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Michigan Child Custody Arrangements and Virtual Visitation

Many times, divorce means more than living in separate houses. People can move across town or across the world because of the aftermath of a divorce. They meet someone new, take a different job, return to where their extended family lives, or just decide they need a change.

Oakland County child custody lawyers know, however, that when there are children involved and the biological parents are far apart, visitation rights issues can be difficult to resolve. But now, there’s a way to make things easier in appropriate cases. The era of virtual visitation is here.

There are more than 18 million children in the United States today who live with only one biological parent due to divorce. Because of relocation, there are nearly 10 million children who do not see one of their parents face-to-face on any kind of regular basis.

Technology has the potential to at least partially bridge the gap between non-custodial parents and their children. By using social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, and free services such as Skype, parents and children have a better chance of staying connected.

It may not be the same as seeing one another in person, but it is certainly better than no contact of any kind – especially during a child’s formative years.

Virtual visitation was first used in the 1990s, and the number of courts agreeing to and requiring virtual visitation has grown steadily over time. Many parents may allow this kind of contact, even if the law does not specifically require it.

The trend toward greater use of virtual visitation is likely to continue. It has become a legal right for non-custodial parents in six states. More states are expected to follow suit, as there are currently efforts in twenty-two more states to create virtual visitation laws.

Source: “Virtual visitation: a sensible child custody option,” Myra Fleischer, Washington Times, 4-15-12