My question involves a child custody case from the State of: California
I would like to know if it is possible to change the venue within California?
My wife's was involved in a custody case with her daughters grandmother.
My wife and the father of her daughter had 50/50 legal custody. Father had physical custody. Father moved 300 miles away for work purposes. Mother agreed with move. The father and daughter stayed with the fathers mother. 12 months later father died on the job (Child was 7 at the time of death). Grandmother did not contact mother, but went straight to court (Santa Barbara County) to file for temporary guardianship. The grandmother accused the mother of being crazy, and that she would bring physical harm to the child. Court granted this, all the while the mother was trying to contact the father about a upcoming visit. Mother found out a few days later when she received the court order in the mail. We then ended upspending 2 1/2 years fighting her all the while they kept our daughter (I have since adopted her) in Santa Maria, Ca. The grandmother kept saying that it would be to traumatic for the child to move. The court appointed lawyer for the child wanted us to move to Santa Maria and was clearly on the side of the grandmother. We live in the North Bay area and my wife refused. The lawyer for the child even went as far to recommend a few hospitals in the region for employment because my wife is a nurse. The child's lawyer was upset that we would not consider this as a option. She kept agreeing with the grandmother that it was to soon for the child to move, after two years since the father died. We finally won custody but the child's counsel suggested to the court that the grandmother receive moneys for all her legal fees from the child's estate. They also gave her the social security and workman's compensation benefits. After we objected to this the judge said that if we continue with this objection, he will then reconsider his judgment for custody. The court thanked the grandmother and ordered that jurisdiction remain in Santa Barbara county. This is after everything the grandmother accused my wife of fell flat.
We feel we can't get a fair hearing in this county because the same counsel and same judge will reside over the case if we try and modify the order. We also have already spent $35,000 in lawyer and travel cost fees. We where unable to appeal the case because we exhausted all are savings over the period of the case.
The child (11 years old now), now my daughter has been living with us for over a year now in the Bay Area. We would like to modify the order but feel we would be wasting our time if we had to do it in Santa Maria. Is there a way to change the venue without having to go back to Santa Maria?
We where thinking about opening a new case where we live.
Sorry for the long post, but I felt the need to explain this situation in some detail.