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How does the ICWA impact court awarded custody order: cps removed children from mothers custody. placed into foster care, then awarded to father upon completion of court ordered parenting classes. now mother has filed for the case to transfer under ICWA to tribal jurisdiction. what does this mean with regards to the custody orders already made by the family law court?

Asked almost 3 years ago in Child Custody

Heather’s answer: ICWA is the Indian Child Welfare Act. The Act was established to ensure that Native American children were not displaced in the non Native American families wherein their culture was not understood or was lost. Further, culture is not the only issues that is addressed - the issue of ethnicity is important. As with all ethnicities, Native American children have specific genetic difference (for example, dairy allergies are common). The purpose of the Act, however, is NOT to remove children from a non Native American parent. The Act only states that the tribe has to be notified of a custody action. It is the decision of the respective tribe to intervene in the matter. The case will remain in the California court (it is rare that an tribe has an comparable venue to even request that the matter be transferred - it depends on the tribe - however, not many tribes have sophisticated judicial systems to handle such issues). Most often, the tribe gets notice of the issues and does nothing. Further, if CPS removed the children due to illegal conduct by mom then there are other legal considerations to review (not just family court). CPS is in the Juvenile court and it is highly likely that criminal laws are involved wherein the California court has specific authority to stay involved (criminal matters that do not happen on a reservation - and some that do - do not fall under the jurisdiction of the tribal court). It is in your best interest to discuss the issue with an experienced juvenile law attorney (if you can find one that is familiar with family law and ICWA that will also benefit you). Good luck to you.

Answered almost 3 years ago.


Can I have guardianship of my children returned to me? What are my chances on getting them back?: I was accused of abusing my children (which was not true) and instead of fighting and "losing" the case to CPS my attorney said it would be wise to overturn guardianship to my children's relative, I've been doing everything that's been asked of me (even paying for counseling even though I was told I don't have to), and have court ordered visitations with my kids twice a month for two hours, which isn't enough.

Asked almost 3 years ago in Child Custody

Heather’s answer: It is always in your best interest to consult with an experienced attorney who practices in the courthouse wherein your matter will be heard. A consultation with an experienced guardianship attorney will allow you to obtain case specific and in depth answers to your legal questions.

Again, discussing the specifics of your matter with an experienced guardianship attorney may result in different advice. Further, you should look for an attorney who incorporates Juvenile law into his/her practice due to the CPS element. Good luck to you.

Answered almost 3 years ago.


How do i transfer my child custody case from Hemet ca to Vista Ca: the case was in Hemet and my ex wife move to texas i reside in oceanside she move him out of the state without my consent since none of live in Hemet any longer i would like to do a case transfer to oceanside,

Asked almost 3 years ago in Child Custody

Heather’s answer: It is always in your best interest to consult with an experienced family law attorney who practices in the courthouse wherein your matter will be heard. A consultation with an experienced family law attorney will allow you to obtain case specific and in depth answers to your legal questions.

Since neither party lives in Riverside County it is possible that Riverside County is no longer the proper venue. However if the child has lived out of the state of California for six months, it is possible the California no longer has jurisdiction of the child under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act. In order to transfer the case to another jurisdiction or another venue a motion must be filed in the Hemet Court requesting such action.

Again, discussing the specifics of your matter with an experienced family law attorney may result in different advice. Good luck to you.

Answered almost 3 years ago.