The Divorce World Is Flat

I have been listening to the audio book of Thomas Friedman’s “The World Is Flat”. The book chronicles the technological and cultural changes that have occurred in the last twenty to thirty years. The end result being a flattening of the world, meaning the world is smaller, successful agencies are collaborating more, and this is all being done across oceans and not limited to across town.

This flattening effect is impacting divorce and family law in many ways as well, including the sharing of knowledge from all areas of the world and converting that knowledge into collaborative changes in procedure and philosophy. The flattening effect is also having a more practical impact on families caught in parenting issues.

The flattened world changes how we look at parenting time between parents and children. We have moved beyond personal visits and telephone calls. With the advent and minimal cost of email and texting, there are almost no obstacles to daily contact between parents and children, whether they live around the block or around the world.

In October 2007, Florida began a new law that recognizes and encourages electronic communication between parent and child (Florida Statute 61.13003). In fact, parents who wish to modify their existing parenting order to allow for electronic communication, do not have to prove there has been a “substantial change of circumstances” since the last order (which is the standard requirement). The statute is further evidence that technology has created realistic methods to supplement, not replace, face-to-face parenting time.

An area of growth is the use of webcams and the internet for parenting time. Families separated by distance are now a few clicks away. I have used Skype (an internet based video telephone service) on many occasions to communicate over great distances, and the technology is without a doubt reliable and impressive. Although there have been some bumps in the road, more times than not, I have held lengthy conversations with clear audio and video. It is truly now the next best thing to being there.

     Posted on October 15, 2008 at 2:11 pm | 1 comment

One response to “The Divorce World Is Flat”

  1. dperry says:


    I am an attorney in Orlando.I am enjoying your blog. Is there an RSS feed?

    On June 19, I am going to be presenting, along with a small panel of judges and some cyber-forensic attorneys/experts, an afternoon CLE session for the Sarasota Bar Assoc., on the impact of social media in family law cases.

    I am going to mention your blog.

    Daniel Perry

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