October 17, 2014 By Paul Wallin

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).


  1. Please Help! I am in Arroyo Grande, CA and my Ex in still a resident of Amador County CA. Biased Attorneys, small town, I have plans already in place to move back to be near my grown children, however now with impending expensive Legal Fees, I must wait. My Ex has paid $2500 in Spousal Support, not on time for 3 years now and thinks after a 25 year marriage and two children he can stop it.

Leave a comment

Practice area

  • Contact Us Now

    If you want a caring and aggressive family law firm fighting for your legal rights, now is the time to contact us.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Latest Posts

SCHEDULE YOUR free consultation
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.