If you have a child custody order from a different state and you or the other parent reside in California, you should strongly consider registering the order in California in case enforcement is necessary. To register your out-of-state order, you will need the following:
- Two copies of the child custody order, including one certified copy. You can obtain this from the clerk of the court in which the order was made. Check with the court to find out its fees and process for obtaining.
- Registration of Out-of-State Custody Order (FL-580). This is a California Judicial Council form, available online. This is not a mandatory form (i.e., you can do so with a letter instead), but the form contains the required language/information and is familiar to the court clerks.
- Declaration Under UCCJEA (FL-105). This is also a California Judicial Council form, available online. This form requires you to list each child’s address for the last five years and identify any other related cases.
The Registration form will be served on the other parent along with a notice explaining the other parent’s right to contest it. If they wish to contest the registration, they must request a hearing within 20 days of being served. In order to challenge registration, they will need to show that (1) the out-of-state court lacked jurisdiction; (2) the order has been vacated, stayed, or modified; or (3) they did not receive proper notice regarding the out-of-state hearing.
Intra-state custody disputes and enforcement of court orders are complicated legal issues.