1. What is the difference between fl-311 and fl 341. Do I need to fill out both?
A: FL-311 is an application for a custody order as part of a motion or order to show cause to establish or modify custody orders. FL-341 is the actual custody order to be attached to a judgment or findings and orders after hearing (OSC/motion). If you are seeking custody orders as part of the default judgment, then you want FL-341 -- not FL-311.
2. The county has already opened a child support case and he has orders in place already. Do I skip that part then?
A: If the DCSS obtained a support order under a different case number, then you can state in FL-180, Line 4(m)(4), something like, "As ordered by DCSS v. PETITIONERSNAME, Case no. ?????? (??/??/????) (copy of order attached, at Exhibit #??)."
3. I have already filed many of these forms previous to our conversations. I am assuming that I dont need to refile them.
A: It really depends on the clerk and the judge. If everything is already filed, then you shouldn't have to refile anything. But, frankly, most family law judgments get kicked back to the filing party several times before it goes through, for any number of reasons. All you can do is file and then wait and see whether you get a Notice of Entry of Judgment -- or a sheet from the clerk with checkmarks about what the court wants before it will enter judgment.
4. My husband has a history of alcohol and drug use, which I suspect is still an issue. I has grave concerns about his ability as a father and caregiver. He only sees the kids about every three weeks, over night, on their request. I am planning to move with the kids about 3 hours away early next year. How should that be handled now and in the future when I do move?
A: If you are the primary custodian, and there are no orders preventing your relocation, then you can move, and you are not required to provide any notice to the other party. However, if the current custody/parenting orders provide a certain custody/visitation schedule, and your move frustrates the other parent's ability to exercise those rights, then you could be presumptively in contempt of court. Generally, when you want to move, the best thing to do is to file an OSC to modify parenting and then propose a plan that will permit the other parent the opportunity to continue exercising his/her rights.
However, if you obtain a default, and your judgment contains a plain that the other parent gets visitation at your discretion (as I previously mentioned), then there would be no contempt in your moving, because no matter where you move, you cannot frustrate the other parent's time -- as he has no time expressly ordered.
In sum, what you would do depends heavily on what sort of custody/parenting/visitation orders you put into place at judgment.
Hope this helps.
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