How To Change The Venue Of Your Family Law Case (Family Law Code 7845)

One of the most stressful things that a person can go through is a lawsuit. What makes the process even more painful is dealing with a lawsuit surrounding a family law issue. Whether you are going through a divorce, child custody or child support battle, it is important to know how you can change the location of the court in which your case is heard. A “venue,” in legal terms, determines what county your court case is heard in. A “change of venue” is the process of moving your court case from one county courthouse to another.

Change of Venue for Divorce Cases

Southern_California Change of venue

Southern California counties

A divorce petition may not be filed unless one of the parties has been a resident of the state of California for six (6) months and a resident of the county in which the proceeding is filed for three (3) months.[1]

According to California Code of Civil Procedure 397.5, if both parties of a divorce have moved from the county in which they initially filed for the divorce, then that court may transfer the case to another county. The court may do this if it would be convenient for the parties.[2] Additionally, if both parties agree to request a venue change, the court may order a change.[3]

Change of Venue for Child Custody Cases

According to the California Family Code Section 7845, a family law proceeding involving child custody and visitation should be filed in the county in which the minor resides. If the child was adopted, the family court petition should be filed in the county of which the petition for adoption of the child was filed.[4]

If the venue is no longer relevant or convenient, either party must file a motion to change venue. The motion should be filed as early as possible. The later the motion is filed and the longer a case continues, the harder it will be to convince a judge to allow the change in venue.

There are several reasons for changing the venue of a particular child custody or child support case. A motion for change of venue may be filed if the children no longer reside in the county where the case was initially filed and have not resided there for at least six months.[5] In the event that a case was filed in an incorrect county to begin with, then the court can order a transfer to the proper county.

Factors Considered When Determining Whether to Grant a Motion for Change of Venue

According to the California Rules of Civil Procedure, when hearing a motion to change venue, a judge will consider several factors, including:

  • Residence of the witnesses and other evidence
  • Residence of the parties of the case
  • Residence of the child(ren) in a child custody and/or child support case
  • the general convenience of moving the case to a different venue versus keeping the case where it is[6]

The motion to change venue is filed in the court that in handling the case, not in the court to which you want the case to be relocated.

Call Wallin & Klarich Today

At Wallin & Klarich, our knowledgeable attorneys at have over 30 years of experience successfully helping our clients with motions and oppositions to change venue in family law cases.

With offices located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Torrance, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, San Diego and Sherman Oaks, one of our knowledgeable attorneys is available to help you no matter where you work or live. Let us help you today.

Call us today at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.


[1] Cal. Fam. Code § 2320 (West).

[2] Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 397.5 (West).

[3] Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 397.5 (West).

[4] Cal. Fam. Code § 7845 (West).

[5] Cal. Fam. Code § 3421 (West).

[6] Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 397 (West).

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Paul Wallin is the senior managing partner at Wallin & Klarich. With over thirty years of experience handling many types of criminal defense cases, Paul Wallin has a tremendous amount of knowledge when advocating for his client´s rights. Paul Wallin prides himself in going the extra mile to put his clients at ease especially when they are facing allegations of criminal misconduct and are stressing over it. Many have trusted Paul Wallin and his team at Wallin & Klarich to assist them in their darkest hour.

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