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Technology can assist with child custody issues

Staying connected to loved ones is easier than ever thanks to advances in technology. It is safe to say that most New York households are likely equipped with a computer, tablet or cell phone -- all of which have several programs or features that can be used to contact other people. From phone calls, text messages, video calls and access to social media sites, the way parents can communicate with their children is also changing. These forms of contact can be valuable when dealing with child custody and visitation issues.

Virtual visitation is still relatively new. While the technology to communicate this way has been around for some time, factoring this type of contact into child custody cases is something most states are still trying to figure out. Virtual visitation can be requested in divorce cases, non-divorce cases and by unmarried fathers. While these requests are generally made when relocation is needed, relocation is not required in order to achieve this type of visitation.

Currently, New York does not have specific laws regarding virtual visitation. The use of technology is encouraged, though, in order to keep the bond between parents and children strong. However, it is not meant to replace actual physical time with children.

Couples in New York who are faced with child custody and visitation issues can use computers and mobile electronic devices to their advantage. Specific terms can be included in child custody arrangements that state how these devices can be used to contact children and how often that contact is allowed to occur. Assistance is available in creating agreeable custody and visitation terms that include virtual visitation and encourage contact time between noncustodial parents and their children, when appropriate.

Source: FindLaw, "Virtual Visitation", Accessed on Feb. 18, 2015

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