Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Parenting time and technology by Justin Steele

            There are rules in family law that say a residential parent (the parent with whom the child resides the most) cannot move the child more than 50 miles away, or out of the state, from the other parent without a court order or consent of both parties.   That is still true, but the other parent is free to move as long as they want to reduce their parenting time.   This option is becoming more viable because of the advent of many different types of communication.   Now a parent can buy their child a cell phone, laptop, or tablet and Facetime, iMessage, Skype, Whatsapp, text or even call their child 24/7.  For minor children, the residential parent is required to allow the non-residential parent to speak with the child at least twice a week.  This is not a bright line rule and there is movement, if the child is young then the parent will probably want to speak on the phone or by Skype more than twice a week.
            Not only has technology made parenting and parenting time easier between the non-residential parent and the child but it has made it easier to coordinate between the residential and non-residential parent as well.  In the case of an emergency, normally both parents now have cellphones so they are more accessible.  If the parties cannot get along to any degree, then the most contact that the parties have to have is through email or text message.  While constant contact can be considered a negative, I think that the communication capabilities of technology can really improve parenting time.
            Generally, older children have cell phones now, which make it much easier for the non-residential parent to have at least some contact with them.  Though, the child may choose, like some teenagers do, to not answer their parent’s phone calls they will still see a text message.  Technology is really making the world a more connected place.

No comments:

Post a Comment