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What Is Virtual Visitation and Why Is It Important?

What Is Virtual Visitation and Why Is It Important?

Virtual visitation is a modern way for parents to meet with their children under child visitation laws. It allows a non-custodial parent to meet with their child through the use of internet technology, also called “e-visitation” or “e-access.” Virtual visitation refers to visitation by use of video-chat applications such as Skype, and can also include visitation through instant messaging, text messaging, e-mail messages, and telephone conferences. Virtual visitation is becoming an increasingly popular form of child visitation, as allows more and more non-custodial parents to maintain frequent visitation with their child. It is especially popular for non-custodial parents who live far away from their child. It allows the parent to have visitation without having physical custody of the child, It can also be convenient for parents because it prevents their own direct contact, which can help them avoid future altercations. Currently, virtual visitation is available in Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. In July of 2009, 22 additional states began to revise legislature which would allow virtual visitation. In each state, laws regarding virtual visitation vary. In most states the judge will typically create a schedule for what days and times e-visitation can occur, and how long sessions can last. Individuals should consult with an attorney about their state’s virtual visitation laws. A judge will not allow virtual visitation if it puts the child in danger. For instance, if the non-custodial parent has a history of substance abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or illegal activities, virtual visitation would not be prescribed. However, there are many situations where virtual visitation can be very useful, such as: Any time...
Children, Divorce, & the Holidays

Children, Divorce, & the Holidays

Surviving the Holidays While You’re Surviving Divorce The divorce process is one of the most stressful things a person can go through. Add that to the stress of the holidays, and you meel feel completely overwhelmed. When the holiday season rolls around, you may wonder how you are supposed to celebrate when you have so much on your mind. As difficult as it may seem, it is possible to manage a divorce during the holidays, and still enjoy spending time with family and friends. You only need to employ a few tips to manage your divorce and still have fun during the holidays: Determine your priorities. A recent survey found that 4 out of 5 people want the holidays to be simpler. A divorce is a good time to simplify and make beneficial changes that make your life easier.You usually have moved to a smaller place, you may have less money, and you may have less time if you have gone back to work. You have an opportunity to do what many want to do, and cut back during the holidays. This is a way to make something positive from the changes in your life. Remember, it’s not about stuff! Make a budget and stick to it. Don’t try to buy love or loyalty. In a recent survey, many Americans are still paying off some part of holiday extravagance until November of the following year. Having less debt is another way to reduce stress. Give gifts of time and attention instead of expensive things. It will be good for you and good for your children. Be patient. Be patient...

Does Adultery Impact Child Custody Decisions?

Adultery is a very common reason for a couple to divorce. Though no one imagines they would ever commit adultery, the fact is that some studies have found that in approximately 40 percent of marriages, one or both spouses engages in an affair. More often than not, an affair leads to divorce. Many people wonder, does adultery impact child custody decisions? California implemented the concept of no-fault divorce in 1970. After this theory was put into practice, divorcing couples had two reasons available for filing for divorce: irreconcilable differences, or that your spouse is incurably insane. Though the first reason is much more common, in either option you do not need your spouse’s consent to end your marriage. Because of no-fault divorce, California courts are not supposed to take into consideration any fault when granting a divorce, including infidelity. Still, a judge can consider how the infidelity financially impacts the non-adulterous spouse. In very rare situations, a judge might consider how the adultery impacts the children of the marriage. Of any of the issues in a divorce, the courts view child custody as the least affected by adultery. Just like in any other scenario, California courts determine child custody issues based on what is in the best interests of the child. Generally, the state believes that a healthy and close relationship with both parents is in the best interests of the child. Adultery would only have bearing on child custody in situations where the infidelity reflected on the spouse’s fitness as a parent, for instance, is the spouse engaged in a sexual act with another person while the child...
Military Custody & Visitation Rights in CA

Military Custody & Visitation Rights in CA

When a divorce parent is in the military, there may be special issues to consider in regards to custody and visitation. A parent might wonder if a custody order can be modified due to military duty, how to get visitation if they are away due to military duty, and what happens if a parent cannot attend a hearing due to military duty. Read on for information on specials issues regarding military custody and visitation rights in California. If a parent would like to modify a custody order because of military duty, a parent’s absence, relocation, or failure to follow a custody or visitation order due to activation to military duty or temporary duty, mobilization in support of combat or other military operation, or military deployment out of state is not sufficient by itself, to justify a modification of the order.  However, a custody order can be modified if the military assignment requires a parent who has sole or joint physical custody to move a significant distance from their home, or otherwise has a significant effect on their ability to use their custody or visitation rights. If a custody order is modified, then the modification of the order will be considered a temporary custody order which will be reconsidered upon the person’s return. In such cases the judge will assume that the temporary, modified custody order will change back to the original order that was in place before the modification, unless the judge determines that it is not in the best interest of the child. In the temporary custody order, the judge should do whatever is appropriate to make sure...
How can I communicate with my children when I don’t have custody?

How can I communicate with my children when I don’t have custody?

Parenting is one of the hardest jobs you can do. However, that job can get even harder after a divorce. The divorce process is very stressful, and could possibly strain your relationships, including your relationship with your children. What’s more, child custody and visitation issues can impact your relationship with your child. It is inevitable that a divorce will affect the parent-child relationship in some way. The hardest part of maintaining a parent-child relationship after divorce is getting used to the new custody and visitation arrangements. After divorce, one parent who was living in the home with the child and interacting with them on a daily basis suddenly has to live in another location, and only see their children in-person for a few days every couple of weeks, or every other weekend. When they do not see a parent often, children sometimes lose the ability to freely communicate with the noncustodial parent. It is important to remember that this is not because the child loves the noncustodial parent less, and it is not because of something the parent did wrong. Feeling less connected to the noncustodial parent is a normal feeling for children of divorce, especially for younger children. It is a priority of noncustodial parents to make the transition between each parent’s homes as smooth and comfortable as possible for the child. In order to make your child feel comfortable, it is important that you do not interrogate your child about what is going on in the other parent’s home. If you try to have your child recite a play-by-play of their week, they will not feel at...
Do Marijuana Laws Affect Child Custody?

Do Marijuana Laws Affect Child Custody?

Recently, laws about medical marijuana have been changing more than ever. In California, medical marijuana is lawful and becoming increasingly common to treat certain illnesses.  Some divorced parents are wondering, does legally partaking in medical marijuana use affect child custody? The answer to this depends on the facts of each individual circumstance. Under the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, “seriously ill Californians” have the right to use and cultivate medical marijuana for medical use, within certain parameters. The right to use medical marijuana is limited to protect harm or injury, similar to the right to consume alcohol. For instance, adults can legally consume alcohol and have it in their homes, but the government can still lawfully remove children from their parent’s home if a court determines that the children’s safety is threatened due to alcohol exposure or reckless conduct. As a general rule, smoking of any kind should not occur near minors. Exposure to second-hand smoke is dangerous, and it could warrant removal of the child from your household. In In re Alexis E. (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 438, a father had the legal right to use medical marijuana in his home and near his children. However, the appellate court ruled that, since he had smoked marijuana near his children before he had the legal right to do so, the situation should be treated the same as a situation involving illicit drug use. What’s more, the father argued that he had the legal right under California state law to use medical marijuana, even with his children present. However, the court rebuked because of the circumstances. In court, one of the...