If you’re looking to transfer a family law case to another county, you must first understand how California determines the accepted circumstances for this change.
For example, 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
• Petition to change a final divorce order
How the Court Determines if a Case Can Transfer
California Code of Civil Procedure Section 397.5 allows a family law case to be moved to another county if the petitioner can prove one of the following situations to the court:
• The petitioner filed the original petition with the wrong 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
• The respondent lives in a different county and can better achieve justice 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.
“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
“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
Transfer your Family Law Case
to another County today!
or call 1-800-747-2780
How to Transfer a Family Law Case to Another County
The most common reason people want to transfer a family law case is that the court is no longer convenient. Usually, this happens when neither party lives in the county where they originally filed the case.
File a Motion with Supporting Declaration
In order to transfer a family law case to another county, one party must file a motion, also called a request for order. This motion is the legal process of asking the court to move the case to another court.
Additionally, the most important part of the motion is the supporting declaration. More specifically, the declaration explains why a person wants their family law case moved to another county. Believe it or not, 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.
The parties must file the motion with the court in which the family law case was originally filed. Then, the court will set a hearing date.
Finally, the motion will need to be served on the other party so they can file a response 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.
Attend a Hearing
At the hearing, the judge may ask questions to both parties. Obviously, both parties agreeing to move the matter to a different county is preferable. Such an agreement would ease the court’s ability to approve the request.
Present an Order to the Judge
After the hearing, an order should be available to present to the judge.
Once the court has approved the order, the parties can move their case to the other county. However, keep in mind that this change will also require the moving party to pay another first appearance court filing fee to the new county.
Contact A People’s Choice for more information on transferring a family law case to another county. We can help you prepare all of the documents you need to get a court order.
Was this article helpful? We would love to know your thoughts! If you found this article helpful, please check the LIKE button below. Your feedback helps us plan topics for future articles.
Hi Sandy, I have child custody orders that were established in yuba county however I recently moved to San Joaquin County. Shortly after the father got joint legal custody he stop coming to the visitations. How would I be able to transfer my case to San Joaquin County and file for modification of child custody orders ?
Does the father of your children live in the original court county? Normally if one of the parties still lives in the original county court of jurisdiction it’s difficult to get a change of venue. You could certainly try it. All they can do is say no but at least you’ve made an effort to get it changed. it could go either way.
I am 3 weeks postpartum from delivering my two daughters. Unfortunately, one of my daughters did not survive. The alleged father is suing me for sole physical custody and trying to establish paternity. I live in Yolo County, he filed in Yolo County but my surviving twin has not been discharged from the NICU. What is jurisdiction based on? Can the case be transferred by him (petitioner) or will it be dismissed and then have to start over again?
You should speak with an attorney.
Hi me and my sons father have been going through a court battle of my 3yr old son whom he took and I haven’t seen in almost a year. We went to court back in 2020 and the judge ordered 50/50. He had chosen to not go honour the order and so I went back to court just in December and the judge ordered temporary sole custody until our next court date. He has recently opened another case in another in another county. What should I expect?
Hello Pashuan, I would consult with an attorney for legal advice, you could try avvo.com for assistance. If you need any documents prepared, please call the office on 800-747-2780.
My ex-husband and I divorced through the San Bernardino County courts. I moved to LA County & that is where he lives as well. Our child support hearings have taken place in LA County because that is where I filed. I recently was awarded in my child support modification request & shortly after he has filed to change our visitation order. The paperwork I was served with says San Bernardino County – Barstow with a hearing date in December. Barstow is over two and half hours away from where I live. Can I request for the courts to move it to LA County since that’s where we live and out child support orders are here also. Can I file this with a FL-320 or does it need to be before?
If your divorce case was filed in San Bernardino that is the court that would have jurisdiction over visitation. You may want to consider filing a Motion for Change of Venue.
I got my case transferred from San Diego county to Alameda county. I haven’t filed it on alameda county because it’s been no issues to deal with as of yet. Is there a time limit on filing the transfer to the new county?
Usually the court completes the transfer. Check the court docket to see if they show the new case number for the transferred case.
I already have a child support case opened in one county but I just moved to another county. Do I have have to transfer case to current county I reside now? (Counties are only 10 minutes away from each other) Also, we have a custody court order in place already and because there had been many issues with the other parent and their new spouse in the past the current order says “visitation will be with noncustodial parent only and not new spouse” also “children will not be forced to visit with noncustodial parent” ever since that custody court order was in place the noncustodial parent has refused to have any contact or visitation with our kids and it’s been a few years since then. Is that something to just bring up in child support court when they ask about visitation or do I need to go back to custody court?
Usually, the amount of visitation time a parent has with a child is directly connected to the amount of support they pay. Less time with the child, more support. You may want to modify the support amount if the other parent is not exercising visitation.
Thank you! If I moved to another county but it’s only 10 minutes away from the county I currently have a child support case in am I required to move that case to the county I now live in?
Probably not but if support is being paid through the DCSS I would check with them.
Hello, I just got my order to get my custody and visitation case transferred from San Diego county to Alameda county.
I am now unsure what I need to file? how do I get the old case picked up on the new county? I know I need to file a new fl-300 but does that mean our existing orders no longer will apply?
Normally the court effects the transfer to the new court.
I have sole custody of my daughter and my soon to be ex-husband and I are separated and divorcing and have 50-50 legal custody. At the moment we are kind of in a custody battle and have been to court and mediation a couple of times in the last few months. The judge has sent us to trial for one day on February 19, 2021. I live two hours away and when father filed the initial motion back in 2018, I was already living two hours away with our daughter. He filed It in his home city when he returned from the military. I did leave a little bit of time in Sacramento but I am not from Sacramento, don’t have much help or family in Sacramento and our daughter was not born in Sacramento. She was born in Virginia when he was in the military. I am looking to get this case transfer to Santa Clara county where we reside. I still remain the sole parent and father has visitation every weekend now. Do you think it would be wise to file to transfer now? Even with trial coming up?
It is hard to say how a court would look at this. It may have been better to address venue at the time your Response was filed if you dispute venue was improper. You may want to talk to an attorney about this issue.
I currently have an open case in Alameda County, I moved there for a job a little over a year ago and my children lived with me. The father lives in Florida and recently retired from the USMC. I filed for legal separation and requested child and spousal support–all at the same time. In June 2020, an order was issued for child and spousal support, I have sole physical custody (father has visitation with a schedule we decide upon) and we have joint legal custody. I thought the issue of legal separation was included with these decisions, but I’ve learned that it is not. Since,Covid, my children and I have returned to our family home in Riverside County. Recently, I contacted an attorney to get help with my case and I was told that I needed to file an order for the case to be moved from Alameda County to Riverside County. However, I thought this was something the attorney would do. I see the instructions for filing to have the case moved. What happens to the support orders when that motion is filed, do I also have to file something with child support enforcement to show that we have moved? Is the relocation request something that you all could help me with?
The entire case would be moved and all Orders still valid. You will be required to pay another filing fee for the new court. You would have to contact child support enforcement regarding which office would handle the case. We can definitely help you with the Motion! Give us a call at 800-747-2780.
Hello Sandy, i have son and his father live out of state. I have primary custody and we have joint legal. I want to move my child support and child custody and visitation from La county to San Diego but I still live in LA.what is the best thing to do?
Additional, the father have a lot of missed visitation in LA since October 2018 which he started his regular visitation until now and he always reduced his child support while our son with him for a month or less in summer vacation because he keeps saying I don’t have to pay child care to my parents While our son with him..what else I can do?
Why would you wamt to move the order to a county where you do not live? You may wamt to call the office to discuss more specifically what you are trying to do. 800-747-2780
We are planning to move back in San Diego where we originally live and all the relatives live there..I live with my parents which I am the only one working and my father was diagnosed of colon cancer which I need help of my other siblings to take care of him
Then I would wait until you move to change venue but you can certainly try to modify your order before then.
Hi I currently live with the father of my son and he, we are not married and there is no custody judgment. He recently filed for custody without my knowledge and we are splitting up. I have been the full time parent and caregiver for our son since his birth in 2018. I do not work and I have no support system where we live. Because of this I will need to move back with my mother who live in an other county. The custody paperwork I was served says he is requesting I do not take our son outside the county, paternity has not been confirmed there is no child custody judgement yet, and there is no court hearing date listed on the documents. I am planning to request a change of venue due to the my financial situation and no place to live. I am I within my legal right to leave the county with my son so long as I return for all court hearings?
You definitely should file a formal Response to any paperwork you received. This is critical as the paperwork tells your side of the story. Call us at 800-747-2780 for help.
Hi my ex and I have each filed a paternaty case. I filed 7/31 and he filed 8/04 ..my case is in LA and his is in city of whittier which is concider LA county. What should be done
It usually depends on how was SERVED first. Since both cases are LA you may be able to ask the court to consolidate them.
I have 50/50 physical and legal custody with the mother of my son. We were never married. The case was opened in southern California. We are both in Northern California. She wants to move the case to northern California and asked if I am willing to sign a stipulation to do this. I’m not ready to move the case to northern California because I’m still considering if I will return to southern California. Please advise.
If both of you are moved to Northern California, either party would probably be successful in filing a motion to change the venue for the convenience of the parties.
Hi Sandy.divorved in 2005 with 2 children. I have physical we have joint legal. The case originated in Orange County and is currently there. I presently live in the Bay are with the children.. I’m also the respondent.. I wish to seek a change of venue. I’ve resided here for 8 yrs with the children..mom lives in Orange County.. Is this enough for a change of venue?
It’s hard to predict how a judge would rule on this since one of the parties still lives in the original county of filing. We could certainly help you prepare the motion if you wanted to give it a shot.
Im currently living with the mother of my son and she wont take me off child support when she said she was how to i go about it .
You probably should file a formal motion to terminate support to cancel the earlier order. Call us for help at 800-747-2780.
I have sole custody of my child. My daughter father recently got hes 3rd dui in April2019. The courthouse attorney takes up to 1 year to file he’s case he will eventually be going to jail and will have no license and he doesn’t have a place of his own right now and I want to move out of state. with the judge let me?
You probably should file a move-away motion which we can help you with. Our contact number is 805-648-5540.
If I currently live with the father of my child on Ventura county, we have court dates in a month and I need to get out his house by then, can I move to another county inside the state of California? Before the court dates
Probably best to wait until this is a final judgment and decision regarding custody and visitation.
I stay in a different county, but she requested child support order in a different county than where she resides, i just received a letter today, can i deny the request to another county
You most certainly want to respond to any paperwork you have received. If you need help, give us a call at 800-747-2780.
Hello. I have an open court case with Santa Clara County and was looking to transfer my case to Alameda County. The mother of my daughter filed in a county she was no longer living in. Is that legal? She filed in that county because she stated that the system there hates fathers and always side with the mother. I have been in a custody battle with my daughters mother for 4 years. She has filed a false police report on me when we first split up. She’s using my daughter as a pawn to hurt me. I no longer have my visitation because she used the pandemic as an excuse for me not to see my daughter. Even before the pandemic happened she was withholding my daughter from me during my scheduled visitation. How do I go about this situation? I want to refile for custody / visitation but neither of us lives in the county the original order was filed in.
Typically the court would want a case to be in the county where one of the parties lives. You could certainly try to file a change of venue and see what the judge says.
Were in Ohio, we moved and the open cps case was transferred. The prior county filed for reunification and transfer at the same time. They case was moved 1st. The new county wants us to start the whole thing over, its been about a year. Can they do that?
I cannot answer this question. I would assume each county has their own rules. You may want to talk to an attorney if you feel you need legal advice.
Hi I have 2 separate cfs cases pending neither of which involve any domestic violence or child abuse. On several occasions During proceedings the presiding judge has made references or comments during proceedings in regards to the wrong case. So much so that the attorney for the social and for my child has had to say to her “your honor this is not that case”. This is the presiding judge in both cases. Because of this I do not believe I can be judged fairly or impartialy in either case. I would like to have my cases moved to a different county because of this and would like to know if there are any legal grounds to do so?
I was granted a change of venue from san diego to orange county. The judge ordered family facilators to prepair the oah. They told me they are backed up for at least 2 months. Is that going to put me outside of the time requirement for me to open in orange county? Also i was the respondant in sd, will i still be respindent in orange? Do i file a new case and just notice of related case?
I do not believe it would be appropriate to file a new case. You may want to prepare the Order After Hearing on your end if that’s faster.
Hi, I would like to transfer my Child Support case from San Diego to San Bernardino. My ex-husband lives out of state, so can he still have a say in moving or not our case, considering he is not even in CA anymore?
We can certainly help you file a change of venue motion, and based on your facts, it would seem the court should grant it. Give us a call at 800-747-2780.
My son’s father and I have a custody agreement filed through Ventura Cty. He got a 2nd DUI with our son in the car. CPS stepped in and said if I don’t get sole custody of my son that they would put him in foster care. I got some advice through free legal side and was told my son had to be living out here in Nevada for 6 months before I could file. After he was I filed. His father was served at the end of May out at his home in Santa Paula. He had 20 days to respond but never did. I filed a default out here in Nevada, then was told i need to file a request to change jurisdiction to the county myself and my son live in. Where do i get that paperwork? I looked online but I only saw them for changing county within Ca..
I am not sure why you filed in Nevada if California is where your case was. I think you will need to seek relief from the California court. Give us a call for help.
can the courthouse move a divorce case to a different courthouse based on “not convenient’? My brother got a notice that his case was moved to a different courthouse, he called his lawyer and his assistant said that neither party requested the change, that the court moved the case. Can that be true?
Yes. Courthouses close and move divisions.
if an unmarried couple have 50/50 custody agreement in one county, and they move to another country without transferring their custody order, does the custody order still stand?
Are you talking about between between California counties or countries (USA to other country)
My ex-wife and I have an existing custody case in a county in California, however, I have relocated to South Carolina and she has relocated (with the children, and without notice) to Nevada.
Are there particular forms necessary in order to get a change of venue to her current county of residence? Basically moving it out of state?
Are you trying to change the order? You may want to call our office to discuss your ultimnate goal regarding this. Their may be an easier way to modify the order. You can reach us at 800-747-2780.
My ex filed for visitation in a different county than I reside in with my children. I believe the documents he had his friend hand me are not correct and he did not include a blank response. Does a blank response NEED to be given to me for this to be a legal serve? We have court 8/28/18. I am blind in one eye and do not drive so it is very inconvenient for me to get up to his county of residence, which is 80 miles away. Are there are any rights I might have?
We cannot advise you about your rights and remedies. Our role is simply preparing legal documents. You may want to call an attorney to see what your options are.
Unfortunately you will need to file a change of venue. Let us know if you need help with the paperwork. You may be able to appear st the hearing by phone.
My ex-wife was granted a move-away with my two children to the state of AZ some time ago and I live in Northern California and the case resides in San Bernardino (long story). Since I live in the state of CA, do you think the court would allow the case to be transferred to Northern California? As I do not have the means of equal access to the court.
Hi Jim – I really could not say what the court’s possible position would be.
Can I request a change in the county due to what I feel are biased opinions? The court and its honorary Judges and Commissioners seem to rule not so much in favor of the children, but in favor of the county – such as they will not allow a change in school because their children attend the same/ are in the same school district and they believe it to be awesome. There seems to be favoritism to one party vs the other due to one of the parties and the judges sharing common interests in the town. Is that enough of a basis to ask for a change of county?
You may want to speak with a lawyer in the area. Sometimes they are aware of judge preferences and reasonings in these types of matters.
My Ex is a Paralegal for the county our case is in, I feel there is a conflict of interest since he previously worked in the Domestic Violence Dept. Our DCSS attorney also knows and used to work with his boss. Would this be considered grounds to transfer a family law case to another county?
Unfortunately our office cannot advice you as to whether or not your situation would be sufficient grounds for a change of venue. I would suggest you talking with an attorney first to get some legal direction. Then, if you need help preparing the paperwork, you can contact our office for assistance with the change of venue.
What documents do I need to file for a change of venue? Do I need to go to court and file?
Our office offers a free booklet for paying clients that identifies all of the necessary required forms to obtain a change of venue. The process does require a court appearance, and the other party would most likely have to be personally served.
How on gods green earth does my ex-husband of 10 plus years get off so easy? My kids and I are struggling while he gets to live life and have two roofs over his head. I’m trying so hard to get a place for me and my kids yet the judge grants him everything when the kids are with me ???? All I’m begging is for financial support for my kids and I. Being disabled trying to find help is hard. The san francisco courts are so wrong. Why can’t my case be where I live?
There are many factors that determine where a case can be heard. You may be able to ask for a change of venue if you qualify for such relief. I am so sorry you are having such a difficult time. Sometimes it is hard to understand how the law works as it can often seem unfair.
My ex took our children and disappeared. I filed a parenting plan and restraining order on her for the children because she has a history of abuse on them. It was granted, and she was ordered to immediately return them to my care, but I couldn’t find her to serve her. She filed in the county she lives in and was granted temperary custody. I missed court because she didn’t serve me, but told the courts she did. I put in a change of venue and the judge said she has to talk to the judge in my county before granting the change of venue. How can she get temp custody while she has an active restraining order against her for the children in another county?
Sometimes when you have two conflicting orders in family law matters it gets a bit complicated. We would need to see all of the paperwork to see how we could help you with this particular matter. Please feel free to give us a call at 800-747-2780.
My ex has family that work for the county he lives in , i believe strongly theres a conflict of interest because tge judge dismisses all concerns for the child and dismisses professional willing to testify on her behalf due trauma and abuse he has also gotten aeay with in srminole couny i live in volusia county and so does the child. I need help transferring out of hos county, his attorney has even made it a point to inform the judge everytime his mother works for seminole county, he has charges (all dropped) nothing sticks and our little girl is terrified of him and is forced to stay with him, cause the judged refused to listen to her psycholigist cause she wasnt licensed as a mental health specialist yet and although othet judges grant it he Will not. Quote on quote. I need help ,and guidance
You definitely need to get legal advice from an attorney regarding this!
I was not notified of the custody order being transferred to another country until it was already done is that legal?
I would suggest you pull the court file of the original case to see what documents were filed. You should have been served with all motions.
My ex and I both moved to the same county (Riverside) at the same time. It was originally filed in LA county. I need to modify the order due to changes with our son. I was told I have to fill out the paperwork to have it transferred. Is this true.
If you want to move your court case to another county will have to file a motion for change of venue. At that point you can then file to modify your court order. You could also agree between the two of you to modify it and we can prepare the necessary paperwork. we can also help you prepare a motion for change of venue. Let us know if you need assistance by calling 800-747-2780.
I recently moved to another county and want to change courts. The other parent lives in that county but it’s an hour drive for him and a 1 1/2 hour drive for me. I am the custodial parent and and i want to change the supervised exchanges, child support and restraining order to my county.
We could help you file a request for change of venue but it is really up to the court to determine whether or not that would be approved. please contact us at 800-747-2780 if you’d like help with the paperwork.
I have jurisdiction in all matter in San Diego county, but there was an active child support order in Riverside county,I have custody in San Diego. I filed a RFO and was just granted an order for change of venue. Will the support order stop in riverside county or be transferred to San Diego county for me to stop it in San Diego due to me having child custody.
I would think the separate support order would remain. I am assuming it was a DCSS support case?
I was not notified of the custody order being transferred to another country until it was already done is that legal in ky
We only deal with California law matters. I would suggest you talk to an attorney in Kentucky.
My ex wife was granted the chance of venue in our divorce case and then didn’t file the appropriate forms or pay the fees. It has been 6 months. What happens to our case?
If you contact our office we can look up the court docket and see where things stand, find out what additional matters you may want to file in the case and how best to do that. Our telephone number is 800-747-2780.
Will both parties need to pay the fee to changing court venue from Sacramento to San Joaquin county one the Judge grants the transfer of venue?
The fee is paid to open up a new case. It is not a “first appearance” fee. Let us know if you would like help with preparing the change of venue paperwork.
Hello, the judge granted my request to transfer my custody case to another county within our state. I am the defendant and no longer need legal representation. 5 months after the transfer was granted, the plaintiff finally had the case transferred. The online court records does not show that I am represented by counsel but my attorney from the previous county insist that they represent me will not stop until there is a hearing for her to with draw. Please help.
Just request that they draw up a Substitution of Attorney putting you in the case as representing yourself and removing their office as attorney of record. They should be able to do that.
is there a particular form to use or just a standard motion? FL?
There are special forms that are required to file a motion for change of venue. Contact our office at 800-747-2780 for help.
Why would a retired sitting judge deny that I move my case from one to the next over. My son and I have moved and I thought it was a formality to put in a motion. He said no. What would be a reason for this
Typically the court will keep a case in the district it was originally filed if one of the parties still lives there. This is just a general statement and every situation is different.