Maintaining a significant connection with your children while they are with their other parent can be challenging and/or frustrating. However, there are several current technology tools that can help. This blog explores the technology that you and your children can use to stay in touch and connected while they are with their other parent during their parenting time or where distance is a major factor in parenting.
The statutory and case law is clear that both parents should maintain a significant connection with their children as this is in their best interest. The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines provide Guidelines and commentary stating the same point. Barring some significant physical or mental health risk to the child, the parents should have regular and meaningful time with their children. The courts gave the power to order any technology to be used to facilitate parenting time.
Perhaps the best way to use technology to ensure that your children remain a significant part of your life when they are not with you is by using video chat. There are a few very good (and free) options or platforms for video chat. Which one is best for you will depend on your specific situation and needs. Top rated video chat programs and apps include:
- FaceTime FaceTime is an Apple service and can only be used if both you and your child have an iPhone. To use FaceTime video chat, simply go to the contact you wish to call and click the video camera to the right of the line under the contacts mobile number that says “FaceTime”.
- Facebook Messenger If your child is old enough to use Facebook, you can make or receive a video call through Facebook’s messenger app. Just open the app, search for your child by name, click on their profile and then click the video camera on the top right beside the phone symbol.
- WhatsApp If calling your child means making an international call, WhatsApp may be best for you. This app is available on both Android and iPhone, and allows you to use wifi calling to make international voice or video calls. This is a very common app. for parenting across international boundaries.
- Zoom Zoom is perhaps the most widely used video conferencing platform and can be installed on both an Android and iPhone as well as computer, in case your children are not old enough to have a smartphone.
Another great technological tool that you can use to stay connected with your children is social media. If your children are old enough to have a smartphone, you can bet they have profiles on at least one, if not all, of the top social media platforms. These include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.
If your child uses any of these social media sites, set up a profile for yourself so you can share memes and other posts they might like with them, wish them a happy birthday, or comment on their posts, so they know you are paying attention. You will also be able to just read through their posts in order to keep up to date on what they are interested in, who their friends are, and what they are doing. This will make it easier for you to talk to them about the things they like.
Text messaging can also help you keep in touch with and connect to older children who have a cell phone. Something as simple as sending a picture of a pet can be very meaningful.
If a phone call does not work for staying in touch with your children and fostering the parent-child relationship, these applications or platforms should be considered. With the right evidence, it is likely that the court would order such communication. This blog was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. It is for general educational purposes. It is not intended to be relied upon for any legal matter or issue. The blog is not legal advice. This is an advertisement.