My question involves a child custody case from the State of: California
The ex (CP) and I (NCP) were divorced in CA with 2 kids. Both parents and all children have lived in Michigan for the past 3 years. I want to file for joint physical and legal custody of the children and a laid out parenting plan. I've been told conflicting strategies from lawyers in both states. Michigan lawyers say that I have to ask the CA court to declare itself an "inconvenient forum" and to name Michigan as a the more appropriate forum to hear custody and visitation disputes before MI courts can do anything. No parties share a significant connection with CA and substantial evidence is no longer available there. Lawyers in CA claim the same.
However, after researching the Michigan UCCJEA, I get the impression that I can file for a change of custody and visitation in Michigan because it can assume jurisdiction if it determines "that neither the child, nor a parent of the child, nor a person as a parent presently reside in the other (CA) state." (Michigan UCCJEA 722.1203). How can I file in MI to get the court to consider assuming jurisdiction? Would this automatically compel the MI court to contact CA about relinquishing jurisdiction?
I have limited financial resources and don't want to waste my money on a lawyer in the wrong state, only to have to start over in another. So, what will my strategy be to accomplish this? Do I file in CA or MI? Which court do I go through to determine who can act on this?