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Electronic Solutions for Long Distance Visitation

The National Center for State Courts reports that approximately 35 million kids have parents who are divorced, separated or never married. Illinois law says that the non-custodial parent is entitled to reasonable visitation with the child, unless the court concludes that allowing visitation would place the child in physical, mental or emotional harm. Crafting a visitation schedule when both parents live in the same city can be a challenge. When one parent needs to move a long distance from the child, it can significantly complicate the situation.

Long distance visitation is an issue

Even when divorcing parents amicably design a visitation schedule that works smoothly, changed circumstances can require a significant overhaul of a visitation plan. Foreclosure, job promotion, physical illness, extended unemployment and foreclosure can cause a custodial parent to petition the court for approval to move out-of-state. The court must carefully evaluate if the move is in the best interests of the child (BIC) and how it impacts the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent.

Electronic visitation to the rescue

Illinois law defines visitation as in-person time spent between the child and non-custodial parent. In 2010, Illinois expanded its definition of visitation by enacting a law recognizing electronic or virtual visitation.

According to the law, visitation includes when a parent communicates with a child who is not physically present through electronic technology. The recognized forms of e-communication include:

  • Telephone
  • Electronic mail or instant messaging
  • Video conferencing via webcam, Skype or other video conferencing service

Although virtual visitation can assist in designing a long distance visitation plan under special circumstances, it is not a replacement for in-person visitation.

If you are in the divorce process in Cook County or having to alter an existing visitation agreement, you may benefit by consulting an experienced Skokie divorce attorney.

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Paul Chatzky
Founder

About Born in Havana, Cuba, Paul Chatzky is fluent in Spanish and English, enabling him to effectively represent a wider range of individuals and businesses. He is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, and is listed among Illinois Super Lawyers, which is a reflection of his high ethical standards and exceptional legal knowledge. As…

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Deborah E. Chatzky
Paralegal

About Prior to joining the firm as a paralegal, Debbie was employed by major banking institutions as a loan processor and as an executive secretary. Debbie was also employed as an administrative assistant for the Board of Jewish Education. Having majored in Sociology, Debbie graduated from the University of Florida in 1980. Debbie completed her…

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