Wondering how to transfer a family law case to another county? If so, it is important for you to understand how California determines the correct court for a family law case. California Code of Civil Procedure section 397.5 allows a family law case to be moved to another county if one of the following situations can be proven to the court:

• The court determines that the Petition was not filed in the proper court;
• A fair trial would not be possible in the current court;
• The current court is not convenient to the parties and witnesses;
• There is no judge qualified to hear the case in the current court; or
• When the other party (respondent) lives in a different county and justice would be better achieved by changing the court.

Also, the court can grant a motion to transfer a family law case to another county if both parties agree to the venue change request.

“My ex-wife and I had both moved from where our divorce was filed. Every time someone filed papers we each had to travel over 2 hours to the Santa Barbara courthouse.” R. Colligan
“Since the court was no longer close to either of us, A People’s Choice helped me file a motion to transfer and move my case to LA where I resided which made it much easier since I had custody of our kids!” R. Colligan

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How to Transfer a Family Law Case to Another County

People often call us to ask how to transfer a family law case to another county. The most common reason people want to transfer a family law case to another county is because the court is no longer convenient. Usually this happens when neither party lives in the county where the case was originally filed. In order to transfer a family law case to another county, a motion, also called a Request for Order, must be filed. This motion is the legal process of asking the court to move the case to another court. The most important part of the motion is the supporting declaration. The supporting declaration is submitted with the Motion. The declaration is the document that explains why a person wants their family law case moved to another county. A well-written declaration can be a key reason a Judge approves a motion for change of venue. As a result, A People’s Choice spends a substantial amount of time making sure that the declaration is clear and concise as it is the foundation of the motion itself.

The Motion must be filed in the court where the family law case was originally filed (divorce, child custody, etc). Once the motion is filed, a hearing date will be set. The motion will need to be served on the other party. The other party can file a response to the motion if they do not agree with the request. In their response, they will have a chance to explain why they feel the motion should be denied.

At the hearing, the judge may ask questions to both parties. Obviously it is best if both parties agree to have the matter moved to a different county. This would make it easy for the court to approve the request to have the venue changed. After the hearing, an Order should be available to present to the Judge.

A party may seek to move any of the following types of family law cases to another venue:

• Divorce, Legal Separation or Annulment
• Petition to Change Child Support Order Entered in a Divorce
• Venue for Petition to Change a Final Divorce Order

Once the court has approved an order changing venue, the case will be able to be moved to the other county. Keep in mind, this change will also require the moving party to pay another first appearance court filing fee to the county where the case is being moved to. Contact A People’s Choice for more information on how to transfer a family law case to another county and change the venue of your proceedings. We can help you prepare all of the documents you need to get a court order.

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