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The new joint custody - handled from afar

Divorce is undoubtedly an emotional process for many. And the intense emotions don't necessarily end once all the paperwork is signed and processed. Many ex-spouses continue to see each other on a regular basis because of a joint custody plan and these exchanges can oftentimes dredge up the sadness and anger from the divorce. This isn't good for the children involved either, who usually witness the exchange and the interaction between their parents as they drop-off and pick-up.

But a new trend may be able to help Michigan families avoid these exchanges between parents. Child custody can now be dealt with remotely, thanks to technology. Joint custody from a distance is accomplished by decreasing the number of in-person visits and instead communicating via email and texting. Schedules can be shared this way, along with other important information and updates. Entire calendars be shared over the Internet.

The trend is appealing to those couples who don't even enjoy hearing the voice of their ex-spouse or partner, much less see them face to face. This method of sharing custody provides a sense of detachment from the other party, which is what many parents are looking for.

More and more parents are sharing custody of their children as court shy away from the traditional idea of mothers presumptively winning sole custody. Divorced parents now share more of the decision-making when it comes to their children.

Technology is also becoming party of the divorce and custody arrangements. Lawyers are seeing weekly Skype or video sessions between parents and children inserted into these agreements. Sometimes parents are even required to purchase a cell phone for their child. This phone is then used for communication to avoid any heated conversations with the other parent.

The idea of adding technology to the child custody process makes sense. It also works in the best interest of the children by lessening the number of acrimonious interactions between parents and shields them from the less attractive side of divorce or separation.

Source: The New York Times, "Kramer.com vs. Kramer.com," Pamela Paul, Nov. 23, 2012

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