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I have a temporary custody order from California and I now live in Texas and his Father now lives in Florida...

San Diego, CA |

In 2006 we divorced and we shared joint custody, he left San Diego county with our child and by the time the judge saw us he gave him full custody because our son was attending school and settled in Lompoc, Ca. He and his wife had a domestic dispute and our child was also not allowed at his house due to Cps saying our son wasnt allowed around stepmom, I was given temp. Custody in Aug. 2011 his dad left the state in Sept 2011 to live in Fl. I left the state in Oct 2011 with our son and have been here since. I dont know where his Dad lives in Fl. He wont give me the address. I want permanent orders, with child support. What do I do if case is in Ca.? Do I need to go to Ca. or file in Tx. Im just worried because the orders were temporary. Do I need a Ca. or Tx attorney?

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Attorney answers 2


First, you do need a Texas attorney. While the law regarding child custody is “Uniform,” I do not know whether Texas has adopted the UCCJEA. I do know that California no longer has jurisdiction over your case. Generally, (again, check with a Texas attorney about the rules in Texas) I would say you need to transfer your case to Texas (transfer because you do not have a permanent order yet) and then ask a Texas court for permanent orders.
If you have permanent orders in one state and then move to another state, you can ask the new state to “register” your out-of-state order, and then the new state can enforce or modify out-of-state orders.

Best of luck to you.

Attorney Rebekah Ryan Main

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This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges.


From your comments, it is unclear what the terms of your “temporary” custody was. It is also unclear whether your son’s biological father has had any contact with your son. The answers to both of these questions will dictate how easy, or difficult it will be for you to obtain the “permanent” orders you seek.

My colleague is correct in that you need to consult with a Texas family law attorney, but that is not where the story ends. The “UCCJEA” that was mentioned is the “Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act”, which promotes uniformity in the law for all states that adopt this law. Texas Family Code 152 specifically makes the UCCJEA a part of its law. That means the laws are the same in both California and Texas with respect to the custody of children.

California has what is called “continuing" jurisdiction, meaning once California has jurisdiction, all custody issues (except for emergencies) remain with the California court until it is transferred. You will need a California family law attorney to bring a motion in the court where your existing orders were made.

The next step is to determine which is the state your case should be transferred to. The UCCJEA makes that easy: it is the "Home state", which means the state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding, which is now Texas.

Once you have retained your California attorney and your Texas attorney, they will coordinate their efforts to obtain the orders you are seeking.

Best of Luck.

Disclaimer: I am licensed to practice law in the state of California. Therefore if your case in not in California, the information contained herein may not apply. This answer is provided as a public service and as a general response to a general question, it is not meant, and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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