Friday, February 03, 2006

Brown v Yana

California Family law says:
7501. (a) A parent entitled to the custody of a child has a right to change the residence of the child, subject to the power of the court to restrain a removal that would prejudice the rights or welfare of the child.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to affirm the decision in In re Marriage of Burgess (1996) 13 Cal.4th 25, and to declare that ruling to be the public policy and law of this state.
I thought that this meant that a parent who shares legal custody is subject to a court hearing before moving the child away from the other parent. But the California supreme court just ruled in Brown v Yana:
Thus, while sections 3006 and 3007 recognize the general right of a parent with sole custody to supervise and make decisions regarding a child's residence and education, section 7501, fairly read, contemplates that even a parent with sole legal and sole physical custody may be restrained from changing a child's residence, if a court determines the change would be detrimental to the child's rights or welfare.
Not only does section 7501 undermine any notion of a custodial parent's absolute right to relocate with a child, but so does the lack of any California decision supporting such a proposition.
Furthermore, it ruled that the noncustodial parent has no right to a hearing.

So the parents have no rights in the matter. In this case, the boy ultimately got his way by refusing to board the plane!