California Supreme Court Grants Custodial Parents More Freedom to Relocate
On Monday (4-15), the California Supreme Court ruled that a parent with child custody can relocate despite objections from the other parent and without having to prove that the move is essential for a new job. Michael Maroko, lawyer for mother Wendy Burgess, said, "Women are now free at last to relocate with their children as long as the move does not prejudice the rights or the welfare of the children."
Burgess' ex-husband had objected to her desire to move 40 miles for a career-advancing position. Burgess had to go to court to prove the move was necessary, and a Court of Appeal had overturned a decision of a trial court that had ruled in her favor. In light of the Monday decision, a parent with primary custody will only have to prove that relocation is in good faith, and an objecting parent will have to prove that the relocation will severely injure the child. Dorothy Jonas, a Feminist Majority board member, played a key role in bringing this case to trial
Media Resources: The Los Angeles Times - April 16, 1996