Divorce can be difficult not just on parents, but also on their child. The child deserves to have a healthy and meaningful relationship with both parents. Therefore, when the child is living with one parent, he or she should be able to communicate with his or her other parent. Fortunately, in today's day and age there are many ways for children to keep in touch with their parents, including electronic means.
Texas Family Code Section 153.015 covers a child's ability to communicate electronically with their parents. For the purposes of the statute, electronic communications include the Internet, social media, phone calls, email, instant messaging, video conferences and communication through the use of a webcam.
The Code states that if a conservator moves the court to have electronic communication with the child, the court has the ability to award a reasonable amount of time of electronic communication. This is to supplement the time the conservator possesses the child.
When deciding whether to permit electronic communication the court will consider a number of factors. Of course, one factor is whether permitting electronic communication is in the child's best interests. The court will also consider whether all parties have access to the necessary equipment. Finally, as a catch-all, if there are any other appropriate considerations to be had, the court will take these into account.
If electronic communication is awarded, the child is afforded privacy, respect and dignity in communicating with the other parent. They are to be able to communicate at reasonable times of the day and for a reasonable length of time.
Electronic communication can be a wonderful supplement to parenting time and child custody. Children need the support of both parents following a divorce, and electronic communication can provide a means for them to maintain a bond with the parent they are not residing with at the time. When a child is able to keep in contact with both of his or her parents, he or she may feel a sense of support and care that he or she will need following the major life changes divorce brings.