I practice family law so we have to deal with people moving ALOT. With breakups, make-ups, remarriages, and blended families, moving is definitely a big issue and A COMPLEX issue for the law. “Move Aways,” as they are called, are one of the most heartbreaking and heavily litigated areas of the law (at least in my practice).
What I am talking about today is (thankfully) not as complicated or heartbreaking, but it is still an important issue. When a parent leaves a county or state with a child, many times they will want their court case to follow them; however, it may not.
First, a person must formally request that the case be tansferred by filing a motion with the court. Then the issue is in the Court’s discretion –meaning the Judge will weigh a number of factors to make their decision — and there is no right or wrong.
The factors the Court will consider are as follows:
- Whether domestic violence is involved, and which state will protect the victims better.
- Length of time child has lived out of state.
- Distance between current court and potential new court.
- Whether it will cost parties more money to litigate in one place over the other.
- Any agreement of the parties as to which court the case belongs in.
- Where the evidence and witnesses are.
- Ability of either state to decide the issues quickly and efficiently.
- Familiarity of either court with the facts and issues in that particular case.
To boil it down, the scenario most often is one parent moves away with the child, possibly with a new significant other. However, the “home” Court has had the custody battle in front of them for several years and both parents, family, and friends live here, and the move is out of state.
My experience in that type of scenario is that it is unlikely for the court to transfer that case. In fact, as long as one parent remains in the area, it is very difficult to transfer the case.
If you are in need of assistance or have questions regarding the transfer of your family law court case, please contact Moore Law Group at (951) 463-5594.
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