O’Brian & Associates is committed to the safety and well-being of our clients and potential new clients. As our community adjusts to restrictions to the COVID-19 our office will remain open so long as health and safety regulations permit, but we are happy to meet with clients and potential clients through phone meetings, Skype calls or Facetime.

NEW SUPPLEMENT TO CHILD VISITATION

As some Washington residents may know, virtual visitation has been added by family courts in some states as a way for children to keep in contact with a parent, especially if the parent lives too far away to participate in regular visitation. Some courts have not formally adopted virtual visitation but are incorporating this option into visitation plans during divorce proceedings. Virtual visitation using such methods as Skype and social media outlets can provide both a noncustodial parent and a child with more interaction. However, those parents who have not been granted regular visitation might not be allowed virtual visitation.

The potential benefits of virtual visitation may include sharing in special school projects, listening to a child display their musical ability and many other potential activities that might prove of benefit to both the child and parent. However, it has been suggested that some parents may attempt to use virtual visitation as a substitute for regular visitation, or that a court might allow relocation of a child in cases where it would not normally be considered.

New approaches to child visitation may utilize technology such as computers, social media, email and instant messaging to offer parents a way to supplement interaction with their children and allows both the parent and the child an opportunity to share what is going on in the child's life. The implementation of virtual visitation as an adjunct to regular visits allows additional communication during periods outside scheduled visitation.

If virtual visitation is a consideration for divorced couples, it may be possible to petition the court to allow this form of interaction. This may be done in the initial divorce agreement or later on as a request for visitation modification. A parent may find consulting with an attorney beneficial to gain insight into ways to incorporate it into the visitation schedule.

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