Rick Ortiz posted an interesting article about virtual visitation that I presume is by Richard Coffee. Unfortunately, between the two captcha systems, I couldn’t get my comment to post. So here is a response to the article.
You raise very legitimate points that I think every parent should consider when creating a long distance parenting plan. However, many, if not all, of these concerns can be addressed with proper planning prior to creating a parenting plan that includes virtual visitation.
Although abuse of long distance parenting plans may occur, there is no more risk of that than with any other parenting arrangement. Just like abuse or violations in the parenting agreement of a non-long distance situation, violations of a long distance parenting plan can and should be pursued through the courts. As someone who has taken care of such violations in court, I am quite certain that a parent’s rights to visitation, no matter the means, or not to be otherwise alienated from their child are respected by any judge.
Again, as a parent who has been on both sides of the long distance parenting relationship – that of the custodial and the non-custodial parent, I can personally attest to the fact that virtual visitation is a wonderful supplement to a long distance parenting relationship and that all of these concerns can be addressed in a well written parenting plan. That said, as you point out, it is not an adequate substitution to in-person parenting time.