Tomorrow, SB 730 will be heard by the Assembly Judiciary Committee. It is a labor bill amended to include move away rights/restrictions prompted by the LaMusga case.
One of my biggest irritations with this case is the fact that so many have saddled it with other causes.
First and foremost, is the stereotypical custodial mother and noncustodial father roles in the case that feminist and men’s rights groups are spotlighting. Mom wants to move away with the kids so dad gets shorted.. AGAIN.
Let’s get that out of the way first and foremost. Give me a break! This is a completely separate issue having nothing to do with male/female mother/father. It has everything to do with the CUSTODIAL parent making the decision to move with the children and the NONCUSTODIAL parent’s right to disagree. Whether mom or dad has custody and whether that was discriminatory is a separate issue altogether. If that’s your cause, fight your cause.. not the La Musga decision or California’s SB 730.
Lots of dads have custody of their kids and should a custodial dad choose to move away with the kids, lets deal with them both the same regardless of their preassigned roles as members of a particular sex. Feminists and male rights groups, while I recognize could have valid complaints against custody systems, should have no argument in a move away debate who’s grounds are solely sex. This issue is a ‘move away’ issue, not a sex role debate.
Aside from that, groups like the The Alliance for Children Concerned About Move-Aways are in the mix because they believe that the only way to have a healthy relationship with your child is to be physically near your child at all times and a move away risks seperating one parent from the child/ren SHOULD the non-custodial parent not choose to follow them. Their site says : “… believes that children’s need for frequent and meaningful contact with both parents after a divorce is paramount. Present efforts by certain members of the California Legislature to attempt to weaken or abrogate altogether the new California Supreme Court’s decision in re Marriage of LaMusga (2004) run counter to this need.”
I beg to differ. That, in fact, is what this site is here to educate people about. Being physically apart does NOT equal missing parent. Being physically apart does not mean a lack of “frequent and meaningful contact with both parents after a divorce” Being physically apart simply means you learn a new skill set and put that much more effort into your relationship with your child.
All parents can have a good relationship with a child, no matter the distance. No, it isn’t the ideal situation for the parent. It means they will have to put far more work into the relationship. But if youc an honestly say that your child isnt worth the extra work, then maybe that’s where the problem is?
I wanted to move to San Diego, California from Memphis, Tennessee with my child for all the reasons a good parent should want to move; better schools, richer culture, lower crime, higher pay. In the process, because by default, custodial parents are not allowed to move with their children in Tennessee, my ex-husband was able to ‘take physical custody’ of my son just prior to my move date and take legal custody and there was nothing I could do about it.
My son now lives in an inferior environment than what I could offer him here, with his father’s open admission of the inferiority simply because his father did not want my son to move.
Granted, there are exceptions to every rule.. and there are always the custodial parents who would abuse SB 730 just to keep the kids away from the other parent.. BUT.. I think it’s just as much abuse of a situation for a non-custodial parent to try to prevent a good move for their own selfish reasons. THAT is what is happening now. Right now, well meaning parents like myself are struggling to have both their kids AND a decent living situation because the other parent decides they just don’t like the idea of the kids moving. Well-being or not.
That is what SB 730 does. With some minor modifications, SB 730 allows custodial parents to move into a better situation with their child/ren whether or not it’s convenient for the non-custodial parent.
If the grass is indeed greener in another city hundreds of miles away and the children will reap the benefit of higher pay, better schools, better cultural opportunities etc, the noncustodial parent should be HAPPY that the children are moving and A. do everything in their power to follow the children or B. learn to be a great distance parent! Don’t PREVENT a move that could be good for the kids! Sometimes, the reasons to move far outweigh the benefits of being within a mile or two all the time.
I am a non-custodial parent and I’m ok with that. I have the will power and the desire to be a great long distance parent and to make it work and a parenting plan that allows me to do just that. Hopefully, non-custodial parents will pick up and follow their children to this new place that offers them so much more. If that’s not possible, like in my case or in the case of so many others, you learn to be a long distance parent.