In a technologically advanced world, Utah parents may not find it too surprising that new virtual visitation arrangements may now be part of a child custody order. This method of child visitation involves modern technology like instant messaging or video conferencing to communicate with the child regularly in certain situations. For instance, if a mother has primary custody of a child but needs to move for a new job, the father might request a virtual visitation modification on an existing custody order.
Virtual visitation can supplement a parental agreement to accommodate for new circumstances, or it could be applied to a newly filed child visitation request. This could include cases where the parents are not divorced or unmarried fathers are petitioning for virtual visitation rights.
Also known as electronic visitation, this new method of visitation may enhance more traditional methods of communications like talking on the telephone. There are several states that have adapted electronic visitation and other states are also looking into passing related laws. Even if a local state has not adapted it yet, individuals may still be able to petition for virtual visitation if it would benefit their ability to stay in communication with their child.
Most of the time, the best interests of the child is the singular focus when determining child custody. While virtual visitation may prove beneficial to the parent of a child who has relocated, it could potentially not be in the best interest of the child to rely on this method of communication. A noncustodial parent who is deciding whether to file a child visitation modification to include virtual visitation might require assistance. A divorce lawyer might be able to help the parent understand how to file the modification and understand what additional options might be.