times, “Virtual visitation – a sensible child custody option.”