Virtual visitation can be a valuable tool for co-parents who want to maintain regular contact with their children, no matter where they are residing at any given moment. However, if a virtual visitation arrangement isn’t manageable for both co-parents and their shared child(ren), attempts to remain connected in this way can lead to tension.
It is, therefore, important to craft an approach that works for everyone.
If you and your co-parent are hoping to add virtual visitation terms to a new parenting plan – or to add terms to an existing plan – keep these particularly pressing considerations in mind:
- Establish a schedule: Agree on a set schedule for virtual visitation that works for both co-parents and the children. Consistency is crucial to ensure that both parents have dedicated time to connect with their children. Consider factors such as time zones, availability and the children’s routines when setting up the schedule.
- Utilize reliable technology: Choose a reliable and user-friendly platform for virtual visitation, such as video conferencing apps or dedicated co-parenting platforms. Agree on which platform will be used and ensure that both parents have access to the necessary devices and internet connection.
- Plan interactive activities: Encourage interactive and engaging activities during virtual visitation to maintain a strong connection. Play games, read stories or engage in hobbies together virtually. Co-parents can coordinate activities in advance and ensure they have the necessary materials ready for shared experiences during virtual visitation.
- Respect boundaries and privacy: Both co-parents should respect each other’s privacy and allow the children to have uninterrupted and private conversations with the other parent during virtual visitation. Avoid listening in or interrupting unless necessary. Creating a safe and comfortable environment for the children will enhance the quality of their interactions.
- Foster independence: Depending on the children’s age and capabilities, encourage them to take ownership of their virtual visits. Let them choose topics for discussion or activities, allowing them to express themselves and feel empowered during the virtual visitation process.
If all else fails, simply keep in mind that flexibility, understanding and mutual respect are key to better ensuring the success of virtual visitation arrangements.