Virtual Visitation In Florida
Living apart from your child can be difficult, and for parents that share custody of a child after a divorce this issue can be exacerbated if one parent relocates, or the custody arrangement results in spending significant amounts of time apart. With the advent of new communication methods and technology, Florida is one of the only states that has passed laws allowing for virtual visitation. At the law office of Blair H. Chan, III, our dedicated Tampa family lawyers can help you explore this and other options for child custody and visitation in your case. To learn more, call or contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Florida Virtual Visitation Law
The purposes of the Florida virtual visitation law were to encourage virtual visits between children and parents, make virtual visits more accessible, and to promote uncensored visits between parents and children. Virtual visitation is intended to supplement in person visits with a parent and child and can occur in the following ways:
- Webcam visits,
- Video conferencing,
- Text messaging,
- Social media interactions,
- Digital picture sharing,
- Cell phone conversations, and more.
Considerations for Virtual Visitation
Virtual visitation is being used more often in cases where one parent and possibly the child must relocate, but elements of virtual visitation are also being incorporated to parenting plans to ensure constant communication between parents and children in typical custody cases. A judge must consider whether electronic communication is in the child’s best interests when agreeing to virtual visitation provisions in a custody agreement. The court has the discretion to require the use of a particular form of virtual visitation, such as video conferencing, require the installation or use by parents to facilitate virtual visitation, mandate that each parent pay for their internet services and equipment for virtual visitation, and abide by a virtual visitation schedule agreed to by the parents or ordered by the court.
Once virtual visitation is incorporated into a custody arrangement, each parent must provide the other with all of the information necessary to facilitate virtual connection with the child. This may include usernames, passwords, phone numbers, and email addresses depending on the type of virtual visitation agreed upon. Parents must also provide notice if the virtual visitation schedule cannot be adhered to for a particular date or time.
It is important to note that virtual visitation is not meant to completely replace physical visitation with a child, but rather supplement the in-person visitation with a parent. In addition, if parents agree to a virtual visitation schedule and subsequently one parent refuses to allow their child to communicate virtually with the other parent, they may be held in violation of their custody agreement.
Talk to Our Office Today
Do you have questions about establishing virtual visitation in your Florida custody case in the Tampa Bay area? If so, the experienced family law attorneys at the law office of Blair H. Chan, III are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule an evaluation of your case now.