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4/19/2009
Andrew Kim
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Child custody cases are always difficult but when you add an international abduction by one of the parents into the mix, then the matter is complicated ten fold.  Take the case of the father David Goldman who has been fighting for years to get his now 8 year old son Sean back from Brazil where his mother had taken him in 2004.

Sean's mother moved from New Jersey to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil without his father's consent and has grown into an international custody dispute with political overtones.  Both the U.S. and Brazil governments consider the decision of Goldman's wife, Bruna Bianchi to move Sean to Brazil a violation of The Hague Abduction Convention, an international treaty that seeks to determine whether children have been wrongfully removed from their country of habitual residence.

The U.S. State Department and the Brazilian government authority that deals with the treaty have called for the return of Sean to the United States.  But the case remains in federal court in Brazil awaiting a ruling on whether the treaty has been violated.  Brazil is has the fifth most number of international child custody cases after Mexico, India, Japan, and Canada that the State Department works on.

The twist in this case is that the mother Bianchi died in August 2008 when she was giving birth to another baby from her new husband and lawyer Joao Paulo Lins e Silva, who is a member of a prominent Brazilian family of lawyers and judges.  A state court judge in Rio de Janeiro granted temporary custody of Sean to Lins e Silva who has an army of 70 lawyers working on his behalf on this custody case.  The deck seems stacked against Sean's biological dad David Goldman but he has not given up the fight.  "I'm just trying to bring my son home," he said.

The Andrew Kim Law Firm, PLLC handles divorce and family law cases involving child custody, child support, and other family laws matters.  If you would like to speak with a Bellevue, Seattle, Washington divorce or child custody attorney, call us at 1-800-636-3676 for a free case evaluation.



Category: Child Custody

4/19/2009
Andrew Kim
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Child visitation and Skype.  You may have heard of this tool available on the web called Skype, free phone and video services through the computer.  Well, the Journal of Law and Family Studies reported that a handful of states have adopted “virtual visitation” laws, authorizing judges to include e-mail, instant messaging, Web cams and other evolving tools of the internet to keep non-custodial parents in touch with their children. 

Utah and four other states have adopted such statutes, and seven more have legislation awaiting approval.  The Utah law came about when Michael Gough, the divorced father of a 4-year-old, set up an in-courtroom demonstration of Skype, the Internet-based video phone service, and asked the judge to require his ex-wife to allow him to use it to speak with his child.

Gough said, “Before starting virtual visitation, when I spoke with my four-and-a-half-year-old daughter, our telephone calls lasted only an average of 5 minutes. Now, during video calls, they last an average of 15 minutes and have gone on for as long as 45 minutes.”

Australian family courts have signed on to the trend and have used Skype in other ways such as video court appearance by the parties.  Technology is here to stay and the availability of Skype as a tool to keep distant parents in touch with their children is probably a benefit to the parent/child relationship when in person visits are not possible.


The Andrew Kim Law Firm, PLLC has offices in Bellevue and Tacoma, Washington.  Please call a Bellevue child visitation attorney to discuss your child custody issue today.  Our toll free phone number is 1-800-636-3676.



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11900 NE 1st Street
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Bellevue, WA 98005
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Bellevue Office
11900 NE 1st Street
Suite 300
Bellevue, WA 98005
Phone: (425) 289-1990
Fax: (425) 289-1991