Monday, November 16, 2009

Parental Access Visits by Skype?

Access visitation with far-away children via Skpe - is it good enough, or not?

National Post reports on conflicting decisions in child mobility applications by Canada's family courts on yet another, new issue of the digital age:
Daily contact by video conference over the Internet is not sufficient access between a father and his children, a judge in British Columbia has ruled in turning down a mother's request to move to Australia.

The decision issued by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Hope Hyslop last week is the latest in an increasing number of family law disputes where one of the parents has proposed using online software such as Skype when seeking to move with their children a great distance from their former spouse. In at least four other cases in the past year, judges in B.C., Alberta and Ontario have cited Skype as one of the reasons that a parent was permitted to separate a child from the other parent.

"Electronic communication is not as desirable as in-person access, but it does allow for the child to keep in touch with her dad every day if she so wishes," said B.C. Supreme Court Justice Deborah Satanove in a recent decision.

1 comment:

Sean Cummings said...

As one of the very few fathers who won a mobility case when skype hadn't been invented and MSN Messenger had just been released, I am encouraged very much by this ruling - technology is great, but it doesn't replace parenting. In the other cases where technology like skype was a factor in Mom moving away with the kids, the decision should have rested on counsel asking Mom the following question: "If the court rules against you and restricts little Johnny ann Julie's mobility to this jurisdiction, would you be willing to move away without them."

I suspect were that question asked we'd see a lot of moms who want to take the kids away from Dad deciding the move could be avoided after all.