Kidnapping Children
May Become Legal
in California

 

California Senate President Pro Tem John Burton (D-San Francisco) is trying to sneak a "stealth" bill through the legislature which would harm children and the fathers they love and need by destroying the California Supreme Court's recent decision in In re Marriage of LaMusga (2004). The Burton bill would give custodial parents the right to move children wherever they want, whenever they want--without even needing to obtain a court order.

In LaMusga, a custodial mother sought to move two young boys 2,400 miles away from their father. In a wise, moderate, and eminently sensible decision, the Supreme Court ruled for the father, stating “the likely impact of the proposed move on the noncustodial parent's relationship with the children is a relevant factor [among others] in determining whether the move would cause detriment to the children…” (Note: She took the children out-of-state anyway.)

Supporters of the newly formed Alliance for Children Concerned About Move-Aways bombarded Burton's office with calls, faxes and e-mails. By noon, Burton's principal consultant Anthony Williams contacted ACCAMA and invited its representatives to meet and discuss the situation.

Like most in Sacramento, Williams is accustomed to only hearing the feminist viewpoint on family law, and was no doubt stunned at the avalanche of opposition. More importantly, because of the large response, it will no longer be possible for Burton to slip the bill through unnoticed. Browse the ACCAMA site's information page. www.ACCAMA.org or contact@accama.org or Take action.

The Alliance for Children Concerned About Move-Aways (ACCAMA) 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 In re Marriage of LaMusga (2004) run counter to this need.

The Alliance for Children Concerned About Move-Aways seeks to defeat legislative attacks on LaMusga. ACCAMA recognizes that there are some situations where custodial parents should be allowed to move, particularly in cases of dire economic need or domestic violence, or when noncustodial parents show little interest in their children or do not avail themselves of their visitation time. What ACCAMA does oppose are frivolous, selfish, vindictive, or bad faith moves which tear children away from loving noncustodial parents.

ACCAMA urges all those concerned about the welfare of children to take action to protect the LaMusga decision. Take action.

We Wrote to Senator Burton on his Web Site and said:

What does the (California) legislature have against non-custodial parents (primarily fathers)? Here we try to get fathers more involved with their children, only to see proposals making it easy to get revenge on fathers to their detriment and the detriment of their children - and in the end, to the detriment of society. Have you noticed that the numbers are decreasing rapidly of men desiring to marry and/or have children. What's it going to look like in another couple of generations? Will we see more children being born through a mother and have a test-tube for a father? What will the legislature propose then?

Response

We haven't heard anything directly back from Senator Burton to date. However, on August 18, 2004, we understood that the bill has been removed. While this is good news, know that it will most likely be put back on the agenda in the next session under a different number, name and author. These kinds of things don't go away on their own.

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