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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Defending Divorced Parents' Right to Move

August 17, 2004

Re "Divorced Dads and Fairness," Commentary, Aug. 8: The state Senate has already passed SB 730, which ameliorates the effect of the California Supreme Court's LaMusga decision. The Assembly Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on Aug. 17 to consider the bill before sending it on to the Assembly for a vote. If SB 730 is defeated and LaMusga is allowed to stand, it will create uncertainty and instability and be disruptive to the lives of countless families, including my own.

If that decision is allowed to stand, every move-away case decided in the state between the Burgess decision, in 1996, and LaMusga, in 2004, is subject to reopening and evaluation. In January, legislation passed that made Burgess state law. Burgess gives the custodial parent the presumptive right to move, barring actual detriment to the children. It acknowledges the paramount need for continuity and stability in the child's relationship with the primary caretaker.

Divorced dads who actually do the work involved in joint custodial parenting have no worries. Dads who rally around the LaMusga banner are the ones who have left the duties of childrearing to their ex-wives but seek to prevent them from seeking a better life for themselves and their children.

Kathryn Eisendrath

Rogers

San Luis Obispo

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