Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.

Child custody and visitation: how times have brought changes

Thirty years ago, personal computers and the Internet were something virtually unknown, yet today, they have become an integral part of most people's lives. Webcams and the possibilities created by computer applications to meet virtually have even influenced the divorce process, including child custody and visitation arrangements. In fact, computers may lead to changes in how family law is interpreted by courts.

New Jersey non-custodial parents may benefit from knowledge about the possibility of virtual visitation, which refers to the use of technology to maintain contact with their children even when great distances separate them. Arrangements surrounding virtual visitation could be included in the child custody agreements about parenting. Not only can agreements about virtual visitation be included in newly negotiated agreements, but also in cases where a parent is forced to move away.

In many U.S. states, laws have been enacted regulating virtual visitation, while other states are considering passing laws relating to this new form of visitation. Virtual visitation is not seen as an option to replace in-person visits, but rather to provide additional more regular opportunities to have contact with children. The main aim remains to act in the best interests of the children involved.  

As with anything else, there are benefits and drawbacks involved with this new form of visitation. While there is little doubt that virtual visitation can potentially change the way child custody agreements work, it also implies parents may need legal advice from a New Jersey family law lawyer about the state laws regulating the matter. By considering all possibilities, the best possible agreement to benefit the children can be negotiated.

Source: FindLaw, "Virtual Visitation", Accessed on June 13, 2017

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