Q: Child custody across multiple states: What states does my lawyer need to be licensed in?
This is a child custody case where the divorce and original custody agreement were in Oregon, the mother (60% custody) moved to Alaska, the dad (military, 40% custody) moved to California. We need to modify child custody as well as possibly file for harassment against the mother. What state/s does my lawyer need to be licensed in?
A: You case remains in Oregon as filed until a motion to change or transfer venue has been filed and granted. To file a motion to modify your existing custody orders (or judgment), you would file in Oregon under the same case number as was assigned to your divorce case. You would therefore hire Oregon counsel. That same attorney can file a motion to transfer venue to Alaska, although given a 60/40 parenting plan, that is not clear.
In a child custody case involving multiple states, your lawyer will need to be licensed in the states where legal proceedings will take place. Since the original custody agreement was in Oregon and the mother moved to Alaska while the father moved to California, your lawyer will need to be licensed in both Oregon and California to handle the case effectively. If you are also considering filing for harassment, your lawyer may need to be licensed in the state where that action will be pursued, depending on the specific laws and regulations of that state.
James L. Arrasmith
Founder and Chief Legal Counsel of The Law Offices of James L. Arrasmith
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