More and more parents and children who live far apart are using video calls like Skype and Apple Facetime to stay connected. Even the law is catching up with this trend. In North Carolina, for example, the court can order electronic visitation through G.S. § 50-13.2(e).

But what does “electronic communication” mean? It’s basically any contact that’s not face-to-face but happens through phones, emails, instant messages, or video calls. Before a court grants electronic visitation, it considers a few things:

  1. Best Interest of the Child: Is video calling good for the child?
  2. Accessibility: Can both parents afford and access the necessary equipment for video calls? Most people do have cell phones and flip phones are a thing of the past. Most all modern phones have video built right in.
  3. Other Factors: Is there anything else the court needs to think about? This could include the age of the child, activities and other factors.

It’s important to note that electronic visitation isn’t a replacement for in-person visits. It’s just an addition to them.

If you’re facing long-distance custody issues, Wake County family law attorney Scott Allen can help. With over thirty years of experience, he’s ready to answer your questions and provide assistance. You can reach him at (919) 863-4183 or email him at