The Skype Hype: Using technology to your advantage with visitation

These days, technological solutions can provide help to solve some of the problems that come up in custody and visitation cases. Obviously, it is often easiest for parents to live in the same city, but that’s not always realistic. Sometimes, parents end up separated from each other through no fault of their own—for example, it’s often particularly difficult for military families.

Living apart doesn’t mean, though, that the non-custodial parent can’t have any contact with the child beyond actual, in-person visitation, especially when there is commitment on the part of both parents to keep the non-custodial parent’s contact as frequent as possible. If the parents are creative and willing to work together, there can be a lot of ways to involve the parent in the child’s life in a healthy and productive way.

I like Skype particularly, because it encourages face-to-face contact, and it can be much easier than, for example, phone visitation, particularly with younger children. It may be hard for a five year old to have a meaningful telephone conversation, but it’s much less difficult for the child to speak with a parent who seems more physically present. Skype (or FaceTime or any other video chat program) can provide the noncustodial parent with the opportunity to share meals, bedtime stories, prayer time, homework help, games, songs or anything else with the child.

The law strongly prefers a custodial relationship that allows both parents to be involved in the child’s life. Whether you’re facing a battle for custody or just trying to maintain a healthy relationship for the sake of your child, it’s a good idea to promote a visitation arrangement that allows your child’s father to be involved.

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