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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Virtual visitation in Texas child custody cases

As more and more people are on the Internet, virtual visitation is increasingly making its appearance in child custody cases, either to supplement in-person visits or as an alternative when a parent is wanting to relocate.

Some parents will file a motion to relocate that will negatively impact the other parent's visitation rights. He or she may suggest virtual visitation, such as video chatting, text messaging and others in order to convince the court the motion should be granted. In Texas, a law has been enacted to allow virtual visitation orders in child custody cases. The visits are meant to supplement and not replace regular in-person visits, however.

Virtual visitation can be beneficial when one parent lives far away. The visitation may allow the distant parent to be able to do such things as read bedtime stories to the child, provide help with homework and discuss significant events in the child's life. A common concern, however, is the idea that virtual visitation may be inappropriately used as a means to grant otherwise unsupported relocation motions.

People may want to consider if requesting virtual visitation arrangements is appropriate in their situation. Child custody arrangements may be very difficult, especially if the parents live far apart from one another. When an individual discusses their child custody matters with a family law attorney, they may be able to learn more information on the subject. A family law attorney may be able to provide professional advice regarding custody and visitation as well as advocate for his or her client to make certain their rights are protected.

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