Q: Would it be better to file here or there?
I am living with the father of my 2 younger kids (3y and 5m) and he just broke off our engagement. I am moving back to Texas with all 3 of my kids.
I want to make sure that I have primary custody. I don't mind if my kids have visitation with him in CA but I want it to be under my control so that he doesn't try to keep them in CA.
My question is, should I file for custody here in CA before I move or in TX once I move?
A: Jurisdiction (the court's authority) regarding custody is based on where the kids have been physically present for the 6 months immediately preceding filing a custody action. If the children have been living here for at least 6 months and then you file in Texas, then most likely CA will still have jurisdiction to make custody orders. However, if you move to Texas and you are there for more than 6 months with the kids and then file a custody action, then Texas would have jurisdiction. However, there is a possibility that Texas would give up its authority to CA if it believed CA was a better place to decide who has custody. If you leave CA with the kids you should make sure that you have father's consent to the move in writing.
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