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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 111450
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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I need to know which forms and how to file to modify orders

Customer Question

I need to know which forms and how to file to modify orders in VA that were originally settled in CA. The orders can currently be enforced in VA (that has been done by the courts), but now the judge says he cannot modify them without "permission" from CA. I need to do this as quickly as possible so that VA does not dismiss my case for modification. Thank you
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Is any party to the case still in CA?
What type of case is this?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No, my ex resides in VA, which is now my daughter's home state (been there 2 years), and I reside in Texas. I make the trip to VA for court appearances. This is a Family Law case, considered juvenile and domestic relations in VA. Neither one of us oppose to the orders being in VA, which is why the CA courts agree to relinquish jurisdiction, or so we thought. Now, the VA judge is saying that he only has paperwork to enforce the CA orders, and cannot modify them. I am petitioning the courts for primary physical custody and joint legal custody. As it stands in VA courts all matters are in for modification: support, visitation, and custody.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
According to this order, VA is able to modify. I'm confused at this point.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Unfortunately, CA does not have pre-printed forms for this like they do for everything else. You have to file a notice of motion, motion and order for release of child custody jurisdiction in the CA court where the order was entered. Because of you wanting to do this quickly and because you are not in CA, you would need an attorney in CA to file this for you. If the father does not object to CA releasing jurisdiction, you can file this as a joint motion and the attorney can get both of you to sign the motion or affidavits stating that you, the father nor the child have any connections with the state of CA any longer and as such you ask them to release jurisdiction. The order should not take more than 30-60 days, especially if it is a joint motion for the order. If the other parent will not sign to make it a joint motion, then they have 30 days to reply to object and if they do not reply, then your attorney would file for default judgment to get the order.
Either way, this is not complex other than the motions have to be all drafted from scratch and filed by a local attorney in CA and if there are no objections to the motion it should not cost much for the attorney to do in CA, likely less than $1000 or so for his time to draft the pleadings, file them in court and make one court appearance.
However, the VA judge can require that the parties get a release from the CA court of jurisdiction under the UCCJA VA Code 20-146.14. Jurisdiction to modify determination, which states:
Except as otherwise provided in § 20-146.15, a court of this Commonwealth may not modify a child custody determination made by a court of another state unless a court of this Commonwealth has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under subdivision A 1 or A 2 of § 20-146.12 and:
1. The court of the other state determines that it no longer has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction under § 20-146.13 or that a court of this Commonwealth would be a more convenient forum under § 20-146.18; or
2. A court of this Commonwealth or a court of the other state determines that neither the child, the child's parents, nor any person acting as a parent presently reside in the other state.
So, under the UCCJA, based on what you are saying this is why the judge is requiring you to get CA to say they have no interest in the matter. See: http://www.lrcvaw.org/laws/vauccjea.pdf
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
that is the order the judge was referencing. Is there anyway I can do this myself? I'm already $15k in lawyer fees and I'm tapped out. NOTHING has changed. This has been in the courts for 2.5 years now.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Really you cannot because the state of CA does not make actual forms for this like they do everything else and you are also in Texas so you cannot do it remotely. As I said, because everyone is in agreement, the cost on this one thing is going to be fairly low.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I cannot make a form based off of the pre-made ones and copies of forms I already have and modify to do what I am asking and then appear over the phone in the CA courts?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

I am afraid not, since there are no pre made forms that are even close for what you are seeking. Also, you do not have to actually appear if you use an attorney, they can file they can do this with them appearing in court one time. CA does not even have templates on line for you to copy for this purpose.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Last thing and then I will rate. Please look over this form and tell me if you think this is suitable, in general.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
That would generally work as a pro se pleading with a notice of motion FL-301 and proof of service, yes. But you are going to have to ask for a telephone hearing or be present or make it a joint request and you and the other parent sign the motion.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Will I need to "serve" my ex with any type of paperwork? I'm not sure if he will be on board if he knows that my case for custody could be thrown out if I don't have something from CA courts with progress.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Yes, you have to serve your ex with a copy of everything you file in court in CA.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Okay. And then I send the papers off and just kind of wait? We have our VA court date on the 22nd and I'm not sure what to do about that. My lawyer isn't being very responsive at this point. I think she's wanting the case to drop so she can refile. :/
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You also have to file a motion for telephone hearing if you want one together with your motion. You would then have to wait for a court date and you have to ask your attorney to try to continue the other hearing in VA.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Okay, when I do the form that is the actual request for the motion, what exactly do I put as the subject? Would it be change of venue for modification? Also, my ex is in agreement with my request, do I need to add anything because of that, or is serving the paperwork enough? Do I send it to his lawyer or his home? His lawyer is licensed to practice in CA as well.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Do you happen to know the name/number of that form?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
It is called "Notice of Motion" FL-301 and attach your motion you write out as you had the format above and you would be asking the court to release jurisdiction over the case as the child and neither parent currently has any further connection to the State of CA and that the child lives in VA with the father and the mother lives in Texas, so CA has no further interest in the matter. You would send a copy to his lawyer if he is represented.
You also do a proof of service by mail, FL 335 and file that with the court as well.