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Long Distance Parenting

La Musga and SB 730

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.

4 replies on “La Musga and SB 730”

I was one of the working opposition for SB 730 and lobbied every day to defeat this bill. I am also one of the Endorser’s of ACCAMA. The very same groups supporting SB 730 were responsible for derailing HR 3073, The Fathers Count Act of 1999.

With the California Judiciary Council of California, the Association of Certified Family Law Specialist, LA County Bar Association along with over 90% of the scientific experts opposing SB 730, I would say that is proof that SB 730 was seriously flawed.

In fact not one Fathers Rights Group was going to testify if the bill would have been heard in the Judiciary. How do I know this, well I helped to suggest who would testify in opposition. For your information the only ones who would have testified were to include 2 Family Law Judges one Family Law Specialist and the legislative Advocate for the State Judicial Council.

On the other hand all those who would have testified in support had been directly involves in the mothers legal help (Womens Advocate Groups)and had direct ties to the LaMusga case itself. The bill started out as SB 1367 and was pulled by Burton the day after the ruling came out. The language was then hidden in a labor bill SB 730 for stealth tactics. The same Groups sponsoring SB 1367, which was inserted into the Gut, and Amend of SB 730 were also the same Groups that had given the mother all her legal assistance in the case.

Your opinion that close physical contact and relationship between a parent and child not being important is Junk Science at best. You are most likely part of the Radical Womens Movement, which is part of the problem not the solution. I’m also convinced you most likely subscribe to Dr. Silversteins (Deconstructing the Essential Father). The attitude you hold is responsible for years of digression in children’s mental health for which the problem will take a generation to fix as a result of gender politics’ controlled by Women’s Groups. Please stay out of the issue and let qualified people repair the social damage that been done.

Michael Robinson
Sacramento California

Hi:

> I was one of the working opposition for SB 730 and lobbied every day
> to defeat this bill. I am also one of the Endorser’s of ACCAMA. The
> very same groups supporting SB 730 were responsible for derailing HR
> 3073, The Fathers Count Act of 1999.

Nice to meet you. I’m a non-custodial parent because I needed to move myself and my child out of a bad area.

> With the California Judiciary Council of California, the Association
> of Certified Family Law Specialist, LA County Bar Association along
> with over 90% of the scientific experts opposing SB 730, I would say
> that is proof that SB 730 was seriously flawed.

100% of scientific experts refuted that the world was round. That didn’t prove anything in the long run.

> Your opinion that close physical contact and relationship between a
> parent and child not being important is Junk Science at best. You are

I didnt say a relationship between a parent and child isnt important. In fact, I think that that is of utmost importance. So when a parent CANT be in close physical contact, all attempts should be made by the parent to maintain a close relationship via telephone, letters, email and virtual visitation and as much in-person visitation as possible.

You really should take some time to look around the site and research long distancec parenting a little further. There is ssome great information out there. None of it advocates going away from your children.. but certainly, should you have to, there are ways to keep the relationship alive.

> most likely part of the Radical Women’s Movement, which is part of
> the problem not the solution. I’m also convinced you most likely
> subscribe to Dr. Silversteins (Deconstructing the Essential Father).
> The attitude you hold is responsible for years of digression in
> children’s mental health for which the problem will take a generation
> to fix as a result of gender politics’ controlled by Women’s Groups.

Did you even read my post? I believe I specifically stated the following :

“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.”

I am a NON-CUSTODIAL MOTHER. I’m not pro women’s or mom’s rights or anti men’s or father’s rights. In fact, I work closely on distance parenting issues with several non-custodial fathers. If anything *I* am in the minority on this issue.

> Please stay out of the issue and let qualified people repair the
> social damage that been done.

Qualified people? I suppose a non-custodial parent who has been directly affected by this issue is a ‘non-qualified’ person in your eyes whereas someone who doesnt bother to read what he is responding to or read a few pages further to research who he’s talking to IS a qualified person? It’s no wonder I find it difficult to jump on your bandwagon.

Regards,
Carrie

I am a father of a 5 1/2 years old. I am in the process of loosing the physicall ongoing contact with my son after one year of litigation in court because the mother deside to move 360 miles away after she find out that social services gave both of us 50 and 50 legal and physical custody. We were marry and leaving in the SF Bay Area for 9 years and another 4 years single prior to marry. The Okland court has temporary allow the mother to move to South of California with out a stable job, no place to live. In the other hand I have a permanent stable job, home, insurance and pay for my son medical and education on top of that our son and I are very emotional close to each other. We will have a final desicion on September 13, 2004 regarding if he will have to move to South of California 360 miles away or stays in the Bay Area. My question is where is the best interest of the chield here? It seems like the system is not build to provide kids to be close to their fathers. I believe that relocation should apply when neither of both parents are stable and the welfare of chield is a risk. But this does not apply to my case. The system is not build for fathers. Far a way Relocation on a equal legal and physical custody is a easy way to kill the soul and spirit of the kids. This will brake them a part. Kids relocation should be denied to both parents as long the welfare of the kid is a risk. I hope that the La Musga case could help me out on my next hearing in california court system. Please email me at loreto_is@hotmail.com if you want to help. Thanks.

The Custodial parent should be allowed to move with their children.

The noncustodial parent has the right to follow those children to where ever they may land. This will secure their relationship and satisfy the one choosing to move.

This custodial parent desperately needs to move to a better area, and absent misconduct, should not lose custody just because of a change in address.

Noncustodial Parents: move with your children!

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