If you are a divorced mom or dad with custody of the children, your ability to move for any reason has just been curtailed in California, reports the Los Angeles Times. That state’s Supreme Court ruled that if the other parent objects to the move, it is back to the trial judge and more court costs. And folks outside California are not off the hook, because oftentimes such precedents spread to other states.
It’s difficult to tell who the winners are in this case, other than lawyers. If you are the parent without custody living in San Diego, and your ex-spouse wants to move to Montana with the three children for a better job, you might be able to stop her in court. In this scenario, the loving parent without custody has the right to maintain a geographically close connection to their children.
On the flip side, if you are the parent with custody, you could essentially be held hostage by a vindictive jerk who just wants to ruin your life. The jerk might lose in court, but fear of a $50,000-$100,000 trial might scare the custodial parent from taking the better-paying job elsewhere.
Sure looks like there is a lot of room for abuse here, but we probably won’t know the decision’s impact for years to come.