When one of the divorced parents moves, and takes the children a great distance away, the non-custodial parent faces the difficult choice of only seeing the child a few times a year, or giving up his or her job and moving. But now, thanks to modern technology, there is another option available called "virtual visitation", or "virtual parenting-time."
Virtual visitation entails using a digital video camera that connects computers via the Internet, and using a web cam, parents can see and talk to their children in real time. While this forum is by no means a replacement for personal interaction, this technology can offer a way to expand the visitation arrangements of the parenting agreement. It is most likely to be used when the child has moved out of state because it creates a cost effective alternative for staying in touch while increasing interaction and parenting time. When both parents agree that a virtual visitation schedule is appropriate to their situation, the results have been positive.
In 2004, the Utah legislature approved House Bill 82, making Utah the first state to legislate the authority of the courts to include virtual visitation in divorce decrees. There are currently 18 states with activity related to virtual visitation, and hopefully Colorado will be added to this list in the near future.
1. Utah - First Law in the nation to pass a Virtual Visitation Bill
2. Wisconsin - Second Law in the nation
3. Missouri - Third state to pass a Virtual Visitation Bill, waiting for
Governor Matt Blunt to sign into Law.
4. Ohio - SB 341 sponsored by Senator Marc Dunn
5. South Carolina - Draft Bill created by Senator Mescher
6. Illinois - Bill submitted HB5379 by Representative Ruth Munson
7. Virginia - Bill submitted SB123 by Senator Jay O'Brien
8. Georgia - Pre-Draft Bill created (sponsor confirmed)
9. North Carolina - Pre Draft Bill created (sponsor confirmed)
10. California - Pre Draft Bill created
11. Florida - Pre Draft Bill created
12. Maine - Pre Draft Bill created
13. Maryland - Pre Draft Bill created
14. Minnesota - Pre Draft Bill created
15. New York - Pre Draft Bill created
16. Tennessee - Pre Draft Bill created
17. Texas - Pre Draft Bill created
18. West Virginia - Pre Draft Bill created