If you are a divorced or single parent, you likely know the importance of outlining when and where your child will physically reside in your parenting agreement. Virtual visitation via electronic communication is perhaps a lesser-known component of a parenting agreement, but it can be a great option for children and parents for whom physical visitation is not always possible.
When Is Virtual Visitation a Good Idea?
Virtual visitation can occur via phone, video chat, text, email, or any other electronic means, and it can be useful in a variety of situations to allow children to regularly communicate and maintain relationships with their parents. Some examples of when you might consider virtual visitation include:
- When parents live far from each other: In Wisconsin, a parent who wishes to relocate more than 100 miles away from the other parent must obtain court approval, and they must often demonstrate that the relocation will not detract from the children’s relationship with the other parent. Virtual visitation is one way to ensure that this relationship continues.
- When a parent has to travel for a period of time: If a parent has to travel for work or personal reasons for an extended period of time, it may interfere with scheduled physical placement. Along with adjustments to the placement schedule, virtual visitation can make it possible for parents and children to maintain the regular interaction to which they are accustomed.
- When sheltering in place during COVID-19: With the current risk of spreading COVID-19, you may decide that, in the interest of your children’s health, they should remain primarily in one residence, especially if you, your child, or the child’s other parent have been exposed. During this time, virtual visitation can be a safe option for regular communication.
Precautions for Virtual Visitation in Wisconsin
It is important to note that under Wisconsin law, virtual visitation can only be used as a supplement to physical placement, not a replacement. Parents who live far apart should still work toward an arrangement that allows for reasonable physical placement. You should also be careful not to let virtual visitation with one parent interfere significantly with the other parent’s scheduled time.
Contact a Milwaukee Divorce Lawyer
At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, we strive to help our clients find the best co-parenting arrangements for them and their children. We can advise you in the creation of your initial agreement, as well as any necessary modifications as time goes on. Contact a Waukesha County family law attorney today at 414-271-1440 to request a free consultation.