Winning Child Custody Strategies

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How can I transfer juristiction of a child custody case to another state?

child custody
dacus2472 asked:

I used to live in Michigan and our divorce was final there. I have since moved to texas and filed for child support on my exhusband. he filed a counter suite for custody which was denied. SO now that custody remains here with me and we have been in Texas for close to three years I would like to transfer juristiction over any further disputes here. I can not afford to pay my lawyer another penny is ther any way I can do this myself?

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  1. FSJD | Aug 14, 2008 | Reply

    You don’t necessarily need to do anything right now.

    If your ex takes any action against you (in which case you’ll need a lawyer again anyway) your lawyer can make a motion to change the venue to your state. You will likely win on this point because of the child’s long residence in that jurisdiction and because of the inconvenience of defending the charge elsewhere.

    If you have to take any legal action against your ex, then you can simply file it in the court that is closest to you. He might try to change the venue, but again, your position on that point is relatively strong.

  2. veronica1ramirez | Aug 17, 2008 | Reply

    Texas has very specific laws to determine whether a custody case has been filed in the correct court. Disputes arise when one parent does not reside in Texas or one parent does not reside in the same county as the other parent. In such cases, Texas law will determine which is the proper court to hear the dispute.
    It is a fairly simple procedure to determine the proper court for the child custody dispute when all parties and the child reside in Texas. In such case, Texas will have jurisdiction to hear the matter. It is only necessary to determine the proper county the suit should proceed in. Section 103.001 of the Family Code provides that an original suit must be filed in the county the child resides in unless:
    another court has continuing exclusive jurisdiction under Chapter
    venue is fixed in a suit for dissolution of a marriage under Subchapter D,
    Chapter 6.
    A child resides in the county where the child’s parents reside or the child’s parent resides,
    if only one parent is living, except that:
    • if a guardian of the person has been appointed by order of a county or
    probate court and a managing conservator has not been appointed, the child
    resides in the county where the guardian of the person resides;
    • if the parents of the child do not reside in the same county and if a
    managing conservator, custodian, or guardian of the person has not been
    appointed, the child resides in the county where the parent having actual care,
    control, and possession of the child resides;
    • if the child is in the care and control of an adult other than a parent and a
    managing conservator, custodian, or guardian of the person has not been
    appointed, the child resides where the adult having actual care, control, and
    possession of the child resides;
    • if the child is in the actual care, control, and possession of an adult other
    than a parent and the whereabouts of the parent and the guardian of the person is
    unknown, the child resides where the adult having actual possession, care, and
    control of the child resides;
    • if the person whose residence would otherwise determine venue has left
    the child in the care and control of the adult, the child resides where that adult
    • if a guardian or custodian of the child has been appointed by order of a
    court of another state or country, the child resides in the county where the
    guardian or custodian resides if that person resides in this state; or
    • if it appears that the child is not under the actual care, control, and
    possession of an adult, the child resides where the child is found.
    If venue of a suit is improper in the court in which an original suit is filed and no other
    court has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction of the suit, on the timely motion of a party other than
    the petitioner, the court must transfer the proceeding to the county where venue is proper. On a
    showing that a suit for dissolution of the marriage of the child’s parents has been filed in another
    court, a court in which a suit is pending must transfer the proceedings to the court where the
    dissolution of the marriage is pending.
    Non-Texas residents
    Chapter 152 of the Texas Family Code provides for jurisdiction when a party or the child
    resides outside of Texas. This suit is a bit more complicated than when the parties and child are
    all Texas residents. For example, jurisdiction of a child custody suit could be fixed in Texas
    although a party has never resided or been to Texas. Family Code section 152.201 provides that
    except when a court assumes temporary emergency jurisdiction, a Texas court has jurisdiction to
    make an initial child custody determination only if:
    • Texas is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of
    the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within six months before the
    commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from Texas but a parent
    or person acting as a parent continues to live in Texas;
    • court of another state does not have jurisdiction under the preceding
    section, or a court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise
    jurisdiction on the ground that Texas is the more appropriate forum, and:
    • the child and the child’s parents, or the child and at least
    one parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant connection
    with Texas other than mere physical presence; and
    • substantial evidence is available in Texas concerning the
    child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships;
    all courts having jurisdiction have declined to exercise jurisdiction
    on the ground that a Texas court is the more appropriate forum to determine the
    custody of the child; or
    • no court of any other state would have jurisdiction.
    Physical presence of, or personal jurisdiction over, a party or a child is not necessary or
    sufficient to make a child custody determination.
    Once it is determined that jurisdiction is proper in Texas when a party or the child resides
    out of state, then the proper county for the suit is determined by the general venue provisions
    previously set out above.
    Temporary Orders in a Child Custody Suit
    Once a suit is properly filed and jurisdiction and venue are settled, a court may make
    temporary orders in such suit. In many circumstances, it will be necessary for the court to make
    immediate orders to protect the child and the parties. Chapter 105 of the Family Code
    specifically authorizes a court to make temporary orders during the pendency of the suit. In a
    suit, the court may make a temporary order, including the modification of a prior temporary
    order, for the safety and welfare of the child, including an order:
    • for the temporary conservatorship of the child;
    • for the temporary support of the child;
    • restraining a party from disturbing the peace of the child or another party;
    • prohibiting a person from removing the child beyond a geographical area
    identified by the court; or
    • for payment of reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses

    Hope this helped you understand.

  3. beastmorg | Aug 19, 2008 | Reply

    Yes, call your MI FOC where your case originated and talk to your enforcement officer. They should be able to assist you or give you a number to put you in contact with a IVR system that will let you call for the paper work you need. example I’m from lenawee so my contact # 5172644706. Also you can get on line at ever county you lived in at the there is a fee that if the judge sees fit it can be waived. but if there are no issues I would suggest paying the fee I know where I live it is no more than 100 dollars. If I am not mistaken this has to be done in the countywhere your case originated, at least thats what my Judge told me. Good Luck.

  4. wendy c | Aug 21, 2008 | Reply

    seems like pretty did not bother reading that your divorce and custody is ALREADY established in Michigan, and every thing she mentions is related to initial filings.
    What you need to learn about is the UCCJEA, which is interstate laws related to jurisdicition over child custody issues, just like yours. Here is one page explaining how it works..
    The fact that he does not have custody does not mean he does not have rights. You really need to do some research, and review it all with a lawyer. I do understand about the money issue… that’s a cruel hard fact for 90% of the parents in this country with court problems.

  5. Brooke | May 21, 2009 | Reply

    Well, all the replies are true according to the UCCJEA. But in my case, I live in Florida with my daughter now for 5 years. My divorce was in Mississippi which is also where her father lives. Her father filed for custody of my daughter in MS. I hired an attorney in MS and he stated that the case would get tranferred or dismissed as MS has no jurisdiction. Well after filing 2 appeals, the judge still refuses to dismiss or tranfer the case. So not all states and counties abide by the UCCJEA. Which makes me wonder why it is there. Good luck!

  6. Rose | Mar 19, 2010 | Reply

    yes can custody be transfered from on state to another. Situation child is in wv living with Mother the Mother now wants to give the custody over to the Dad who lives in NC what kind of paperwork will be needed to get this to be recognized both in wv and nc.

  7. Adriana G. | Jun 22, 2010 | Reply

    I had physical custody of my son in California for 9 years. After losing my job and almost losing my home, my son’s father offered to take our son TEMPORARILY while I got myself and living sitiuation in order. We agreed that when my som started Jr. High, he would come back to live with me. Well fast forward 2 years later and my sons father refuses to send him back to live with me. He has even filed for child support in la county. (He dodged my numerous attempts to ollect child support from him in the past) Can I file for custody in the county that I am in (San diego). The custody case we have was opened in 2002 in San Diego, where I was granted custody of my sone back in 2002.

  8. Tammy | Jul 12, 2010 | Reply

    I am having the same issue. I have lived in the State of Colorado for 5 years. I have been trying to get my case transferred out here where we live.
    I filed the necessary paperwork for a change of venue and they told me it was not the correct paperwork and won’t tell me what I am missing without paying an attorney. I even went to an attorney and they didn’t seem to know what paperwork needed to be done.

    I now have paperwork that my ex-husband signed in the State of Michigan saying that he would not contest the transfer to the State of Colorado. I just don’t know what to do with it.

    Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.

  9. Karen | Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    If one party files a petition, and the other party requests that the case be transferred, who is responsible for the cost of the case transfer?

  10. ana | Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    I am from the state of pennsylvania and have custody of my children. I am now living in the state of fl for a year now and want to transfer a child support order that was part of our legal separation in PA over to the state of fl. The father resides in PA. How can I go about this on my own, without an attorney. We do have a child support agreement and I do not want to change it. I just want to transfer it. Please help.

  11. admin | Dec 2, 2010 | Reply

    If you’re leaving the state with your child- you should definitely consult with an attorney first, even if you just use the attorney question box here on the site.

  12. ali33 | Dec 23, 2010 | Reply

    I live in Arizona since 4 years with my 2 children. My divorce was granted in Utah where my ex-Husband still lives. He is the father of the little one. I have primary physical custody and we share joint legal(religous, medical and education). Now I made the decision to move to MO and I told him 2 month in advance via phone. well, he did not like that. Now he is trying to challenge me and accuses me of child abuse, CPS already came and investigated and they closed the case. Weird thing the accusations only involves my son but not my daughter that is very strange too. So the question can I transfer juristiction to Arizona after he filed in court in Utah already?

  13. jill grady | Mar 29, 2011 | Reply

    I was divorced in oklahoma in 1993, my x was ordered to pay 277 a month. me and my 2 children have lived in indiana since then and he has moved at least to 4 different states, and i have finanaly tracked him down. he lives in virginia and we just had a show cause hearing for arreage which i won. I want my case to follow indiana guidelines which are til age 21, and they are goin by oklahoma guidelines. i know there is a interstate act. my daughter is now 18 and son 23 would this still be possible as i thought my case was here and it is closed in oklahoma. i dont know what to do.

  14. Angeline | Apr 11, 2011 | Reply

    I have primary custody of our child. Our divorce and child custody agreement was made in TX. I now live in PA for almost 8 months. How do I go about in transferring the Child Custody agreement to fit PA’s CS agreement??

  15. Deana | Apr 13, 2011 | Reply

    My X lives in CA ,I had to get permission to leave the state ( CA ) I moved to Texas about 9 Months ago ,He got away with 0 child support so I could leave , I remarried , My new husband doesnt mind talking care of us, But I felt bad so I went back to work ,Now I pay for all of my sons bills ,Child care ,, He ( my X ) also get all hoildays ,, but he has to pay for all flight or drive for him ,, Can I change or refile here in Texas ?they coast is to high for myselkf to try to go back to CA ?? What can a mother do ???

    Proud mother

  16. elizabeth | Jun 6, 2011 | Reply

    About three yaers ago my current husband and i asked my ex-husband to take the 4 kids for six months so that we could find work. He refused so we had to move from MO to TX. I went to a laywer and sent the ex the proper paperwork, he didnt refuse the move. now hes decided he shouldnt have to pay, he lost his job and now lives with he family. the state of Mo will not help me so i want my case Transfered to Tx. We were married for 10 yrs he only has to pay 367 a mnth. total. what can i do to make this happen hes already really, really far behind

  17. Staci | Jun 21, 2011 | Reply

    I have full leagal and physical custody of my 7 yr old son. We have relocated to Wyoming from California and have been out here for almost 2 years now. I want my case transferred out here in Wyoming because the county where the case originated no one lives in any longer. How do I go about getting the case moved out here to Wyoming? Would like all the information if you have it…..Thanks its greatly appreciated.

  18. Sanana R | Jun 30, 2011 | Reply

    I lived in Virginia until 5 months ago when i moved to Maryland. I have a child support case in Virginia, neither the child nor the mother lives in Virginia. What do I do to transfer this case to Maryland, and should i anticipate any problem

  19. Ashley | Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    Okay my son was born here in florida, when he was about 5 months old his father had to move back to Missouri for a case with his other son. So we moved together. After a year of being up the I just shouldnt do it anymore are fighting were not good. So I packed up and moved back to Florida with our son. So my ex filed for custody but I dont have the money for a lawyer and I dont have the money to go up there for court, is there away I can get the case moved down here to Florida.

  20. forrest s weaks | Aug 18, 2011 | Reply

    I have a warrant for child support in michigan.i live in Georgia.Could I transfer my case here.I am on probation for two more years and by law I cant leave the state.I need to address this issue in my city in order to create a financial strategy to better my future.please help me,I am a man now.I was a child when support was issued.

  21. willie timmons | Aug 19, 2011 | Reply

    My child support order was done in N.J. I now reside in Texas where the child lives with his mother. Can I have the case moved to Texas.

  22. michelle d | Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    Hi. My son and I are orginally from California. I filed a motion to move out of state with my son to Wisconsin. My EX boyfriend aka father to my son agreed to let us both move out of state. My son and I have been living in Wisconsin for three years now. I have been trying to find answers to how I can transfer my child custody case in California to where my child resides in Wisconsin. From my understanding the jurisdiction follows the child where he or she lives. I call both California and Wisconsin courts and I can’t get a correct answers..its so confusing when Wisconsin court tells me I have to file in California and then California tells me I have to file in Wisconsin. It’s unbelivable. Can anyone please tell me how to change venues?? And what papers I have to fill out? Please help me, I’m trying to do this on my own without a lawyer. Thank you!

  23. Ashley | Jan 9, 2012 | Reply

    How do you change jurisdiction of counties in Texas? We. Got custody of my step kids and their mother lives in Hopkins co we live 2 hours away in Johnson. She has supervised visitation now and we want to move the case over to Johnson. What motion do we file?

  24. Rachel | Jan 19, 2012 | Reply

    My divorce and everything was established in Michigan in 2006. Almost a year ago my kids and I moved to Texas with my ex-husbands verbal permission. Just like when we were in Michigan I can’t even get him on the phone to talk to my kids. He is and has always been a deadbeat. Which that is a documented fact and Michigan said he gets no more chances. I want to transfer the case here to Texas so I can file full legal custody without having to travel. Is it possible and how do I get started? Right now I have full physical and joint legal. He has NEVER exercised his visitation rights….maybe 10-15 times in 6 years.

  25. Tina | Feb 6, 2012 | Reply

    My ex and I have Joint custody of our 9 yr old daughter,I have residential custody.. he lives in New Jersey and i now reside in Virginia (for the past 3 yrs.) Does anyone know what paperwork I will need to file for my case to be transferred to Virginia? Child Support and Visitation? As it stands now i am responsible(court order) for transporting my daughter to and from New Jersey and i dont think that’s fair at all. Can someone help?

  26. paul | Mar 8, 2012 | Reply

    My sons mother and i mediated a year ago in our home state florida. Now she has filed for modification in wv. Where she has lived with our son, now it is time for him to come home to me. We have joint custody and now she is changing her mind on our mediated and closed case. Can she just file in the state of west virginia without petitioning the home state first where i still live.

  27. Shoshana | Apr 10, 2012 | Reply

    Ok my divorce was completed in Colorado, the child support is in Colorado. I live in Texas and my ex-husband lives in Mississippi and has custody of our 7 year old daughter. he has recently opened a child support case in TX where i live and hasnt closed the child support case from colorado. I need to know how to go about getting a custody hearing so that I can get visitation set to a real schedule that is not at his discretion. I don’t know where to start. and going back and forth to colorado is too financially difficult. can someone point mt in the right direction?

  28. karrie Randall | Apr 19, 2012 | Reply

    I have sole pyhsical custody here in Texas since January 2011, the custody order was done in Michigan due to father being in jail. I want the order changed here in Texas as the kids have lived here since 2011. The father has been ordered to see the kids at certain times due to him not working I am ordered to pay for everything with no child support. I have had issues since the kids were born trying to get any help from the father due to the courts feel that if you do not have a job, even being the father you should not have to pay. I am tired of the abuse over the phone that myself and the kids get when the father calls and even having custody there is nothing I can do even threats stating I will never see the kids again when he gets them for visitation. Is there anything I can do as he gets the kids in 6 weeks. I know his threats and know he will do what he states, and also know from previous experiences with the courts they do not do anything.

  29. patricia | Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    im moving to ut in the winter time and i have sole custodial rights but im wondering how itll transfer from tx to ut and if i will need to get another lawer when i get out there and do another court case

  30. Patricia | Aug 10, 2012 | Reply

    I need to know what the exact document is that I need to file to have a custody case moved from Ellis Co TX to Collin Co TX. We got custody of my stepson 3 years ago. We live in Collin County and his ex lives in Ellis County. We need to have it transfered up here. Can anyone tell me what the form is so I can file it myself?

  31. Patrick Colflesh | Aug 29, 2012 | Reply

    My ex in texas sent my older son to me back in august of 2011 (she kicked him out) I live in arizona. My other son stayed with her. Fast forward a year later and nothing has happened in the courts. She has cut off all communication between everyone including herself and my son here with me. We just found out they moved to South Carolina without telling me. Is there anyway to change the venue of the custody change/child support change to arizona? ps. She’s been collecting full child support this whole year.

  32. Linda | Sep 26, 2012 | Reply

    Me and my husband are not legally seperated he will not let me talk to me daughter that is 15 and I left to go on a vacation for after being gone about 2 weeks he calls me screaming, yelling, at me and I decided I had enough decided not to go back and he also get everybody in family involved in my family and his. I live in Louisiana been here 3 months and my daughter is in Arkansas so can I get it transfered from one state to another after my residency requirements been meant or can I do it now?

  33. Chris | Oct 27, 2012 | Reply

    If I have a petition to modify and a court date set in pa. But the x underhandedly is trying to have the whole case/file transferred to Florida. What are the chances that they will transfer the case before hearing the case?

  34. Nancy Volquez | Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    What is the name of the form needed to request jurisdiction transfer from a custody from AL to FL. I am going to request a modification on the custody order but I need to have FL adopt the case first. Where can I locate that form?.

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