In a situation in which the noncustodial parent lives in another town, or in another state, or even another country, it may not be possible to have a regular face-to-face visitation schedule. In such cases, a visitation schedule can involve frequent use of digital media or the Internet so that the child and parent can communicate with each other.
Virtual visitation can involve the use of a number of types of technology, including Internet, Skype technology, web cameras, web-based conferencing, instant messaging, text messaging, e-mails, and even simple telephone calls. Children and noncustodial parents can make use of these media to stay in touch with each other. When it is not possible for the non-custodial parent to spend a lot of time with a child face-to-face, virtual visitation helps bridge the gap, and helps maintain parent- child relations. However, it is important that the custodial parent facilitate such visitation.
Such use of virtual visitation is quite popular in Colorado, especially among couples, whose geographic location makes it impossible for them to spend the kind of time with their children that they would want to, or wish to. Although Colorado parents may choose to use virtual visitation as a way for the noncustodial parent to frequently be in contact with the child, there is no legislation that requires virtual visitation. Some states, like Utah for instance, have laws that will require virtual visitation to be included in the divorce decree, and will enforce such features.
Hopefully, in the future, Colorado will also have laws that recognize the significance of virtual visitation, as well as their usefulness in an increasingly global world, in which parents often find themselves away from home for days and weeks, and may rely heavily on the internet to keep in touch with their children.