We are both from MS and were divorced in 2008 and were given joint custody. She has been very unstable and put them out twice where I raised them (first time for 7 mths and the second time was 9 months). I currently live in LA but was maintaining my visitation rights up until she took the kids to MD for a family reunion and never returned. She left there and went with her aunt to CA where she now reside with our 2 daughters. She informed me of the move afterwards but stated she was sending them to live with me until she got on her feet but never sent them. Then she was supposed to send them for the holidays but that never happened either.They have been there for 7 months now. What can I do? Do I have to go back through the court where we were divorced? Help I don't know where to start
I currently live in Louisiana
Family Law Attorney
Most likely your judgement from the dissolution has language in it that the Court retained jurisdiction over the children. If that is the case then you could file a Request for Order regarding custody and visitation since your ex is violating the court order. I would consult with an attorney in the state you were divorced in especially if MS has jurisdiction over the children and you reside in California. Once you have primary custody in California and the children actually are in California, I would consult with a San Fernando attorney about filing a motion to have the jurisdiction/venue moved to California since neither party nor the children live in MS and have no connection with that state.
If you have any court orders of the children in CA then go to that courthouse and file your Request for Order to modify custody and visitation.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
You need to act ASAP. You have several possible jurisdiction issues to sort out and the worst thing that could happen would be you ex starting a proceeding in MD to establish custody there. You need a lawyer to help sort it out.
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Family Law Attorney
It is not clear from your facts what your actual order for visitation states. Your court order is what governs. It is likely that you would need to go back to court to have it changed if you want new orders.