Should She Stay or Should She Go? 

A bitter East Bay divorce has sparked a legal gender war, with huge ramifications for custodial parents who want to move their kids out of state.

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Even if the Supremes ruled in Gary's favor, Robinson points out, they would send the case back to the Contra Costa trial court to figure out what to do based on current circumstances: Garrett and Devlen are now entrenched in Arizona in new schools, with new friends and new basketball teams.

Wallerstein says that from all the reports she'd heard, the boys are doing very well at school in their new environs. If Judge Kennedy wouldn't uproot the boys when Suzy first moved, it seems unlikely he'd do so nearly a year later when they have settled in -- which is exactly what Gary had feared.

There's a reason judges dread being assigned to family law court. The stakes and the emotions are high; figuring out what's best for the most vulnerable parties -- the children -- is rarely clear-cut, and heroes and villains are in short supply. Mary Ann Mason, a longtime professor of law and social welfare at UC Berkeley, who signed an amicus brief backing Suzy Navarro, says she feels for everyone in this case. "There are no bad people here," she says. "It's just a bad situation."

Perhaps it was Dr. Philip Stahl who said it best, although he was referring to a specific situation: More often than not, in the annals of American family law, there are "no good choices."


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