My husband and I would like to look into filing for full custody for my teenage step kids. When the kids were borned in CA, their mother tried to sue my husband for abuse in attempt to take the kids away from him. Since she was confronted that's a lie and stood no chance in court by a real lawyer my husband hired at the time, she backed down and agreed to have a 50/50 custody at the mediation stage of the suit (i.e. we're not sure if that's an official judgement/case and if so how to access the case). We've moved to Alaska recently and the kids have expressed extreme interest in living with us. Since their agreement was 50/50 and kids normally spend summer with us, can we file for custody fresh (start over) in AK when they are staying with us?
Family Law Attorney
You have several problems here. First, it sounds like CA issued some kind of parenting time/custody order since mediation doesn't officially resolve anything. So, CA courts have jurisdiction - everything will have to be done through that court. Second, kids get no say in where they live, so their desires are irrelevant unless you manage to get the rare judge who wants to hear from them. Third, you moved to AK - there is no way the judge will approve a relocation to AK absent some extraordinary circumstances - you'll have to prove, in CA, that mom is a train wreck as a parent and that she is endangering the children by having custody. Fourth, having the kids over the summer (3 months out of 12) is not 50/50 - not even close. So, the mom has primary physical custody regardless of what the order calls it. You'll need to hire a CA attorney to address this.
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