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Benefits and drawbacks of virtual visitation

One visitation option for Tennessee divorced parents of young children is virtual visitation. This refers to using technology for parents and children, and sometimes grandparents and grandchildren, to keep in touch with one another. While the telephone is one way parents and children who are far away can do this, virtual visitation may also encompass webcams, email, instant messaging, and social media.

States are increasingly passing laws that allow judges to order virtual visitation as part of a custody and visitation arrangement. The arrangement is supposed to be a supplement to traditional visitation and not a replacement. The many options can allow parents who are not nearby to participate more fully in their children's lives. For example, parents can help with homework or watch a child perform at a recital or sporting event. However, if a parent is denied traditional visitation, it is unlikely that virtual visitation will be allowed since the court probably will not consider it in the best interests of the child.

Some people have raised concerns about virtual visitation. They say that it could be used to replace in-person contact between the parent and child. This could lead to judges who are more likely to approve child custody relocation when they otherwise would not.

Custody and visitation can be a difficult aspect of divorce because it can be so emotional for parents. However, if parents are able to negotiate an agreement and create a parenting plan that addresses potential areas of conflict, this may help children more than going through litigation and a custody battle. Courts generally operate on the assumption that the child should have contact with both parents unless there are extenuating circumstances that make visitation unsafe for the child.

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