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Judge Orders N.Y. Woman to Set Up Skype Chats Between Ex-Husband, Kids

One New York judge is proving to be a high-tech Solomon, allowing a Long Island mom to move her children 1,000 miles away from their father — just as long as the Florida-bound kids keep Skyping with their far-off dad.

In a first-of-its-kind ruling, New York State Supreme Court Justice Jerry Garguilo ordered Debra Baker to buy a webcam and set up three-hour-long teleconferences via the program Skype each and every week between her kids and her ex-husband, construction worker James Baker, the New York Law Journal reported.

James Baker asked that his ex-wife and kids remain in the New York area, but with her finances stretched to a breaking point, Debra said she was forced to move in with family in Venice Beach, Fla.

She has been unemployed since December, while her ex-husband, who recently underwent surgery for gall bladder cancer, has been earning a scant $600 a month in take-home pay — and their home is now facing foreclosure, the New York Law Journal reported.

"Common sense, logic and a realistic view of life on Long Island clearly indicate that the Petitioner and children cannot maintain a residence, heat, clothe themselves, provide for transportation and enjoy only the basic necessities on the monies that are currently available," Justice Garguilo wrote.

But one man's "common sense" could be a bit baffling for this dad, who's never used Skype before in his life and might be hard-pressed to keep in touch online with his 9-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter.

"I don't even know if my client knows what Skype is," James Baker's lawyer, Bruce Vetri, told the New York Post. "He's not the most computer-literate guy. I'm not even sure he'll be able to use it."

The Bakers married in 2000 but divorced in 2008.

Click here for more on this story from the New York Law Journal.

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