Virtual visitation could be changing how California children communicate with their parents following a divorce. This type of visitation involves the parties using email, instant messaging, photo-sharing sites, social media sites, video conferencing or mail, and other technology to interact with each other. The forms of technology that they use are usually part of the child custody or visitation order.
The noncustodial parent is generally the one who requests virtual visitation when the custodial parent plans to relocate the child, which would interfere with the noncustodial parent's visitation rights. However, unmarried parents might also request a virtual visitation order when they want to make changes to a child custody agreement or want to be more involved in their children's lives.
Laws concerning virtual visitation are new and expanding with several states having already enacted laws that allow their courts to order this type of visitation when custody matters arise. Other legislatures are in the process of enacting such laws, and this type of visitation could be requested even if the state does not yet have specific laws.
Courts generally consider the best interests of the children when they determine whether or not to allow virtual visitation with their parents. If the courts would not grant traditional visitation rights, they are not likely to allow virtual visitation.
In many parenting or visitation agreements, the custodial parents get to spend more time with the children than the noncustodial parents. Virtual visitation orders allow the noncustodial parents to have more communication with their children to sort of even the playing field. Both parties could amicably agree or decide with help from their lawyers on the best methods of virtual communication for them and their children.