January 9, 2019

Virtual Visitation Can Keep Families Close

When you divorced your spouse, you entered into a parental agreement in good faith, promising to visit your children on a regular basis. However, unpredictable circumstances may be drawing you to another state, away from your children in Michigan. The mere fact of your relocation does not invalidate the visitation agreement, and you may wonder how you can continue to fulfill your obligations to your children after your move. We at the office of Lisa Stern understand your concerns. It may be possible for you to honor your parental agreement even after your move, thanks to virtual visitation.

According to FindLaw, only a handful of states currently have virtual visitation laws on the books. However, family courts in a number of states, including Michigan, have ruled in favor of the innovation, deciding that communication with a child via the use of electronic or online technology can serve to satisfy the visitation requirements in a parental agreement in combination with regularly scheduled in-person visits.

Virtual visitation also goes by the terms “electronic visitation” and “internet visitation,” as it is frequently by means of electronic, internet-equipped devices that such visits take place. Technologies used in virtual visitation may include video conferencing, webcams, Facebook or other social media sites, email, instant messaging or a combination thereof. Virtual visitation has the potential to facilitate the following parent-child interactions, allowing you to accomplish the following:

  • Marking important milestones, such as an award from school or a lost tooth
  • Assisting with homework
  • Reading bedtime stories
  • Attending important events and activities

The court will decide whether virtual visitation is in the children’s best interest, just as it does for all such matters, but visitation via electronic means may offer a solution to the issues that can arise from parental relocation. More information is available on our website.