What are the elements of an interstate child custody case in San Diego? What happens when a parent sharing custody of a child or children with the other parent moves or wishes to move out of the area or out of the State of California?
The basic elements of an interstate child custody case are venue, the status quo and the best interest of the child(ren).
When you complete a divorce in San Diego which involves children our Judges issue a divorce decree which almost always reserves jurisdiction over the case going forward. Therefore, the “venue” or the Court which has jurisdiction of the case is usually the Court which issued the child custody and parenting time orders.
This is an important fact, especially for the parent remaining within the jurisdiction of the original Court.
However, it is possible for a co-parent who shares custody to take the child(ren) and move away or relocate out of the area or out of state. In many cases, the parent who moves attempts to establish residency in their new state and request a local Court to declare jurisdiction over the child(ren), often based on an alleged emergency.
The venue of the dispute is one of the most crucial elements of an interstate child custody case. If a San Diego parent moved to Minnesota with their child(ren) and successfully lobbied the local Court to assert Jurisdiction the local parent could be forced to fight an expensive court battle out of state.
In many states, the Court will give serious consideration and weight to where the child(ren) reside for the six months prior to the beginning of any legal proceeding. If a co-parent learns their child(ren) have been moved out of the area or out of state it is important to act immediately to preserve local venue. It is important to act as immediately, ahead of the move if possible, to prevent a Court in another state from considering a request to assume jurisdiction over the matter.
The “status quo” refers to the present schedule of the child(ren) and the lifestyle they have become accustomed to over the past months and years. It is usually not in the best interest of a child to substantially change the status quo without sound reasons.
San Diego Family Court Judges take a dim view of parents who take children and move out of state without seeking the authorization of the jurisdictional court ahead of the move. Taking immediate action can result in orders for immediate return of the child(ren) and ultimately harsh sanctions against a parent who relocated with children without the advance approval of the Court.
The elements of an interstate child custody case – venue, the best interests of the child and the status quo – are important components in any interstate child custody and parenting time case.
Are you a co-parent who wishes to take your child(ren) and relocate out of the area or out of state? Are you a co-parent who is concerned about relocation plans which involve your child(ren)? You need immediate counsel from the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq.