Divorce Tech: Web cams and long distance parenting

If you move after a divorce or custody case, how can you preserve your relationship with your children? We live in a mobile society. After a divorce case, sometimes parents move across town, to another town, or out of state. Sometimes the demands of a job keep a parent from having regular contact with their kids. Whatever the reason for the move or distance, parenting plans are harder to implement if the parents don’t live close to each other. Depending on the distance of the move, a parent may end up with longer, less frequent blocks of time with the children. The problem with long distance parenting is that longer blocks of time are no substitute for frequent interaction, especially for younger children. Virtually all parenting plans call for regular telephone contact, but many parents find it hard to engage young children for any length of time on the phone.

Many of our clients report that they have emotionally richer and longer communications with children when they video conference rather than just call. We recommend the use of a web cam and free video conferencing to clients with long distance parenting issues. A well drafted parenting plan should address the use of free video conferencing, include the right to use and the obligation to facilitate electronic communication (e.g. maintain Internet, a working camera, etc.) The feedback we get from our clients using web cams for videoconferencing has been overwhelmingly positive. If you travel for work, or do not live close to your children, talk to your lawyer about putting video conferencing language in your parenting plan.

About Sean Stephens

By Sean Stephens Google + Sean Stephens is divorce and family law lawyer, and a founding member of Stephens & Margolin LLP He was born in Eugene, Oregon and is a fourth generation Oregonian. Sean Stephens attended the University of Oregon, and graduated in with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a minor in English Literature. His psychology studies emphasized early childhood development. You can find more about Sean Stephens at Stephens & Margolin LLP Follow him
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2 Responses to Divorce Tech: Web cams and long distance parenting

  1. Carrie says:

    Webcams are wonderful for staying in touch. I was a long distance parent to my son for several years and now to my step daughter. Using a combination of webcams, voice chat, online games and a variety of activities like reading together and talking about what goes on in our day to day lives, we are able to maintain the relationship we have in person. When we are back together, it’s as if we were never apart. Webcams really are indispensable in a long distance parenting arrangement.

  2. This is helpful information – thanks for sharing.

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