In Ohio and elsewhere, child custody can be one of the toughest issues for couples facing divorce or separation to address. Making an already complicated matter worse are the unforeseeable events that often get in the way, like a new job in a new city.
While this is a big event for divorced couples, often resulting in court intervention, technology is making it easier for parents to remain in contact with their children even when great distances get in the way.
Divorce or separated parents of young children are now able to keep in touch with their kids through texting and email, video chatting and social media. Today a parent in Ohio can keep in touch with a child a world away.
The popularity of using technology to meet the needs of divorced parents and to allow non-custodial parents more access is becoming so popular that in some states family courts have begun to use the term "virtual visitation."
Virtual visitation is even becoming the law in some places. Utah was the first to enact electronic visitation laws, and now six states have them. The frequency and duration of use can even be written into parenting plans.
There are 18 million children of divorced or separated parents, and 17 million more of parents who were never married. One out of four of these children have parents living in different cities than where they live.
Understanding each family's needs and being capable of anticipating the unforeseen is key to drafting a parenting plan. It is important to work closely with an attorney so issues such as distance are addressed sooner than later.
Source: The Washington Times, "Virtual visitation: a sensible child custody option," Myra Fleischer, April 15, 2012