Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In Re Marriage of Barth (Cal. Ct. App. - Oct. 22, 2012)

Jeffrey Barth gets divorced from his ex-wife, and she wants child support.  She files for divorce in Ohio, and Jeffrey litigates for years -- including a trip to the Ohio Supreme Court -- in his successful claim that Ohio doesn't have jurisdiction, and that the matter has to be litigated in California instead.

But once the case eventually gets to California, the California courts order child support payments that are way higher than those ordered by Ohio.  Way.

Because Justice Moore is slightly older -- and perhaps more sophisticated -- than I am, here is how she introduces her opinion in that case:

"If ever there was a case where the adage 'be careful what you wish for' applied, this is surely it."  Dropping a footnote to a fable by Aesop from the sixth century, B.C.

Pretty fancy.

But younger readers might have even more readily understood a more contemporary reference.  They don't read Aesop.  They watch American Idol.  So they'll easily understand the following equally-apt reference, from Chris Daughtry's bestselling song Home:

Be careful what you wish for.
'Cause you just might get it all.
You just might get it all.
And then some you don't want.

I think that the Daughtry reference is especially applicable because he's talking about going home.  Which is precisely what Jeffrey wanted:  litigation in his home state.  Which he got.  And then something he definitely didn't want.  Including but not limited to the resulting opinion from the Court of Appeal.