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Can FaceTime be written into your child custody agreement?

If you are preparing for divorce in Texas, you should familiarize yourself with the laws that might apply to your situation. For instance, Texas happens to be one of only eight states in the entire nation that continue to operate under community property division guidelines. That may impact your settlement. Concerning child custody and visitation, there are new developments in the system that might benefit you and your children, especially if you are a non-custodial parent.

Some parents divorce and wind up living in close proximity to each other, which makes it convenient to shuttle children back and forth between houses. But if you end up living a great distance from your former spouse, perhaps even in another state, maintaining an active relationship with your children -- that includes ample time spent together -- may prove to be a tremendous challenge. This is where virtual visitation might come in handy.

How technology can help

Today's technology allows many conveniences in life that were not available just a few years ago. With regard to your visitation schedule following divorce, electronic visits using FaceTime and similar tools can help you bridge the gap and take part in various aspects of your children's lives you might otherwise miss:

  • Virtual visitation uses things like personal computers, email, video chats, or instant messaging or texts to supplement in-person visits with electronic contact.
  • Virtual visitation can provide opportunities you might not have had without virtual visits, such as seeing your child after he or she just lost a loose tooth or watching a special school concert live, even if you are hours away.
  • In Texas, the court can write virtual visitation stipulations into a divorce decree (or another child custody and visitation plan if parents were never in a marriage together).
  • Each parent must agree to allow uncensored communication between children and the parent with whom they are virtually visiting at the time.

A supplement, not a substitute

Electronic visits do not exist to take the place of real-time visits, but they can help parents share in important everyday experiences of their children. For example, if your spouse takes your kids on vacation, you could still keep in touch with them the whole time they're away.

Texas parents who want to know more about the virtual visitation process (or what to do if one parent is trying to thwart the other parent's virtual time with their children) can turn to family law attorneys for support.

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