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What is virtual visitation?

Undeniably, technology has changed the way that people communicate. Thanks to lawmakers working in cooperation with the courts, technology can now afford you the ability to fulfill the visitation terms as outlined in your parenting agreement even if you live far away, without requiring you to seek a modification of the existing order. According to FindLaw, Florida is one of a handful of states that has virtual visitation laws on the books, allowing courts to order visitation via electronic or online means in addition to in-person visits between you and your child. 

Virtual visitation can take place via a range of electronic communication, including more recent technologies such as social media or photo-sharing sites, webcams or video conferencing, private document sites or more standard electronic communication tools, such as instant messaging or e-mail. Telephone calls may also facilitate virtual visitation. 

If your parenting agreement includes virtual visitation, both you and your ex-spouse must abide by certain rules: 

  • Make them reasonably available
  • Allow uncensored communication between parent and child
  • Not only permit but encourage virtual visits

Because the concept behind virtual visitation is relatively new, not many states have laws pertaining to it on the books as yet. However, due to its popularity, other states may soon follow suit and adopt virtual visitation legislation. The courts have taken the lead in this process, ruling in favor of virtual visitation even in some states that do not have specific laws in place. 

It is important to reiterate that virtual visitation should not, and is not intended to, take the place of face-to-face visits between you and your child on a regular basis. As long as you utilize it as intended, virtual visitation has the potential to enhance the parent-child relationship. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only. 

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