Ending a relationship is always hard, but when children are involved things can become even more complicated. Parents who are required to travel a significant amount of time for work may find it difficult to schedule enough quality time with their children, particularly once the marriage or relationship has dissolved.
Fortunately, modern technology has made it easier than ever to communicate electronically through Skype, FaceTime and other applications. Did you know that the right to maintain electronic communication can be written into your parenting plan in Florida, ensuring communication between yourself and your children when you travel?
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION INTENDED TO SUPPLEMENT FACE-TO-FACE CONTACT
As the court reviews each case involving minor children, the general premise that maintaining frequent contact with both parents is in the best interest of the children is assumed, provided no danger exists for anyone involved and/or there are no other circumstances that the court deems as reason to restrict contact.
That being said, the court will encourage face-to-face contact between children and both parents as much as possible. Electronic communication, either via telephone and/or through a computer, is intended to supplement physical time together, particularly for parents that are away for work a significant portion of the time or live a considerable distance from the children.
A JUDGE CAN ORDER ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION
In situations where parents disagree or cannot work together, a judge may decide to set aside specific time for electronic communication between the children and one or both parents. Either parent may also specifically request that time for electronic communication be included in the parenting plan in order to protect their right to share in parenting a child.
For parents that are required to travel for work or other purposes and must be away a significant amount of time, the legal right to electronic communication can become an important aspect of maintaining the parent/child bond so important to the healthy development of children.
COSTS OF ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION AND EFFECTS ON CHILD SUPPORT
In cases where there is an additional cost to maintain electronic communication between a parent and children, the court will evaluate the financial circumstances of each parent and may distribute the costs appropriately.
Regardless of how much electronic communication time the court approves for the final custodial arrangement, this time is not considered when calculating the total time spent with each parent for the purposes of determining child support payments.
PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE PROTECTS YOUR RIGHTS
Creating a fair and healthy parenting plan that provides your children access to both parents can be challenging while in the heat of a divorce settlement or a separation. Working with a professional who understands family law will help ensure you are receiving an equitable arrangement and minimize stress during these challenging times.