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How Video Visitation Can Keep Families Connected

by | Oct 3, 2023 | Child Custody and Support NY

Child Custody and Visitation are often two of the most challenging aspects of divorce for Long Island, NY families.

Family dynamics are constantly changing and sometimes this means the old ways of doing things just don’t work in many circumstances anymore. For many families, traditional visitation becomes difficult, if not impossible, due to external circumstances out of their control.

It’s still critically important for children in these circumstances to engage with their parents. When traditional child visitation is impractical or impossible, virtual visitation can address these issues. Here’s what to know about video visitation and when it might be right for you and your family.

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Why Child Visitation and Parenting Time is Important

Courts understand that finding ways to move past barriers to visitation is key to the health and wellbeing of a child. When kids don’t have an ongoing relationship with one or both parents growing up, it can have a negative impact on their mental and emotional health. This often leads to problems like anxiety and depression later in life.

For a child to develop properly, it’s best for them to have a sincere, worthwhile relationship with each of their parents. Children need to know that they’re loved and supported, even if their parents no longer want a relationship with each other. Video visitation can help facilitate worthwhile engagement when other methods aren’t practicable.

The Definition of Video & Virtual Visitation

Video visitation is a type of online visitation that involves parents talking to their kids via webcam. While this is one of the main ways virtual visitation takes place, other forms of non-in-person visitation communication can also be included. Some of those practices include:

  • Phone calls
  • Emails
  • Letters via snail mail
  • Engagement on each other’s social media profiles
  • Texting and direct messages
  • Voice messages

Video visitation is often used in conjunction with other methods of virtual visitation to help create a solid foundation for a child’s relationship with their noncustodial parent.

When is Video Visitation Helpful?

Video visitation can be a great way for families to stay connected when they’re physically apart. For example, if one parent is staying out of town with the kids, the other can still visit with them. Or, if a parent is on an extended business trip, video or other virtual visitation techniques can help maintain the child-parent relationship with the parent out of town. Or, if a parent is going through rehabilitation, video visitation helps them stay meaningfully engaged with their children until traditional visits can be resumed.

Tips for Navigating Video Visitation Sessions

Video and virtual visitation can seem intimidating at first, especially if you’re entirely new to engaging with your child outside your previous family dynamic. Here are some tips to help you get started:  

  • Make sure your camera and microphone are working before video visitation visits. If you have a virtual video visit scheduled, take a few minutes before the appointment time to make sure everything is in working order. Check your video and audio to make sure that you can be seen and heard and that your speakers are on and in working order. Nothing can derail a virtual visitation in both the child and parent’s mind as technical difficulties and frustration getting the visit started. This can put such a negative spin on the whole experience that either or both parties may abandon the practice altogether.
  • Speak plainly and slowly, especially if your children are young. Take into account that there will probably be a bit of a delay in the audio and video feeds. Speak clearly and pause in between sentences so your children can understand you. Turn your volume up so you can hear and understand your child, too.
  • Write letters and send pictures or small gifts to your kids too. Tangible things like cards, photographs, and even small, inexpensive trinkets can be incredibly special to kids and help them feel more physically connected to their parents in between virtual visits. While it may seem “old fashioned”, there is still something special about receiving a letter in the “snail mail”. It shows you took the time and are thinking about them even when you’re not able to communicate virtually.
  • If your children are older, interact with them on social media. Liking and commenting on your child’s posts are a great way to connect with them using their language. Just be sure the court knows of your activity and you haven’t been barred from social media engagement with your child for any reason. And make sure your child appreciates communicating in this way. Many children consider social media “their thing” and may feel their parent is intruding on their personal life.

How an Experienced and Qualified Long Island, NY Child Custody Lawyer Can Help with Virtual Visitation

If you’re going through a child custody dispute and need creative visitation arrangements, you need an experienced divorce lawyer and family law attorney on your side. At Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C., our qualified Long Island, NY divorce and family attorneys have a solid track record of success and can apply their skills and expertise to your case for the best possible outcome.

Contact us today for more information or to book a free initial consultation to discuss your case in detail with one of our lawyers. Call now at 631-923-1910 or fill out our quick online message form and our team will get back to you as soon as possible. We’re standing by to assist you with all of your family legal needs.

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About the Author

Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., Founding Partner, Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C.

  • Over 20 years practicing matrimonial law
  • Over 1,000 cases successfully resolved
  • Founder and Partner of Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C.
  • Experienced and compassionate Long Island Divorce Attorney, Family Law Attorney, and Divorce Mediator
  • Licensed to practice law in the State of New York
  • New York State Bar Association member
  • Nassau County Bar Association member
  • Suffolk County Bar Association member
  • “Super Lawyer” Metro Rising Star
  • Nominated Best of Long Island Divorce Attorney four consecutive years
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Contributor
  • Collaborative Law Association of New York – Former Director
  • Martindale Hubbell Distinguished Designation
  • America’s Most Honored Professionals – Top 5%
  • Lead Counsel Rated – Divorce Law
  • American Institute of Family Law Attorneys 10 Best
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Graduate of Hofstra University School of Law
  • Double Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy, Politics & Law and History from SUNY Binghamton University
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Melissa Rappa
Melissa Rappa
18:09 08 Feb 24
At one of the hardest and most stressful times of my life, it was so comforting to have a team at Hornberger and Verbitsky who ALWAYS responded in record speed to my questions, phone calls, emails or texts and who I felt really cared about helping me through this difficult time. It was a long few years and I am grateful to all of you. Thank you so much Rob, AnneMarie, Christine, Patty, Joan and Lawrence. Your guidance, professionalism and expertise is appreciated beyond measure.
Paul Carmichael
Paul Carmichael
16:21 11 Dec 23
I would give 6 stars if I could. I can't say enough good things about Robert and his firm. We were in a situation for over 2 years and I could have never made it through without Robert's experience and knowledge. He guided me through tough times when needed and his expertise could "read" the situation and make the next best move for me. He was tough when he needed to be tough (thankfully) and at the same time guided me through the process to make me feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. I would not want to go through this process without Robert and his team having my back. he helped move the case along and not waste any time or money. One last time, I 100% endorse Robert and his expertise.

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