Even if the father of the minor child lives in the State of California, California does not automatically have jurisdiction to make a custody order. If a minor child lives outside the State of California, the California court does not have jurisdiction to find the best interest of the minor children even if the father is a citizen of the State of California. Jurisdiction is available as provided by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

The UCCJEA gives California jurisdiction over child custody matters in three circumstances: 

  • California is the minor child’s home state,

  • Tthe child’s home state does not have jurisdiction, or

  • The home state declined jurisdiction in favor of California.

Pursuant to California Family Code §3402 a child must live in the home state for consecutively for six months before a child custody proceeding is initiated.

Please note that this legal advice does not establish a family law attorney-client relationship. This is a legal advertisement for Treviño Law, Inc, an Orange County family law firm.

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