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When a parent wants to block virtual visitation

On Behalf of | May 10, 2017 | Child Custody

Texas parents who are dealing with custody and visitation after a divorce might want to find out about virtual visitation. Virtual visitation refers to communication between a non-custodial parent and a child through texting, calling or video-conferencing. In fact, as the technology is available, courts have begun to award virtual visitation to parents that live too far away for physical contact.

In parenting matters, virtual visitation is normally a very positive tool, since it encourages the relationship between parent and child to continue steadily, even when distance makes it impractical for the traditional visitation schedule. A custodial parent might want to stop virtual visitation from the non-custodial parent for a variety of reasons. However, courts are reluctant to do this, since in many cases the best interest of the child lies in continuing a stable relationship with both parents. Courts will sometimes halt virtual visitation, but only for very specific causes.

One of the reasons a court might see as valid for stopping virtual visitation is if the non-custodial parent is harassing either the child or the custodial parent through these platforms. Courts might also halt the visitation if there is a history of abuse or domestic violence, at least until the non-custodial parent has evidence that help for the problem has been sought. In such cases, police involvement will usually not help, unless the threats have become criminal. In all cases, to stop virtual visitation, the custodial parent must seek to modify the existing custody order through the courts.

A parent in this type of situation might benefit from the assistance a family law attorney can provide with filing the modification motion as well as with gathering the evidence necessary to show the court that the virtual visitation is harmful to the child. The attorney might also help negotiate a better solution to the problem before the parties end up in court.