Online judicial platform helps resolve child visitation disputes

(China Daily) Updated : 2020-04-15

Online judicial platform helps resolve child visitation disputes
Lu Ping / China Daily

Thanks to an online judicial platform, child visitation has not been difficult for divorced couples during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Since the novel coronavirus pneumonia hit the country in January, many case hearings in Chinese courts have been postponed or ordered to occur online to keep litigants from being infected and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. The Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court is no exception.

From January to March, an online platform called Yunfating, which literally means "trials in the cloud", was used 64 times by the court in hearing domestic disputes, and it has also played a bigger role in alleviating the problem of child visitations among divorced couples during the epidemic period, Shan Guojun, vice-president of the court, said on Tuesday.

Disputes relating to child visitation made up a large proportion of domestic cases in recent years, he said, adding the epidemic has also been increasing the visitation difficulty.

"Given some divorced parents have not visited their children for a long time, we improved coordination with those granted child custody and finally achieved several successes in online visitation," he said.

He took visitation in the cloud as an innovation in solving domestic disputes, saying it not only contributed to emotional communication between divorced parents and their children, but also reduced infection risks during the outbreak.

"Therefore, we're planning to apply online visitation to solve more domestic cases in the future," he said. "For example, it will be better to solve disputes in which the divorced couples are not living in the same city, or where someone has a disease, making it inconvenient to visit children."

Zhang Lin, a judge with the court, said online visitation can be written into a ruling to ensure two parties can abide by the agreement, but she added it must be approved by both litigants.