He lives in California while I live in Washington state with my 2 daughters. he has seen them once in the past 7 months and has never paid any child support. He gets supervised visits due to domestic violence. He filed for custody in California so that's where I had to go to get custody of them. the judge gave me full legal and physical custody of the children and also to live in Washington state. Can I file further custody in Washington or will I have to go through California each time for a custody hearing?
California under the doctrine of continuing exclusive jurisdiction. In Wa. a parent CANNOT take away another parent's parental rights -- being a parent is a fundamental right protected under the US constitution and I would wager it is the same in CA. However, you would need to consult with an attorney licensed to practice in CA. In Wa. , non-payment of child support has nothing to do with visitation rights.
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The dad's rights cannot be taken away except in a CPS or adoption case, and in those cases the evidence must be very strong. Abandonment is usually construed to mean no contact for over a year. Nevertheless, you may have grounds to modify the CA decree. First you file a certified copy in WA under the UCCJEA, wait 30 days, and your CA parenting plan has become a WA PP. You can then file in WA to modify the CA PP. It’s always best to consult with a good family law attorney to discuss the details before you act. See my AVVO Legal Guides on parenting plans, modifications, and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act for more information about the legal issues raised by your inquiry. Please keep in mind that although these Legal Guides are often informative, they are no substitute for legal advice from an attorney you have retained for consultation or representation. There are always exceptions to the general rules. Click on my photo. On my AVVO home page click on "Contributor Level - View Contributions" or scroll down further and click on "Contribution - Legal Guides." Scroll down the list of my 29 Legal Guides and select the topics relevant to your question. If you like my answer and Legal Guides, please make sure you mark them as “helpful” or “best answer”. © Bruce Clement
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