Denver, Colo. – A recent court case highlights the way family courts could decide relocation cases. In Debra Baker v. James Baker from Suffolk County, New York, the judge ruled that Debra was deemed the more fit parent and could move the children to Florida and allow the father to “virtually visit” through Skype, phone conversations and in-person visits during school vacations.
Virtual visitation can be a good tool to make it easier for divorced parents to be a part of their children’s lives. Skype, online games and other webcam programs are affordable and more interactive than just chatting on the telephone. While virtual visitation is not the substitute for in-person parenting or even the best way to get a relocation case won, it can be a great tool to deepen a child’s relationship to their other parent.
In this economy, outside influences such as a foreclosure, job relocation, physical illness, or out-of-state family members can force the need for a relocation. This is what occurred in Baker v. Baker.
“If you are involved in a custody dispute, you need a good family law attorney to help you determine if virtual visitation could be a winning strategy for the entire family,” said Bill Thode, of the Denver, Colo. Thode Law Firm. “A family law attorney will let you know your parental rights and legal options to stay in contact with your children.”
The key to defining virtual visitation rights in a divorce decree is including the name of the program name and any hardware, software and Internet connections that could be required. Also, it will have to list who will pay for the Internet service and equipment and what days and times these visits will happen.
“Relocations will have a big impact on children,” Thode said. “So the judge will want to know why the new location is a better fit for the child’s education, the quality of each parent’s relationship to the child and many other factors in the child’s best interest.”
And believe it or not, the majority parent does not often have an advantage when needing to relocate a child. Resolving child custody disputes and relocation matters ultimately depends on the parents’ ability to put their child’s interest before their own.
The Thode Law Firm is one of Denver’s premier family law firms and has represented hundreds of clients for more than a decade. Its experienced attorneys focus on divorce, child custody disputes, conflicts over parenting time and decision-making authority, maintenance/alimony disputes, child support actions, and child removal cases.