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Should virtual visitation be part of your co-parenting plan?

As one of many non-custodial parents in Colorado, you were probably able to achieve a co-parenting agreement that provides many opportunities for you to spend quality time with your children. Advanced technology definitely helps make that convenient, especially if your work requires you to travel or some other obligation makes it impossible for you to be physically present with your kids. Various types of electronic devices can serve as tools for virtual visitation.  

Maybe you were obligated to go on a business trip with your boss and you knew it would mean you'd be missing your scheduled visit weekend with your children. Numerous applications and types of software make it possible to chat with your kids, face to face, while you're away. In fact, virtual visitation can be part of your written post-divorce parenting plan. There are support resources available to help address any legal issues that may arise regarding this innovative style of visitation.  

Keeping lines of communication open 

You can request that the judge order your children's custodial parent to provide your kids with a computer, a tablet, cell phone or some other device so they always have a way to communicate with you. Especially if you are traveling for extended periods of time or your co-parent permanently relocates with your children to a place that is far from you, making sure your kids can get in touch with you at any time is a high priority.  

Correspondence is private 

While your co-parent is able to set rules in his or her own home regarding what your children may or may not do while living there, the correspondence or virtual visits you share with your kids are private. Your children should be able to contact you at will, without having to clear it with their custodial parent first. If your kids want to include their other parent in a virtual chat, that's one thing; however, if the other parent is trying to impede your parent/child relationships by refusing to let them visit with you via Skype or other venues, that's a problem. 

Virtual visits can't replace in-person parenting time       

Virtual visitation is a way to keep you in touch with your kids if they live far from you or you have to travel without them. It is not meant to replace in-person visitation. There is no reason you can't enjoy both types of visits with your kids, unless the court has determined that you should be prohibited from doing so because of extenuating circumstances.  

Like most good Colorado parents, you want what is best for your children. It can be challenging to fulfill this desire in divorce if the other parent doesn't agree with your interpretation of what "best" happens to be in a particular situation. If you believe your co-parent is trying to undermine your parental rights or keep your kids from you, either in-person or by virtual visits, you can bring your problem to the court's immediate attention.

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