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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

Virtual visitation issues

With advances in technology, an increasing number of Tennessee divorce courts are issuing virtual visitation orders in addition to traditional child custody and visitation orders. These orders allow noncustodial parents to have regular contact with their children via Facetime, Skype, email and text messaging. In some cases, the virtual contact may lead to problems, and some custodial parents wonder whether or not they can simply block their exes to prevent the communication from continuing.

Unless the noncustodial parents are using virtual visitation to harass or abuse the children or the custodial parents, it is generally not a good idea for the custodial parents to simply block the noncustodial parents. Courts look with disfavor on parents that the courts believe are interfering in the other parents' contact with their children.

Custodial parents who believe that the emails, messages, calls and Facetime contacts are excessive might want to instead notify the court of the issue rather than simply blocking the noncustodial parents. The courts may then issue orders limiting the frequency of the contact, adding schedules for times for the contact and outlining the types of communication that are prohibited.

Custody disputes may lead to significant conflict between parents. When one parent is using the visitation or custody time as a weapon against the other parent, the court may limit the abusive parent's contact. People might want to talk to family law attorneys about what is occurring in order to get advice about how they might be able to handle the situation. Attorneys may file motions to modify the existing visitation and custody orders and inform the court about the problems. Parents whose time is being wrongfully limited by the other parents may also want to talk to their attorneys about their rights.

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