I am an attorney who does a lot of family law, divorce, child custody and property division claims in Rockwall, Dallas, Hunt, Collin & Kaufman counties. As such, I get lots of questions about Texas virtual visitation options for divorced parents.
Divorced parents may have difficulty arranging a child visitation schedule that meets the needs of all involved. Several factors come into play including where the parents reside, work schedules, and what will be the best routine for the child. Additionally, parents have to consider how to handle birthdays, holidays and vacations.
Although in-person visitation is always the most desirable, when that is not a possibility technology provides additional options for parents wanting to interact with their children.
Often called “virtual visitation” the term encompasses a broad array of technological tools that can be used to facilitate communication between parents and their children. Virtual visitation is particularly well suited for situations where one parent is serving abroad in the military, or the parents live too far apart for frequent in-person visits.
In 2007, Texas became one of only a handful of states that have a law on the books specifying conditions for “electronic communication” with a child. The Texas law explains that “electronic communication” includes “communication facilitated by the use of a telephone, electronic mail, instant messaging, videoconferencing or webcam.”
Common Technologies Used for Texas Virtual Visitation Options for Divorced Parents
There are many free video and voice internet based chat options such as Skype, Google, Zoom, and Facetime. Computers at each end must use the same video chat software to communicate. For example, a Skype user can only video chat with other Skype users.
Some of the social networking sites such as Facebook also offer video chat which have been named Facebook live respectively. To set up the video chat feature on your existing Facebook account visit www.facebook.com/videocalling and follow the directions. To set up the video chat feature on your existing Google+ account visit the Google chat help page at http://support.google.com/chat/bin/answer.pyhl=en&answer=159499.
Even if one computer has speakers and a microphone but no web camera, you can still have a voice chat or a 1-way video chat with the other caller via the internet. Since video chat uses the same internet plan that you use for web browsing, there is no additional cost for video chat to stay in touch with your family.
Of course, parents do not need permission to visit with their own children online, but if divorced parents are unable to come to an agreement regarding electronic communication, the court can order such time be set aside in the parenting plan. Do not let schedules or distance mean your visitations are limited because there are a lot Texas virtual visitation options for divorced parents.