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Father Blocks Toddler's Relocation

The ease of international communication is making the world a village, but that did not assist a mother who wished to move to Hong Kong with her two-year-old child. Her relocation plans were thwarted by a family judge after the boy’s father objected and pointed out that ‘you can’t hug Skype’.

The mother argued that contact between father and son could easily be maintained by phone and use of the Skype Internet calling service. However, the father submitted that talking to a toddler on the phone was impractical. Given the distance involved, his use of Skype was likely to be affected by timing and clarity issues and could not be viewed as an adequate replacement for direct contact.

In refusing to grant permission for the mother and child’s move to the Far East, the judge noted that, despite the obstacles in his path, the father had developed a profound attachment to his son. The mother had shown little recognition of the importance of her son having a father in his life and could not be relied upon to adhere to a contact regime in Hong Kong. The ruling meant that the boy would remain in England and continue to enjoy direct contact with his father.