Parents who are in the military often face deployments that last months. During that time, they don’t have time with their children. When they are still married to the child’s other parent, they may get to see them on video chats and have communication with them without having to think much about it. When the service member is divorced from the child’s other parent, this won’t likely happen automatically.
Some service members rely on virtual visitation guidelines in their parenting plans. Texas is one of the states that allows this, so consider this option if you’re in the military and concerned about being able to stay in touch with your children when you can’t be with them in person.
Virtual visits aren’t meant to fully replace the in-person visits that children have with their parents. Instead, they bridge the gap between them and enable the relationship to continue to strengthen despite the distance.
The exact method of the virtual visits depends on the circumstances. You might be able to use video chats to have real-time talks with your children. In other cases, texts or instant messaging may help you to stay in touch.
One thing to remember in these cases is that the conversations between the parent and child shouldn’t be censored. They should be treated in the same manner as an in-person visit, so they should be free to discuss whatever they feel is necessary.
If you think that you’ll need to utilize virtual visits while you’re on deployment, you should have terms for these visits included in your parenting plan. This gives you clear guidelines to follow when you need to have these visits.