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Virtual visitation arrangements when you have a teen

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Child Custody |

Managing virtual visitation when co-parenting a teen generally involves some unique challenges and opportunities alike. Virtual visitation arrangements, executed via video calls, messaging apps and social media, offers a flexible and dynamic way to stay connected.

This is an important effort for divided families to make, as teenagers who are navigating their formative years, generally benefit from maintaining a strong relationship with both parents. However, these kinds of arrangements require careful planning and sensitivity to a teenager’s needs and schedules.


Establishing a consistent schedule for virtual visits is important. This helps create a routine that a teen can rely on. However, flexibility is also important. Teenagers often have fluctuating schedules due to school, extracurricular activities and social commitments. Both parents need to communicate openly and be willing to adjust virtual visitation times as necessary, prioritizing the teen’s availability (whenever possible and appropriate) and well-being.

Communication and engagement

Clear communication is another important aspect of managing virtual visitations. This involves not just coordinating schedules but also discussing how to handle missed visits, the preferred platforms for communication and setting expectations around the duration and frequency of virtual interactions.

It’s beneficial to involve a teen in these discussions, allowing them to express their preferences and concerns. This inclusive approach can foster a sense of respect and autonomy, encouraging the teenager to actively participate in maintaining their parent-child bond in ways that don’t feel as forced as they might otherwise.

Finally, it’s essential to keep virtual visits engaging. Teenagers are often digital natives, comfortable with technology, but they also crave novelty and engagement. Parents can plan activities to do together virtually, such as watching a movie simultaneously, playing online games or even cooking the same meal ‘together’ over video chat. These shared experiences can make virtual visits more enjoyable and meaningful.

Virtual visitation arrangements aren’t always straightforward when a teenager is involved. However, by being proactive in a few key ways, parents and teens alike can benefit from these efforts.

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