While Maryland does not have any laws governing “virtual visitation”, agreements between parents providing for virtual visitation are certainly enforced. Virtual visitation is being used by many parents during the pandemic as a substitute for in person child custody access. This type of access is by agreement between both parents.
What Is Virtual Visitation?
Virtual Visitation is digital or telephonic access between a parent and their child. It can include, but is not limited to FaceTime, Skype, iPads, iPods, video conferencing, telephone, text, or instant messaging.
When Is Virtual Visitation Appropriate?
Virtual visitation is appropriate when it is by agreement by both parents. It became more in vogue during the pandemic. Many parents agreed during COVID, that if one parent traveled, was expose to COVID, or contracted COVID that access between the parent and the child would be virtual. Virtual visitation is also used when COVID was present in the child’s household and the other parent believed it was best for the members of the infected household to quarantine.
Can I Force Virtual Visitation if I have Sole Legal Custody?
Even if you have sole legal custody, you can not force virtual visitation in lieu of the court ordered visitation. Not abiding by court-ordered access is contempt of court and, in most instances,, the other parent can enforce the access schedule. It is not likely that the court would enforce the court ordered access if there was active COVID infections in one or the other household. It is likely that is physical access was withheld that the court would order make-up time for the parent that access was withheld from.
Benefits of Virtual Visitation During the Pandemic.
Access is important. Telephone access is good, but visual access is even better – if you are unable to exercise your usual access. A parent unable to have their children with them because of COVID should consider insisting on Virtual Visitation. While you cannot hug your child or hold their hand during virtual visitation, you can use virtual visitation in
- Helping Children with Homework and reading stories
- Seeing face to face with child and talking to them
- Talking about daily events and encouraging them to show their achievements
- Witnessing a special moment like a sports game or dance recital
Talk To An Experienced Divorce and Family Law Attorney
If you are dealing with family or divorce issues, then contacting an experienced divorce attorney would make a difference. Paré & Associates, LLC (formerly Law Office of Alice Paré), has been helping clients in Germantown, Clarksburg, throughout Montgomery County and all of Maryland for more than thirty (30) years.
Our firm is experienced in Men’s Divorce & Family Law. If you are ready to consult with an attorney, contact us for a free initial consultation. Our attorneys are available to meet with you in person, over the phone, or online – however, you prefer.