Love blooms, a couple marries and eventually a child is born. Then the romance fades, the couple divorces and the parent who receives custody decides to move, taking the child far away from the ex-spouse. There's nothing in West Virginia law to stop that from happening, or even compel a court review of whether the move is in the child's best interests, a situation Truman Chafin wants to change.
Chafin, the majority leader of the state senate, went to the state Supreme Court this week to ask that the justices make two changes in the state's divorce laws. One would force the parent with custody to go to court before moving of of state. The other would make joint custody the preferred option in all divorce cases.
The justices deferred action Tuesday, after Chief Justice Larry Starcher suggested such changes should be made by the legislature. Chafin's attorney said his client wants the court to act, so Chafin can't be accused of using the legislative process for his own self-interest.