I have written before on this (Parenting Time - Alternate Means) but I ran across Electronic Communication as Parental Visitation? from Family Law Prof and thought it worth writing on again. Seems Illinois has passed a law with the following provision:
Illinois General Assembly - Illinois Compiled Statutes
(2) "Electronic communication" means time that a parent spends with his or her child during which the child is not in the parent's actual physical custody, but which is facilitated by the use of communication tools such as the telephone, electronic mail, instant messaging, video conferencing or other wired or wireless technologies via the Internet, or another medium of communication.
A. COMMUNICATIONS1.Between Parents. Parents shall at all times keep each other advised of their home and work addresses and telephone numbers. Notice of any change in this information shall be given to the other parent in writing. All communications concerning a child shall be conducted between the parents. Any communication shall occur at reasonable times and places unless circumstances require otherwise. A child shall not be used to exchange documents or financial information between parents.
2. With A Child Generally. A child and a parent shall be entitled to private communications without interference from the other parent. A child shall never be used by one parent to spy or report on the other. Each parent shall encourage the child to respect and love the other parent. Parents shall at all times avoid speaking negatively about each other in or near the presence of the child, and they shall firmly discourage such conduct by relatives or friends.
I should also add that the Guidelines set out the minimum - there is no reason that the parties cannot agree to include other communication media as part of parenting time.3. With A Child By Telephone. Both parents shall have reasonable phone access to their child at all times. Telephone communication with the child by either parent to the residence where the child is located shall be conducted at reasonable hours, shall be of reasonable duration, and at reasonable intervals, without interference from the other parent.
If a parent uses an answering machine, voice mail or a pager, messages left for a child shall be promptly communicated to the child and the call returned.