If you and your child’s other parent are no longer in a romantic relationship, you’re likely starting the process of formalizing a child custody arrangement. The thought of being away from your child for any length of time may be very tough. And even though they may not know how to express it or want to admit it, the thought of being away from you for any length of time is likely very tough on your child too.
To better ensure that your child’s bonds with each parent can remain strong once your family transitions to two households, you may want to consider including virtual visitation as part of your parenting plan. This process simply allows the parent who isn’t around to communicate with your child via electronic means as detailed in your parenting plan.
Making a plan
As the person who knows your child best, you can feel empowered to craft virtual visitation terms that make sense for their age, developmental capacity, social needs and your family.
When thinking about an approach that might work, consider which forms of virtual visitation best align with your child’s communication style. Then, consider how your style and your co-parent’s style may or may not manifest “at its best” via a particular medium. For example, you might be great at reading your child a bedtime story via a video chat app but might struggle to express yourself via email.
Also, consider your child’s age and unique needs – as well as how reliable you and your co-parent are – when constructing a virtual visitation schedule. If your child is very young, they may need to speak with each of you every day to feel secure. If you have a teenager, they may do better with one longer weekly call and texts as often as they like.
If this subject feels overwhelming, that’s okay. There is a lot to consider when approaching the issue of virtual visitation. Don’t hesitate to seek legal guidance if you’re in need of a little help to set things in motion in ways that will be manageable for your family and beneficial for your child.