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For professionals and business owners involved in a divorce,...

For professionals and business owners involved in a divorce, one of the most emotional and difficult problems they face is balancing the demands of their work with their desire to be a parent to their children.Frequent business travel, unexpected work related emergencies, and the long hours that come with owing a business or practicing a profession often render the typical visitation schedules suggested by judges, attorneys, and child counselors completely unworkable.

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One solution to this challenge is to employ "virtual visitation." Originally developed in connection with child relocation and estrangement cases, virtual visitation can be an effective tool to keep parents and their children connected and in touch in cases where traditional scheduling is not workable or appropriate.

Virtual visitation uses webcam technologyto allow parents and children to see and talk to each other when they are physically apart.Using webcams to facilitate visitation helps keep parents and children connected because they can see each other's eyes and faces and interact with each in real time, and the time spent together can bemuch more emotionally satisfying than a traditional telephone conversation.

Several states already have legislation authorizing virtual visitation, although New York is not one of them. However, if the parents can agree on how and when to allow these visits, I am fairly confident most judgeswould encourage and approve of the arrangement

As a 1-year virtual visitation practitioner, I can definately attest to the effectiveness of using webcams to preserve and even enhance the parent-child bond for families broken by divorce. Virtual Visitation is an effective THERAPY to alieviate the crippling problem of Separation Anxiety (which both children and their parents can feel in very powerful ways).

It is also effective at redressing the very emotional delimna (where present) of Parental Alienation Syndrome, i.e., one parent, the other, or both using the children as a weapon to seek revenge on the other parent along with the children adopting the Alienating Parent's expressed beliefs and attitudes. With more frequent visual contact between the non-custodial parent and the child(ren), there is less credibility afforded to the Alienating Parent's campaign of denigration against the Target Parent. With regular video calls between the non-custodial parent and their child(ren), the Alienating Parent also realizes they cannot get away so easily now with the lies and manipulation typically employed to create emotional distance between the children and the Target Parent. The children now SEE how their parent not living with them full time, does indeed care about them and loves them and is providing assistance in many different ways to the children's development and maturation beyond just sending money to avoid being thrown in jail for non-payment of child support.

I recommend virtual visitation whole-heartedly as it has completely revolutioned in a positive way the very bad situation we had before where my visitation rights we're being violated at will, not enforced by the authorities, and my children had slipped far from me in our relationship, as per the Alienating Parent's design. We are much more a family now (albeit in separate households) and I am an active part of my children's weekly lives, even though they live 1500 miles away. And even the relationship with the Alienating Parent has improved as they recognize how this really works and helps everyone get along better.

Following from the example of Virtual Visitation Laws passed in Utah (HB 82 in 2004) and Wisconsin (SB 244 in 2007), I introduced a similar bill to my legislators in Texas. That bill (HB 1864) has now passed into law as of 6.15.07. Shortly thereafter, Florida's bill (CS/SB 122, Ch. 2007-132) passed into law on 6.19.07. At this writing there are 4 states who have enacted virtual visitation legislation, empowering judges and petitioners to include electronic communication (webcam, email, instant messaging, telephone) into the court-ordered schedules for visitation time, but not replacing the in-person visitation time that would typically be afforded. Without this legislation, the judge may not have legal support for acknowledging in the divorce decree that wired and wireless technologies are acceptable conduits for "visitation" which has historically been interpreted as something only done in person. With so many communication alternatives that have come along in recent years, updating the family laws to reflect these changes only makes sense.

As for legislation in New York, the relevant family laws have been researched and a "Pre-Draft Bill" has been created. What is needed now is a legislative sponsor. If you know of a New York Senator or Representative who might be interested in learning more about this very popular and rapidly spreading new legislation, please make contact at one of the links provided above. Thank you!

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Posted in Real Estate Post Date 11/17/2016


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