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Virtual visitation orders in North Carolina

Virtual visitation is becoming increasingly common as a part of a child custody and visitation order. As the name implies, virtual visitation refers to the use of technology to communicate with a child, including using such things as web cameras, instant messaging, text messaging and emails so the child and the non-custodial parent can maintain ongoing contact.

North Carolina has enacted a law allowing judges to include virtual visitation as a part of the court's custody order in a divorce case. The law is meant to allow virtual visitation to supplement in-person visitation rather than to replace it. Generally, a virtual visitation order will provide that the parents should allow the virtual communication and should not censor it. They generally also will provide that each parent will make virtual visitation reasonable available for the child and the other parent.

The benefits of virtual visitation are several. It allows children to have more frequent contact with the non-custodial parent and for that parent to be more involved in their child's life. Children may be able to show their parent different milestones or achievements even when they are not in person. Parents may also use the virtual visitation to read bedtime stories or to help with homework.

Virtual visitation may be a way to enhance the parent-child relationship by providing one more avenue of access for the non-custodial parent. A parent who is involved in such case may want to discuss the possibility of a virtual visitation order with an attorney who has experience in family law matters. The attorney might be able to negotiate an agreement with the other parent that includes provisions allowing for virtual visitation at reasonable times.

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