I was served papers from my child's father petitioning the courts in Santa Clara, for full custody of our child, who resides with me in CO. I need more information about the forms i would need to file in Santa Clara to respond to the summons, and to rightfully request the child custody case be heard in the state of my child's state of residence (CO).
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
You need to file your child custody judgment in the present state and residence of the child. For the child to establish residency, it is usually 6 months, then that jurisdiction should take venue. You need to file your motion in that County, file an objection to your ex's motion in Santa Clara County, and normally the Judge's will confer and make a decision. If you file your paperwork properly, you should prevail if in fact you have established the child's residency in the State of Colorado where you presently reside.
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Assuming that you and your child have lived in Colorado for a minimum of the last six months, then you do not file a motion to change the venue because California does not properly have jurisdiction.
If this is the case, then hire an attorney make a SPECIAL APPEARANCE for you to OBJECT TO CALIFORNIA JURISDICTION.
DO NOT file a response to the motion, as this would be consenting to jurisdiction. Let the attorney that you hire handle this aspect.
If it is too late and you've already accepted the court's jurisdiction by participating in any proceedings other than a jurisdictional hearing, then you will, in fact, have to file a motion. To transfer jurisdiction, though, not to change venue. ("Venue" refers to the various courts of the same state; jurisdiction refers to the different states and their different laws/courts.)
Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.
Family Law Attorney
Do not respond but file a motion to quash on the basis that the court here does not have jurisdiction, if indeed you have lived in Colorado for their minimum time. You should file in Colorado for the same relief and then serve on the child's father. Get an attorney to help you.