When divorce happens, life has to move on. Sometimes this can mean that one of the parents has to relocate out of state for work. This means that a parent may have to move away from their children or have their children move away from them. Often, the situation of long distance parenting means that one parent only gets to see their child or children a few times a year.
Technology has begun making this long distance situation more manageable for the separated parent and child. In fact, a form of parenting over long distances is becoming popular among divorced couples across the country, as well as Colorado. This is called virtual visitation. The concept of virtual visitation involves using web camera technology to increase the amount of exposure and visual interaction between a parent and a child over long distances. One great example of this technology is the use of Skype for regular communication when the child and parent can not be together. This even permits the parent without custody to play a more active role in the child’s life.
The legal standing on virtual visitation is still evolving in the state of Colorado. Putting this concept into the legal practice of custody hearings is relatively new. In fact, the first state to pass such a law was Utah, in the year 2004. Since then, another 3 states have passed a bill featuring this high tech form of parenting and another 14 have begun the legislative process. However, Colorado currently does not have legislation for virtual visitation. It is, however, widely recognized by family law courts in custody hearings and it is something that can be discussed with a family law attorney during the divorce process.
Leaving children behind is certainly one of the most difficult parts of moving away in a divorce. With advanced technology becoming more readily available, it is getting easier and more affordable to maintain and active role in parenting even over larger geological distances. Virtual visitation is an example of such development and can certainly be used as a tool for parents who are forced by divorce to be separated from their children.