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California bill to ease move aways by custodial parents pulled.
August 18, 2004 1:03 PM   Subscribe

California bill to ease "move aways" by custodial parents pulled. Until a recent CA Supreme Court decision, it was easy for custodial parents to move themselves and their children far from their ex-spouse. The Court reversed the old rule and held that the move could be blocked if the non-custodial parent could show that it would interfere with his/her relationship with the kids. Legislation to reimpose the old permissive standard passed through the State Senate, but has now been pulled off the legislative calendar after an outcry by father's rights groups.
posted by MattD (17 comments total)

 
It's a bad law because it's such a blanket. Some parents and children need to be able to move away; some should not. That's why we have judges.
posted by eustacescrubb at 1:48 PM on August 18, 2004


the move could be blocked if the non-custodial parent could show that it would interfere with his/her relationship with the kids

eustace, Im sure during this hearing the custodial parent could also make his/her case as to why the move is necessary.... and justice prevails!
posted by Satapher at 3:29 PM on August 18, 2004


This Is Good. It increases equality.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:34 PM on August 18, 2004


My point, Satapher, is that the law would have kept judges from making case-by-case decisions, which is Bad, whereas right now, judges can do that, which is Good, because everyone's case is unique.
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:27 PM on August 18, 2004


This Is Good. It increases equality.

This is excellent. It protects the relationships between non-custodial parents and their children, which is far more important than any other consideration.
posted by Dreama at 5:01 PM on August 18, 2004


It protects the relationships between non-custodial parents and their children, which is far more important than any other consideration.

???? More important than the custodial parent's ability to make a great deal more at a better job, thereby improving the quality of life for the child? (as a for instance.) Sorry, I think blanket statements such as that are the danger from all angles. Each case is unique. The common element is that generalizations are the enemy of justice ... and any real concern for the child's well being.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:09 PM on August 18, 2004


It seems to me that any law or court decision that keeps an adult who has not broken any laws from living and working where they see fit is wrong. I could see this being a used as a tool of manipulation by evil ex's quite often. Plus, no court has a magic crystal ball that can accurately foresee what the long-term outcome of a move will be for a child.

If my father had been able to keep my mother from moving across the continent when I was a young child, I would have grown up in a culturally-backward area with poor public education and bad job opportunities. I look at my cousins and see how crappy my life could have been if my mother had been forced to stay. I doubt the local courts would have seen the move as necessary. It would have been a violation of her rights.

A non-custodial spouse can either move to be closer to the child or go to court to gain full or part-time custody.
posted by D.C. at 5:11 PM on August 18, 2004


Hell, might as well stay married.
posted by jfuller at 5:25 PM on August 18, 2004


I'd like the naysayers to explain how they would solve the situation in which a custodial parent overturns the court's decision that the parents should share the children by arbitrarily moving the child out of visiting range of the non-custodial parent.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:43 PM on August 18, 2004


D.C., did you read the article and not understand it, or did you just decide to comment without reading the article? No one said that the non-custodial parent should be able to veto relocations by the custodial parent. They are just saying that if the two parents disagree, the court should be able to involve itself in the case, and take into account the best interests of the child.

According to the article, the proposed law would have "would have forced judges to ignore the child's 'best interest' in cases where the custodial parent... wants to move with a child to another city or state."

Do you think that would be good?
posted by alms at 6:17 PM on August 18, 2004


p.s. the Google Ads for this thread are particularly spot-on.
posted by alms at 6:19 PM on August 18, 2004


These cases never (that I'm aware) actually enjoin the custodial parent moving -- they just lose custody if they do.
posted by MattD at 6:49 PM on August 18, 2004


Here's a guy who's delighted with the decision. These guys haven't weighed in yet, but I'm betting it will delight them, too.

Still, the child's interest should be paramount. And I confess I don't know enough about the proposed law (or the usual state of affairs in CA) to know if it would really interdict that. The law might well be a bad thing, even if the men's rights nutters say so.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:37 PM on August 18, 2004


It's a good thing in a lot of cases, because it prevents embittered custodial parents from holding the children hostage quite so easily. Now they have to decide which is more important - the children, or the divorce? In effect the custodial parents are getting a real Solomon's choice here.

Anything that adds a check/balance to the current lopsided situation is fine by me - not that I intend to get divorced, nor will I ever have kids, but the current norms in custody battles have always seemed impossibly unfair to the fathers and it's bugged me that this was the case.
posted by Ryvar at 8:59 PM on August 18, 2004


>It seems to me that any law or court decision that keeps an adult who has not broken any laws from living and working where they see fit is wrong.

Yeah, but it seems to me that when you decide to have kids, you have made an 18 year contract to be bound to deal with this sort of stuff.

As a free adult that's not broken laws they should have been smart enough to decide not to procreate if they didn't like the idea of something "weighing them down" during its lifetime. It's not as if you actually have to pay for condoms (well, you do if you're into convenience, I suppose), so don't tell me you couldn't afford *not* to concieve in the first place.

You know, it's sorta like how you can't just decide to stop feeding your pets even if you haven't broken any laws (yet). Yeah, you're free to do as you will, but when you take on a responsibility, society will damn well make sure you are going to deal with it and not run away hiding from it.
posted by shepd at 9:52 AM on August 19, 2004


This is excellent. It protects the relationships between non-custodial parents and their children, which is far more important than any other consideration.

I call bullshit on that assertion.

the child's interest should be paramount.

Exactly. The interests fo the child first. F*ck the parents and grandparents and everyone else. Procreation does not require nor entitle. Children are not property!
posted by nofundy at 10:05 AM on August 19, 2004


More important than the custodial parent's ability to make a great deal more at a better job, thereby improving the quality of life for the child?

Um, yes.

Not to start a war, but this cuts right to the heart of the matter: some people feel that money is more important to the child than a parent; others feel a parent is more important than the money.

I know which side I'm on - I believe a child should have two loving parents. One parent should not have the unilateral right to destroy either the other parent's relationship with their child(ren) or to destroy their life (by forcing them to uproot and follow them around the country/globe.

No one ever grew up and said, "man, I wish my father was around less," or "I wish my mother and I had a worse relationship when I was growing up." (ABUSE, ADDICTION, and MENTAL ILLNESS void the above. We're talking reasonably normal people. )
posted by hurkle at 3:10 PM on August 19, 2004


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