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Negotiating electronic communication in long-distance parenting plans

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2020 | Parenting plans

We’re already ankle-deep into the 21st century, and electronic communication is a way of life for most people. Why shouldn’t you make use of electronic communication in your parenting plan after a divorce?

Maybe you travel extensively for work, or you moved away to pursue a better education. For whatever reason, your children need to stay with their other parent most of the time. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t make “virtual visits” part of your parenting agreement with your ex.

Ideally, a virtual visitation plan should not only permit virtual visits but encourage them. To do that, here are some suggestions that can help with your virtual plan:

  • Specifically address the idea that your children should be allowed unfettered (and uncompromised) communication with you via electronic means. Their other parent should not hover in the background on virtual visits or read the text messages and emails that you and your child exchange. You and your child deserve privacy.
  • Address scheduled communications. While your child should be free to contact you at any time, your ex may understandably want to limit video chats to appropriate times. Exactly what that means can vary from family to family, but you may consider asking for a short call every night before your child goes to bed and longer visits during the weekend.
  • Discuss how your visitation will be handled if your child is “grounded” from their electronics for some reason. No matter what’s going on, a total ban on your child’s cellular phone may not be appropriate if that’s your primary means of communication with each other.

Having the rules associated with the electronic communication between you and your children written into the parenting plan ensures that your rights as a parent are protected. It also removes potential obstacles that could otherwise damage the bond you enjoy (or hope to build) with your children.

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