CHILD CUSTODY LAWS

The following California Family Code Sections relate to child custody and visitation laws. These laws concern legal custody, physical custody, visitation and under what circumstances the court can and should award each. Orange County Family Courts and judges apply these laws every day when dealing with Orange County child custody cases. Please call or email us if you have any questions about these laws. We are always available for a free consultation.

CALIFORNIA FAMILY CODE SECTION 3000-3007

3000.  Unless the provision or context otherwise requires, the
definitions in this chapter govern the construction of this division.

3002.  “Joint custody” means joint physical custody and joint legal
custody.

3003.  “Joint legal custody” means that both parents shall share the
right and the responsibility to make the decisions relating to the
health, education, and welfare of a child.

3004.  “Joint physical custody” means that each of the parents shall
have significant periods of physical custody. Joint physical custody
shall be shared by the parents in such a way so as to assure a child
of frequent and continuing contact with both parents, subject to
Sections 3011 and 3020.

3006.  “Sole legal custody” means that one parent shall have the
right and the responsibility to make the decisions relating to the
health, education, and welfare of a child.

3007.  “Sole physical custody” means that a child shall reside with
and be under the supervision of one parent, subject to the power of
the court to order visitation.

CALIFORNIA FAMILY CODE SECTION 3010-3011

(a) The mother of an unemancipated minor child and the father,
if presumed to be the father under Section 7611, are equally
entitled to the custody of the child.

(b) If one parent is dead, is unable or refuses to take custody,
or has abandoned the child, the other parent is entitled to custody
of the child.

3011.  In making a determination of the best interest of the child
in a proceeding described in Section 3021, the court shall, among any
other factors it finds relevant, consider all of the following:

(a) The health, safety, and welfare of the child.

(b) Any history of abuse by one parent or any other person seeking
custody against any of the following:

(1) Any child to whom he or she is related by blood or affinity or
with whom he or she has had a caretaking relationship, no matter how
temporary.

(2) The other parent.

(3) A parent, current spouse, or cohabitant, of the parent or
person seeking custody, or a person with whom the parent or person
seeking custody has a dating or engagement relationship.
As a prerequisite to the consideration of allegations of abuse,
the court may require substantial independent corroboration,
including, but not limited to, written reports by law enforcement
agencies, child protective services or other social welfare agencies,
courts, medical facilities, or other public agencies or private
nonprofit organizations providing services to victims of sexual
assault or domestic violence. As used in this subdivision, “abuse
against a child” means “child abuse” as defined in Section 11165.6 of
the Penal Code and abuse against any of the other persons described
in paragraph (2) or (3) means “abuse” as defined in Section 6203 of
this code.

(c) The nature and amount of contact with both parents, except as
provided in Section 3046.

(d) The habitual or continual illegal use of controlled substances
or habitual or continual abuse of alcohol by either parent. Before
considering these allegations, the court may first require
independent corroboration, including, but not limited to, written
reports from law enforcement agencies, courts, probation departments,
social welfare agencies, medical facilities, rehabilitation
facilities, or other public agencies or nonprofit organizations
providing drug and alcohol abuse services. As used in this
subdivision, “controlled substances” has the same meaning as defined
in the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act, Division 10
(commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code.

(e) (1) Where allegations about a parent pursuant to subdivision
(b) or (d) have been brought to the attention of the court in the
current proceeding, and the court makes an order for sole or joint
custody to that parent, the court shall state its reasons in writing
or on the record. In these circumstances, the court shall ensure that
any order regarding custody or visitation is specific as to time,
day, place, and manner of transfer of the child as set forth in
subdivision (b) of Section 6323.

(2) The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply if the
parties stipulate in writing or on the record regarding custody or
visitation.

CALIFORNIA FAMILY CODE SECTION 3020-3032

3020.  (a) The Legislature finds and declares that it is the public
policy of this state to assure that the health, safety, and welfare
of children shall be the court’s primary concern in determining the
best interest of children when making any orders regarding the
physical or legal custody or visitation of children. The Legislature
further finds and declares that the perpetration of child abuse or
domestic violence in a household where a child resides is detrimental
to the child.

(b) The Legislature finds and declares that it is the public
policy of this state to assure that children have frequent and
continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated
or dissolved their marriage, or ended their relationship, and to
encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child
rearing in order to effect this policy, except where the contact
would not be in the best interest of the child, as provided in
Section 3011.

(c) Where the policies set forth in subdivisions (a) and (b) of
this section are in conflict, any court’s order regarding physical or
legal custody or visitation shall be made in a manner that ensures
the health, safety, and welfare of the child and the safety of all
family members. This part applies in any of the following:

(a) A proceeding for dissolution of marriage.

(b) A proceeding for nullity of marriage.

(c) A proceeding for legal separation of the parties.

(d) An action for exclusive custody pursuant to Section 3120.

(e) A proceeding to determine physical or legal custody or for
visitation in a proceeding pursuant to the Domestic Violence
Prevention Act (Division 10 (commencing with Section 6200)).
In an action under Section 6323, nothing in this subdivision shall
be construed to authorize physical or legal custody, or visitation
rights, to be granted to any party to a Domestic Violence Prevention
Act proceeding who has not established a parent and child
relationship pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section
6323.

(f) A proceeding to determine physical or legal custody or
visitation in an action pursuant to the Uniform Parentage Act (Part 3
(commencing with Section 7600) of Division 12).

(g) A proceeding to determine physical or legal custody or
visitation in an action brought by the district attorney pursuant to
Section 17404.

3022.  The court may, during the pendency of a proceeding or at any
time thereafter, make an order for the custody of a child during
minority that seems necessary or proper.

3022.3.  Upon the trial of a question of fact in a proceeding to
determine the custody of a minor child, the court shall, upon the
request of either party, issue a statement of the decision explaining
the factual and legal basis for its decision pursuant to Section 632
of the Code of Civil Procedure.

3022.5.  A motion by a parent for reconsideration of an existing
child custody order shall be granted if the motion is based on the
fact that the other parent was convicted of a crime in connection
with falsely accusing the moving parent of child abuse.

3023.  (a) If custody of a minor child is the sole contested issue,
the case shall be given preference over other civil cases, except
matters to which special precedence may be given by law, for
assigning a trial date and shall be given an early hearing.

(b) If there is more than one contested issue and one of the
issues is the custody of a minor child, the court, as to the issue of
custody, shall order a separate trial. The separate trial shall be
given preference over other civil cases, except matters to which
special precedence may be given by law, for assigning a trial date.

3024.  In making an order for custody, if the court does not
consider it inappropriate, the court may specify that a parent shall
notify the other parent if the parent plans to change the residence
of the child for more than 30 days, unless there is prior written
agreement to the removal. The notice shall be given before the
contemplated move, by mail, return receipt requested, postage
prepaid, to the last known address of the parent to be notified. A
copy of the notice shall also be sent to that parent’s counsel of
record. To the extent feasible, the notice shall be provided within a
minimum of 45 days before the proposed change of residence so as to
allow time for mediation of a new agreement concerning custody. This
section does not affect orders made before January 1, 1989.

3025.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, access to records
and information pertaining to a minor child, including, but not
limited to, medical, dental, and school records, shall not be denied
to a parent because that parent is not the child’s custodial parent.

3025.5.  In any proceeding involving child custody or visitation
rights, if a report containing psychological evaluations of a child
or recommendations regarding custody of, or visitation with, a child
is submitted to the court, including, but not limited to, a report
created pursuant to Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 3110) of this
part, a recommendation made to the court pursuant to Section 3183,
and a written statement of issues and contentions pursuant to
subdivision (b) of Section 3151, that information shall be contained
in a document that shall be placed in the confidential portion of the
court file of the proceeding, and may not be disclosed, except to
the following persons:

(a) A party to the proceeding and his or her attorney.

(b) A federal or state law enforcement officer, judicial officer,
court employee, or family court facilitator for the county in which
the action was filed, or an employee or agent of that facilitator,
acting within the scope of his or her duties.

(c) Counsel appointed for the child pursuant to Section 3150.

(d) Any other person upon order of the court for good cause.

3026.  Family reunification services shall not be ordered as a part
of a child custody or visitation rights proceeding. Nothing in this
section affects the applicability of Section 16507 of the Welfare and
Institutions Code.

3027.  (a) If allegations of child abuse, including child sexual
abuse, are made during a child custody proceeding and the court has
concerns regarding the child’s safety, the court may take any
reasonable, temporary steps as the court, in its discretion, deems
appropriate under the circumstances to protect the child’s safety
until an investigation can be completed. Nothing in this section
shall affect the applicability of Section 16504 or 16506 of the
Welfare and Institutions Code.

(b) If allegations of child abuse, including child sexual abuse,
are made during a child custody proceeding, the court may request
that the local child welfare services agency conduct an investigation
of the allegations pursuant to Section 328 of the Welfare and
Institutions Code. Upon completion of the investigation, the agency
shall report its findings to the court.

3027.1.  (a) If a court determines, based on the investigation
described in Section 3027 or other evidence presented to it, that an
accusation of child abuse or neglect made during a child custody
proceeding is false and the person making the accusation knew it to
be false at the time the accusation was made, the court may impose
reasonable money sanctions, not to exceed all costs incurred by the
party accused as a direct result of defending the accusation, and
reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in recovering the sanctions,
against the person making the accusation. For the purposes of this
section, “person” includes a witness, a party, or a party’s attorney.

(b) On motion by any person requesting sanctions under this
section, the court shall issue its order to show cause why the
requested sanctions should not be imposed. The order to show cause
shall be served on the person against whom the sanctions are sought
and a hearing thereon shall be scheduled by the court to be conducted
at least 15 days after the order is served.

(c) The remedy provided by this section is in addition to any
other remedy provided by law.

3027.5.  (a) No parent shall be placed on supervised visitation, or
be denied custody of or visitation with his or her child, and no
custody or visitation rights shall be limited, solely because the
parent (1) lawfully reported suspected sexual abuse of the child, (2)
otherwise acted lawfully, based on a reasonable belief, to determine
if his or her child was the victim of sexual abuse, or (3) sought
treatment for the child from a licensed mental health professional
for suspected sexual abuse.

(b) The court may order supervised visitation or limit a parent’s
custody or visitation if the court finds substantial evidence that
the parent, with the intent to interfere with the other parent’s
lawful contact with the child, made a report of child sexual abuse,
during a child custody proceeding or at any other time, that he or
she knew was false at the time it was made. Any limitation of custody
or visitation, including an order for supervised visitation,
pursuant to this subdivision, or any statute regarding the making of
a false child abuse report, shall be imposed only after the court has
determined that the limitation is necessary to protect the health,
safety, and welfare of the child, and the court has considered the
state’s policy of assuring that children have frequent and continuing
contact with both parents as declared in subdivision (b) of Section
3020.

3028.  (a) The court may order financial compensation for periods
when a parent fails to assume the caretaker responsibility or when a
parent has been thwarted by the other parent when attempting to
exercise custody or visitation rights contemplated by a custody or
visitation order, including, but not limited to, an order for joint
physical custody, or by a written or oral agreement between the
parents.

(b) The compensation shall be limited to (1) the reasonable
expenses incurred for or on behalf of a child, resulting from the
other parent’s failure to assume caretaker responsibility or (2) the
reasonable expenses incurred by a parent for or on behalf of a child,
resulting from the other parent’s thwarting of the parent’s efforts
to exercise custody or visitation rights. The expenses may include
the value of caretaker services but are not limited to the cost of
services provided by a third party during the relevant period.

(c) The compensation may be requested by noticed motion or an
order to show cause, which shall allege, under penalty of perjury,

(1) a minimum of one hundred dollars ($100) of expenses incurred or

(2) at least three occurrences of failure to exercise custody or
visitation rights or (3) at least three occurrences of the thwarting
of efforts to exercise custody or visitation rights within the six
months before filing of the motion or order.

(d) Attorney’s fees shall be awarded to the prevailing party upon
a showing of the nonprevailing party’s ability to pay as required by
Section 270.

3029.  An order granting custody to a parent who is receiving, or in
the opinion of the court is likely to receive, assistance pursuant
to the Family Economic Security Act of 1982 (Chapter 2 (commencing
with Section 11200) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and
Institutions Code) for the maintenance of the child shall include an
order pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 4000) of Part 2
of Division 9 of this code, directing the noncustodial parent to pay
any amount necessary for the support of the child, to the extent of
the noncustodial parent’s ability to pay.

3030.  (a) (1) No person shall be granted physical or legal custody
of, or unsupervised visitation with, a child if the person is
required to be registered as a sex offender under Section 290 of the
Penal Code where the victim was a minor, or if the person has been
convicted under Section 273a, 273d, or 647.6 of the Penal Code,
unless the court finds that there is no significant risk to the child
and states its reasons in writing or on the record. The child may
not be placed in a home in which that person resides, nor permitted
to have unsupervised visitation with that person, unless the court
states the reasons for its findings in writing or on the record.

(2) No person shall be granted physical or legal custody of, or
unsupervised visitation with, a child if anyone residing in the
person’s household is required, as a result of a felony conviction in
which the victim was a minor, to register as a sex offender under
Section 290 of the Penal Code, unless the court finds there is no
significant risk to the child and states its reasons in writing or on
the record. The child may not be placed in a home in which that
person resides, nor permitted to have unsupervised visitation with
that person, unless the court states the reasons for its findings in
writing or on the record.

(3) The fact that a child is permitted unsupervised contact with a
person who is required, as a result of a felony conviction in which
the victim was a minor, to be registered as a sex offender under
Section 290 of the Penal Code, shall be prima facie evidence that the
child is at significant risk. When making a determination regarding
significant risk to the child, the prima facie evidence shall
constitute a presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence.
However, this presumption shall not apply if there are factors
mitigating against its application, including whether the party
seeking custody or visitation is also required, as the result of a
felony conviction in which the victim was a minor, to register as a
sex offender under Section 290 of the Penal Code.

(b) No person shall be granted custody of, or visitation with, a
child if the person has been convicted under Section 261 of the Penal
Code and the child was conceived as a result of that violation.

(c) No person shall be granted custody of, or unsupervised
visitation with, a child if the person has been convicted of murder
in the first degree, as defined in Section 189 of the Penal Code, and
the victim of the murder was the other parent of the child who is
the subject of the order, unless the court finds that there is no
risk to the child’s health, safety, and welfare, and states the
reasons for its finding in writing or on the record. In making its
finding, the court may consider, among other things, the following:

(1) The wishes of the child, if the child is of sufficient age and
capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent preference.

(2) Credible evidence that the convicted parent was a victim of
abuse, as defined in Section 6203, committed by the deceased parent.
That evidence may include, but is not limited to, written reports by
law enforcement agencies, child protective services or other social
welfare agencies, courts, medical facilities, or other public
agencies or private nonprofit organizations providing services to
victims of domestic abuse.

(3) Testimony of an expert witness, qualified under Section 1107
of the Evidence Code, that the convicted parent experiences intimate
partner battering.

Unless and until a custody or visitation order is issued pursuant
to this subdivision, no person shall permit or cause the child to
visit or remain in the custody of the convicted parent without the
consent of the child’s custodian or legal guardian.

(d) The court may order child support that is to be paid by a
person subject to subdivision (a), (b), or (c) to be paid through the
local child support agency, as authorized by Section 4573 of the
Family Code and Division 17 (commencing with Section 17000) of this
code.

(e) The court shall not disclose, or cause to be disclosed, the
custodial parent’s place of residence, place of employment, or the
child’s school, unless the court finds that the disclosure would be
in the best interest of the child.

3030.5.  (a) Upon the motion of one or both parents, or the legal

guardian or custodian, or upon the court’s own motion, an order

granting physical or legal custody of, or unsupervised visitation

with, a child may be modified or terminated if either of the

following circumstances has occurred since the order was entered,

unless the court finds that there is no significant risk to the child

and states its reasons in writing or on the record:

(1) The person who has been granted physical or legal custody of,

or unsupervised visitation with the child is required, as a result of

a felony conviction in which the victim was a minor, to be

registered as a sex offender under Section 290 of the Penal Code.

(2) The person who has been granted physical or legal custody of,

or unsupervised visitation with, the child resides with another

person who is required, as a result of a felony conviction in which

the victim was a minor, to be registered as a sex offender under

Section 290 of the Penal Code.

(b) The fact that a child is permitted unsupervised contact with a

person who is required, as a result of a felony conviction in which

the victim was a minor, to be registered as a sex offender under

Section 290 of the Penal Code, shall be prima facie evidence that the

child is at significant risk. When making a determination regarding

significant risk to the child, the prima facie evidence shall

constitute a presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence.

However, this presumption shall not apply if there are factors

mitigating against its application, including whether the party

seeking custody or visitation is also required, as the result of a

felony conviction in which the victim was a minor, to register as a

sex offender under Section 290 of the Penal Code.

(c) The court shall not modify an existing custody or visitation

order upon the ex parte petition of one party pursuant to this

section without providing notice to the other party and an

opportunity to be heard. This notice provision applies only when the

motion for custody or visitation change is based solely on the fact

that the child is allowed unsupervised contact with a person

required, as a result of a felony conviction in which the victim was

a minor, to register as a sex offender under Section 290 of the Penal

Code and does not affect the court’s ability to remove a child upon

an ex parte motion when there is a showing of immediate harm to the

child.

3031.  (a) Where the court considers the issue of custody or

visitation the court is encouraged to make a reasonable effort to

ascertain whether or not any emergency protective order, protective

order, or other restraining order is in effect that concerns the

parties or the minor. The court is encouraged not to make a custody

or visitation order that is inconsistent with the emergency

protective order, protective order, or other restraining order,

unless the court makes both of the following findings:

(1) The custody or visitation order cannot be made consistent with

the emergency protective order, protective order, or other

restraining order.

(2) The custody or visitation order is in the best interest of the

minor.

(b) Whenever custody or visitation is granted to a parent in a

case in which domestic violence is alleged and an emergency

protective order, protective order, or other restraining order has

been issued, the custody or visitation order shall specify the time,

day, place, and manner of transfer of the child for custody or

visitation to limit the child’s exposure to potential domestic

conflict or violence and to ensure the safety of all family members.

Where the court finds a party is staying in a place designated as a

shelter for victims of domestic violence or other confidential

location, the court’s order for time, day, place, and manner of

transfer of the child for custody or visitation shall be designed to

prevent disclosure of the location of the shelter or other

confidential location.

(c) When making an order for custody or visitation in a case in

which domestic violence is alleged and an emergency protective order,

protective order, or other restraining order has been issued, the

court shall consider whether the best interest of the child, based

upon the circumstances of the case, requires that any custody or

visitation arrangement shall be limited to situations in which a

third person, specified by the court, is present, or whether custody

or visitation shall be suspended or denied.

3032.  (a) The Judicial Council shall establish a state-funded

one-year pilot project beginning July 1, 1999, in at least two

counties, including Los Angeles County, pursuant to which, in any

child custody proceeding, including mediation proceedings pursuant to

Section 3170, any action or proceeding under Division 10 (commencing

with Section 6200), any action or proceeding under the Uniform

Parentage Act (Part 3 (commencing with Section 7600) of Division 12),

and any proceeding for dissolution or nullity of marriage or legal

separation of the parties in which a protective order as been granted

or is being sought pursuant to Section 6221, the court shall,

notwithstanding Section 68092 of the Government Code, appoint an

interpreter to interpret the proceedings at court expense, if both of

the following conditions are met:

(1) One or both of the parties is unable to participate fully in

the proceeding due to a lack of proficiency in the English language.

(2) The party who needs an interpreter appears in forma pauperis,

pursuant to Section 68511.3 of the Government Code, or the court

otherwise determines that the parties are financially unable to pay

the cost of an interpreter. In all other cases where an interpreter

is required pursuant to this section, interpreter fees shall be paid

as provided in Section 68092 of the Government Code.

(3) This section shall not prohibit the court doing any of the

following when an interpreter is not present:

(A) Issuing an order when the necessity for the order outweighs

the necessity for an interpreter.

(B) Extending the duration of a previously issued temporary order

if an interpreter is not readily available.

(C) Issuing a permanent order where a party who requires an

interpreter fails to make appropriate arrangements for an interpreter

after receiving proper notice of the hearing, including notice of

the requirement to have an interpreter present, along with

information about obtaining an interpreter.

(b) The Judicial Council shall submit its findings and

recommendations with respect to the pilot project to the Legislature

by January 31, 2001. Measurable objectives of the program may include

increased utilization of the court by parties not fluent in English,

increased efficiency in proceedings, increased compliance with

orders, enhanced coordination between courts and culturally relevant

services in the community, increased client satisfaction, and

increased public satisfaction.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3040-3049

3040.  (a) Custody should be granted in the following order of

preference according to the best interest of the child as provided in

Sections 3011 and 3020:

(1) To both parents jointly pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with

Section 3080) or to either parent. In making an order granting

custody to either parent, the court shall consider, among other

factors, which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and

continuing contact with the noncustodial parent, consistent with

Section 3011 and 3020, and shall not prefer a parent as custodian

because of that parent’s sex. The court, in its discretion, may

require the parents to submit to the court a plan for the

implementation of the custody order.

(2) If to neither parent, to the person or persons in whose home

the child has been living in a wholesome and stable environment.

(3) To any other person or persons deemed by the court to be

suitable and able to provide adequate and proper care and guidance

for the child.

(b) This section establishes neither a preference nor a

presumption for or against joint legal custody, joint physical

custody, or sole custody, but allows the court and the family the

widest discretion to choose a parenting plan that is in the best

interest of the child.

3041.  (a) Before making an order granting custody to a person or

persons other than a parent, over the objection of a parent, the

court shall make a finding that granting custody to a parent would be

detrimental to the child and that granting custody to the nonparent

is required to serve the best interest of the child. Allegations that

parental custody would be detrimental to the child, other than a

statement of that ultimate fact, shall not appear in the pleadings.

The court may, in its discretion, exclude the public from the hearing

on this issue.

(b) Subject to subdivision (d), a finding that parental custody

would be detrimental to the child shall be supported by clear and

convincing evidence.

(c) As used in this section, “detriment to the child” includes the

harm of removal from a stable placement of a child with a person who

has assumed, on a day-to-day basis, the role of his or her parent,

fulfilling both the child’s physical needs and the child’s

psychological needs for care and affection, and who has assumed that

role for a substantial period of time. A finding of detriment does

not require any finding of unfitness of the parents.

(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), if the court finds by a

preponderance of the evidence that the person to whom custody may be

given is a person described in subdivision (c), this finding shall

constitute a finding that the custody is in the best interest of the

child and that parental custody would be detrimental to the child

absent a showing by a preponderance of the evidence to the contrary.

(e) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) to (d), inclusive, if the

child is an Indian child, when an allegation is made that parental

custody would be detrimental to the child, before making an order

granting custody to a person or persons other than a parent, over the

objection of a parent, the court shall apply the evidentiary

standards described in subdivisions (d), (e), and (f) of Section 1912

of the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.) and

Sections 224.6 and 361.7 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and the

placement preferences and standards set out in Section 361.31 of the

Welfare and Institutions Code and Section 1922 of the Indian Child

Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.).

3041.5.  (a) In any custody or visitation proceeding brought under

this part, as described in Section 3021, or any guardianship

proceeding brought under the Probate Code, the court may order any

person who is seeking custody of, or visitation with, a child who is

the subject of the proceeding to undergo testing for the illegal use

of controlled substances and the use of alcohol if there is a

judicial determination based upon a preponderance of evidence that

there is the habitual, frequent, or continual illegal use of

controlled substances or the habitual or continual abuse of alcohol

by the parent, legal custodian, person seeking guardianship, or

person seeking visitation in a guardianship. This evidence may

include, but may not be limited to, a conviction within the last five

years for the illegal use or possession of a controlled substance.

The court shall order the least intrusive method of testing for the

illegal use of controlled substances or the habitual or continual

abuse of alcohol by either or both parents, the legal custodian,

person seeking guardianship, or person seeking visitation in a

guardianship. If substance abuse testing is ordered by the court, the

testing shall be performed in conformance with procedures and

standards established by the United States Department of Health and

Human Services for drug testing of federal employees. The parent,

legal custodian, person seeking guardianship, or person seeking

visitation in a guardianship who has undergone drug testing shall

have the right to a hearing, if requested, to challenge a positive

test result. A positive test result, even if challenged and upheld,

shall not, by itself, constitute grounds for an adverse custody or

guardianship decision. Determining the best interests of the child

requires weighing all relevant factors. The court shall also consider

any reports provided to the court pursuant to the Probate Code. The

results of this testing shall be confidential, shall be maintained as

a sealed record in the court file, and may not be released to any

person except the court, the parties, their attorneys, the Judicial

Council, until completion of its authorized study of the testing

process, and any person to whom the court expressly grants access by

written order made with prior notice to all parties. Any person who

has access to the test results may not disseminate copies or disclose

information about the test results to any person other than a person

who is authorized to receive the test results pursuant to this

section. Any breach of the confidentiality of the test results shall

be punishable by civil sanctions not to exceed two thousand five

hundred dollars ($2,500). The results of the testing may not be used

for any purpose, including any criminal, civil, or administrative

proceeding, except to assist the court in determining, for purposes

of the proceeding, the best interest of the child pursuant to Section

3011 and the content of the order or judgment determining custody or

visitation. The court may order either party, or both parties, to

pay the costs of the drug or alcohol testing ordered pursuant to this

section. As used in this section, “controlled substances” has the

same meaning as defined in the California Uniform Controlled

Substances Act (Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the

Health and Safety Code).

(b) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,

2013, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted

statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2013, deletes or extends

that date.

3042.  (a) If a child is of sufficient age and capacity to reason so

as to form an intelligent preference as to custody or visitation,

the court shall consider, and give due weight to, the wishes of the

child in making an order granting or modifying custody or visitation.

(b) In addition to the requirements of subdivision (b) of Section

765 of the Evidence Code, the court shall control the examination of

a child witness so as to protect the best interests of the child.

(c) If the child is 14 years of age or older and wishes to address

the court regarding custody or visitation, the child shall be

permitted to do so, unless the court determines that doing so is not

in the child’s best interests. In that case, the court shall state

its reasons for that finding on the record.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to prevent a

child who is less than 14 years of age from addressing the court

regarding custody or visitation, if the court determines that is

appropriate pursuant to the child’s best interests.

(e) If the court precludes the calling of any child as a witness,

the court shall provide alternative means of obtaining input from the

child and other information regarding the child’s preferences.

(f) To assist the court in determining whether the child wishes to

express his or her preference or to provide other input regarding

custody or visitation to the court, a minor’s counsel, an evaluator,

an investigator, or a mediator who provides recommendations to the

judge pursuant to Section 3183 shall indicate to the judge that the

child wishes to address the court, or the judge may make that inquiry

in the absence of that request. A party or a party’s attorney may

also indicate to the judge that the child wishes to address the court

or judge.

(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the

child to express to the court his or her preference or to provide

other input regarding custody or visitation.

(h) The Judicial Council shall, no later than January 1, 2012,

promulgate a rule of court establishing procedures for the

examination of a child witness, and include guidelines on methods

other than direct testimony for obtaining information or other input

from the child regarding custody or visitation.

(i) The changes made to subdivisions (a) to (g), inclusive, by the

act adding this subdivision shall become operative on January 1,

2012.

3043.  In determining the person or persons to whom custody should

be granted under paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (a) of Section

3040, the court shall consider and give due weight to the nomination

of a guardian of the person of the child by a parent under Article 1

(commencing with Section 1500) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 4

of the Probate Code.

3044.  (a) Upon a finding by the court that a party seeking custody

of a child has perpetrated domestic violence against the other party

seeking custody of the child or against the child or the child’s

siblings within the previous five years, there is a rebuttable

presumption that an award of sole or joint physical or legal custody

of a child to a person who has perpetrated domestic violence is

detrimental to the best interest of the child, pursuant to Section

3011. This presumption may only be rebutted by a preponderance of the

evidence.

(b) In determining whether the presumption set forth in

subdivision (a) has been overcome, the court shall consider all of

the following factors:

(1) Whether the perpetrator of domestic violence has demonstrated

that giving sole or joint physical or legal custody of a child to the

perpetrator is in the best interest of the child. In determining the

best interest of the child, the preference for frequent and

continuing contact with both parents, as set forth in subdivision (b)

of Section 3020, or with the noncustodial parent, as set forth in

paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 3040, may not be used to

rebut the presumption, in whole or in part.

(2) Whether the perpetrator has successfully completed a batterer’

s treatment program that meets the criteria outlined in subdivision

(c) of Section 1203.097 of the Penal Code.

(3) Whether the perpetrator has successfully completed a program

of alcohol or drug abuse counseling if the court determines that

counseling is appropriate.

(4) Whether the perpetrator has successfully completed a parenting

class if the court determines the class to be appropriate.

(5) Whether the perpetrator is on probation or parole, and whether

he or she has complied with the terms and conditions of probation or

parole.

(6) Whether the perpetrator is restrained by a protective order or

restraining order, and whether he or she has complied with its terms

and conditions.

(7) Whether the perpetrator of domestic violence has committed any

further acts of domestic violence.

(c) For purposes of this section, a person has “perpetrated

domestic violence” when he or she is found by the court to have

intentionally or recklessly caused or attempted to cause bodily

injury, or sexual assault, or to have placed a person in reasonable

apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to

another, or to have engaged in any behavior involving, but not

limited to, threatening, striking, harassing, destroying personal

property or disturbing the peace of another, for which a court may

issue an ex parte order pursuant to Section 6320 to protect the other

party seeking custody of the child or to protect the child and the

child’s siblings.

(d) (1) For purposes of this section, the requirement of a finding

by the court shall be satisfied by, among other things, and not

limited to, evidence that a party seeking custody has been convicted

within the previous five years, after a trial or a plea of guilty or

no contest, of any crime against the other party that comes within

the definition of domestic violence contained in Section 6211 and of

abuse contained in Section 6203, including, but not limited to, a

crime described in subdivision (e) of Section 243 of, or Section 261,

262, 273.5, 422, or 646.9 of, the Penal Code.

(2) The requirement of a finding by the court shall also be

satisfied if any court, whether that court hears or has heard the

child custody proceedings or not, has made a finding pursuant to

subdivision (a) based on conduct occurring within the previous five

years.

(e) When a court makes a finding that a party has perpetrated

domestic violence, the court may not base its findings solely on

conclusions reached by a child custody evaluator or on the

recommendation of the Family Court Services staff, but shall consider

any relevant, admissible evidence submitted by the parties.

(f) In any custody or restraining order proceeding in which a

party has alleged that the other party has perpetrated domestic

violence in accordance with the terms of this section, the court

shall inform the parties of the existence of this section and shall

give them a copy of this section prior to any custody mediation in

the case.

3046.  (a) If a party is absent or relocates from the family

residence, the court shall not consider the absence or relocation as

a factor in determining custody or visitation in either of the

following circumstances:

(1) The absence or relocation is of short duration and the court

finds that, during the period of absence or relocation, the party has

demonstrated an interest in maintaining custody or visitation, the

party maintains, or makes reasonable efforts to maintain, regular

contact with the child, and the party’s behavior demonstrates no

intent to abandon the child.

(2) The party is absent or relocates because of an act or acts of

actual or threatened domestic or family violence by the other party.

(b) The court may consider attempts by one party to interfere with

the other party’s regular contact with the child in determining if

the party has satisfied the requirements of subdivision (a).

(c)  This section does not apply to either of the following:

(1)  A party against whom a protective or restraining order has

been issued excluding the party from the dwelling of the other party

or the child, or otherwise enjoining the party from assault or

harassment against the other party or the child, including, but not

limited to, orders issued under Part 4 (commencing with Section 6300)

of Division 10, orders preventing civil harassment or workplace

violence issued pursuant to Section 527.6 or 527.8 of the Code of

Civil Procedure, and criminal protective orders issued pursuant to

Section 136.2 of the Penal Code.

(2) A party who abandons a child as provided in Section 7822.

3047.  (a) A party’s absence, relocation, or failure to comply with

custody and visitation orders shall not, by itself, be sufficient to

justify a modification of a custody or visitation order if the reason

for the absence, relocation, or failure to comply is the party’s

activation to military duty or temporary duty, mobilization in

support of combat or other military operation, or military deployment

out of state.

(b) (1) If a party with sole or joint physical custody or

visitation receives temporary duty, deployment, or mobilization

orders from the military that require the party to move a substantial

distance from his or her residence or otherwise has a material

effect on the ability of the party to exercise custody or visitation

rights, a modification of the existing custody order shall be deemed

a temporary custody order, which shall be subject to review and

reconsideration upon the return of the party from military

deployment, mobilization, or temporary duty. If the temporary order

is reviewed upon return of the party from military deployment,

mobilization, or temporary duty, there shall be a presumption that

the custody order shall revert to the order that was in place before

the modification, unless the court determines that it is not in the

best interest of the child.

(2) (A) If the court makes a temporary custody order, it shall

consider any appropriate orders to ensure that the relocating party

can maintain frequent and continuing contact with the child by means

that are reasonably available.

(B) Upon a motion by the relocating party, the court may grant

reasonable visitation rights to a stepparent, grandparent, or other

family member if the court does all of the following:

(i) Finds that there is a preexisting relationship between the

family member and the child that has engendered a bond such that

visitation is in the best interest of the child.

(ii) Finds that the visitation will facilitate the child’s contact

with the relocating party.

(iii) Balances the interest of the child in having visitation with

the family member against the right of the parents to exercise

parental authority.

(C) Nothing in this paragraph shall increase the authority of the

persons described in subparagraph (B) to seek visitation orders

independently.

(D) The granting of visitation rights to a nonparent pursuant to

subparagraph (B) shall not impact the calculation of child support.

(c) If a party’s deployment, mobilization, or temporary duty will

have a material effect on his or her ability, or anticipated ability,

to appear in person at a regularly scheduled hearing, the court

shall do either of the following:

(1) Upon motion of the party, hold an expedited hearing to

determine custody and visitation issues prior to the departure of the

party.

(2) Upon motion of the party, allow the party to present testimony

and evidence and participate in court-ordered child custody

mediation by electronic means, including, but not limited to,

telephone, video teleconferencing, or the Internet, to the extent

that this technology is reasonably available to the court and

protects the due process rights of all parties.

(d) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the

following meanings:

(1) “Deployment” means the temporary transfer of a member of the

Armed Forces in active-duty status in support of combat or some other

military operation.

(2) “Mobilization” means the transfer of a member of the National

Guard or Military Reserve to extended active-duty status, but does

not include National Guard or Military Reserve annual training.

(3) “Temporary duty” means the transfer of a service member from

one military base to a different location, usually another base, for

a limited period of time to accomplish training or to assist in the

performance of a noncombat mission.

(e) It is the intent of the Legislature that this section provide

a fair, efficient, and expeditious process to resolve child custody

and visitation issues when a party receives temporary duty,

deployment, or mobilization orders from the military.

3048.  (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in any

proceeding to determine child custody or visitation with a child,

every custody or visitation order shall contain all of the following:

(1) The basis for the court’s exercise of jurisdiction.

(2) The manner in which notice and opportunity to be heard were

given.

(3) A clear description of the custody and visitation rights of

each party.

(4) A provision stating that a violation of the order may subject

the party in violation to civil or criminal penalties, or both.

(5) Identification of the country of habitual residence of the

child or children.

(b) (1) In cases in which the court becomes aware of facts which

may indicate that there is a risk of abduction of a child, the court

shall, either on its own motion or at the request of a party,

determine whether measures are needed to prevent the abduction of the

child by one parent. To make that determination, the court shall

consider the risk of abduction of the child, obstacles to location,

recovery, and return if the child is abducted, and potential harm to

the child if he or she is abducted. To determine whether there is a

risk of abduction, the court shall consider the following factors:

(A) Whether a party has previously taken, enticed away, kept,

withheld, or concealed a child in violation of the right of custody

or of visitation of a person.

(B) Whether a party has previously threatened to take, entice

away, keep, withhold, or conceal a child in violation of the right of

custody or of visitation of a person.

(C) Whether a party lacks strong ties to this state.

(D) Whether a party has strong familial, emotional, or cultural

ties to another state or country, including foreign citizenship. This

factor shall be considered only if evidence exists in support of

another factor specified in this section.

(E) Whether a party has no financial reason to stay in this state,

including whether the party is unemployed, is able to work anywhere,

or is financially independent.

(F) Whether a party has engaged in planning activities that would

facilitate the removal of a child from the state, including quitting

a job, selling his or her primary residence, terminating a lease,

closing a bank account, liquidating other assets, hiding or

destroying documents, applying for a passport, applying to obtain a

birth certificate or school or medical records, or purchasing

airplane or other travel tickets, with consideration given to whether

a party is carrying out a safety plan to flee from domestic

violence.

(G) Whether a party has a history of a lack of parental

cooperation or child abuse, or there is substantiated evidence that a

party has perpetrated domestic violence.

(H) Whether a party has a criminal record.

(2) If the court makes a finding that there is a need for

preventative measures after considering the factors listed in

paragraph (1), the court shall consider taking one or more of the

following measures to prevent the abduction of the child:

(A) Ordering supervised visitation.

(B) Requiring a parent to post a bond in an amount sufficient to

serve as a financial deterrent to abduction, the proceeds of which

may be used to offset the cost of recovery of the child in the event

there is an abduction.

(C) Restricting the right of the custodial or noncustodial parent

to remove the child from the county, the state, or the country.

(D) Restricting the right of the custodial parent to relocate with

the child, unless the custodial parent provides advance notice to,

and obtains the written agreement of, the noncustodial parent, or

obtains the approval of the court, before relocating with the child.

(E) Requiring the surrender of passports and other travel

documents.

(F) Prohibiting a parent from applying for a new or replacement

passport for the child.

(G) Requiring a parent to notify a relevant foreign consulate or

embassy of passport restrictions and to provide the court with proof

of that notification.

(H) Requiring a party to register a California order in another

state as a prerequisite to allowing a child to travel to that state

for visits, or to obtain an order from another country containing

terms identical to the custody and visitation order issued in the

United States (recognizing that these orders may be modified or

enforced pursuant to the laws of the other country), as a

prerequisite to allowing a child to travel to that county for visits.

(I) Obtaining assurances that a party will return from foreign

visits by requiring the traveling parent to provide the court or the

other parent or guardian with any of the following:

(i) The travel itinerary of the child.

(ii) Copies of round trip airline tickets.

(iii) A list of addresses and telephone numbers where the child

can be reached at all times.

(iv) An open airline ticket for the left-behind parent in case the

child is not returned.

(J) Including provisions in the custody order to facilitate use of

the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (Part 3

(commencing with Section 3400)) and the Hague Convention on the Civil

Aspects of International Child Abduction (implemented pursuant to 42

U.S.C. Sec. 11601 et seq.), such as identifying California as the

home state of the child or otherwise defining the basis for the

California court’s exercise of jurisdiction under Part 3 (commencing

with Section 3400), identifying the United States as the country of

habitual residence of the child pursuant to the Hague Convention,

defining custody rights pursuant to the Hague Convention, obtaining

the express agreement of the parents that the United States is the

country of habitual residence of the child, or that California or the

United States is the most appropriate forum for addressing custody

and visitation orders.

(K) Authorizing the assistance of law enforcement.

(3) If the court imposes any or all of the conditions listed in

paragraph (2), those conditions shall be specifically noted on the

minute order of the court proceedings.

(4) If the court determines there is a risk of abduction that is

sufficient to warrant the application of one or more of the

prevention measures authorized by this section, the court shall

inform the parties of the telephone number and address of the Child

Abduction Unit in the office of the district attorney in the county

where the custody or visitation order is being entered.

(c) The Judicial Council shall make the changes to its child

custody order forms that are necessary for the implementation of

subdivision (b). This subdivision shall become operative on July 1,

2003.

(d) Nothing in this section affects the applicability of Section

278.7 of the Penal Code.

3049.  It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section

to codify the decision of the California Supreme Court in In re

Marriage of Carney (1979) 24 Cal.3d 725, with respect to custody and

visitation determinations by the court involving a disabled parent.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3060-3064

3060.  A petition for a temporary custody order, containing the

statement required by Section 3409, may be included with the initial

filing of the petition or action or may be filed at any time after

the initial filing.

3061.  If the parties have agreed to or reached an understanding on

the custody or temporary custody of their children, a copy of the

agreement or an affidavit as to their understanding shall be attached

to the petition or action. As promptly as possible after this

filing, the court shall, except in exceptional circumstances, enter

an order granting temporary custody in accordance with the agreement

or understanding or in accordance with any stipulation of the

parties.

3062.  (a) In the absence of an agreement, understanding, or

stipulation, the court may, if jurisdiction is appropriate, enter an

ex parte temporary custody order, set a hearing date within 20 days,

and issue an order to show cause on the responding party. If the

responding party does not appear or respond within the time set, the

temporary custody order may be extended as necessary, pending the

termination of the proceedings.

(b) If, despite good faith efforts, service of the ex parte order

and order to show cause has not been effected in a timely fashion and

there is reason to believe, based on an affidavit, or other manner

of proof made under penalty of perjury, by the petitioner, that the

responding party has possession of the minor child and seeks to avoid

the jurisdiction of the court or is concealing the whereabouts of

the child, then the hearing date may be reset and the ex parte order

extended up to an additional 90 days. After service has been

effected, either party may request ex parte that the hearing date be

advanced or the ex parte order be dissolved or modified.

3063.  In conjunction with any ex parte order seeking or modifying

an order of custody, the court shall enter an order restraining the

person receiving custody from removing the child from the state

pending notice and a hearing on the order seeking or modifying

custody.

3064.  (a) The court shall refrain from making an order granting or

modifying a custody order on an ex parte basis unless there has been

a showing of immediate harm to the child or immediate risk that the

child will be removed from the State of California.

(b) “Immediate harm to the child” includes, but is not limited to,

the following:

(1) Having a parent who has committed acts of domestic violence,

where the court determines that the acts of domestic violence are of

recent origin or are a part of a demonstrated and continuing pattern

of acts of domestic violence.

(2) Sexual abuse of the child, where the court determines that the

acts of sexual abuse are of recent origin or are a part of a

demonstrated and continuing pattern of acts of sexual abuse.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3080-3089

3080.  There is a presumption, affecting the burden of proof, that

joint custody is in the best interest of a minor child, subject to

Section 3011, where the parents have agreed to joint custody or so

agree in open court at a hearing for the purpose of determining the

custody of the minor child.

3081.  On application of either parent, joint custody may be ordered

in the discretion of the court in cases other than those described

in Section 3080, subject to Section 3011. For the purpose of

assisting the court in making a determination whether joint custody

is appropriate under this section, the court may direct that an

investigation be conducted pursuant to Chapter 6 (commencing with

Section 3110).

3082.  When a request for joint custody is granted or denied, the

court, upon the request of any party, shall state in its decision the

reasons for granting or denying the request. A statement that joint

physical custody is, or is not, in the best interest of the child is

not sufficient to satisfy the requirements of this section.

3083.  In making an order of joint legal custody, the court shall

specify the circumstances under which the consent of both parents is

required to be obtained in order to exercise legal control of the

child and the consequences of the failure to obtain mutual consent.

In all other circumstances, either parent acting alone may exercise

legal control of the child. An order of joint legal custody shall not

be construed to permit an action that is inconsistent with the

physical custody order unless the action is expressly authorized by

the court.

3084.  In making an order of joint physical custody, the court shall

specify the rights of each parent to physical control of the child

in sufficient detail to enable a parent deprived of that control to

implement laws for relief of child snatching and kidnapping.

3085.  In making an order for custody with respect to both parents,

the court may grant joint legal custody without granting joint

physical custody.

3086.  In making an order of joint physical custody or joint legal

custody, the court may specify one parent as the primary caretaker of

the child and one home as the primary home of the child, for the

purposes of determining eligibility for public assistance.

3087.  An order for joint custody may be modified or terminated upon

the petition of one or both parents or on the court’s own motion if

it is shown that the best interest of the child requires modification

or termination of the order. If either parent opposes the

modification or termination order, the court shall state in its

decision the reasons for modification or termination of the joint

custody order.

3088.  An order for the custody of a minor child entered by a court

in this state or any other state may, subject to the jurisdictional

requirements in Sections 3403 and 3414, be modified at any time to an

order for joint custody in accordance with this chapter.

3089.  In counties having a conciliation court, the court or the

parties may, at any time, pursuant to local rules of court, consult

with the conciliation court for the purpose of assisting the parties

to formulate a plan for implementation of the custody order or to

resolve a controversy which has arisen in the implementation of a

plan for custody.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3100-3105

3100.  (a) In making an order pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with

Section 3080), the court shall grant reasonable visitation rights to

a parent unless it is shown that the visitation would be detrimental

to the best interest of the child. In the discretion of the court,

reasonable visitation rights may be granted to any other person

having an interest in the welfare of the child.

(b) If a protective order, as defined in Section 6218, has been

directed to a parent, the court shall consider whether the best

interest of the child requires that any visitation by that parent

shall be limited to situations in which a third person, specified by

the court, is present, or whether visitation shall be suspended or

denied. The court shall include in its deliberations a consideration

of the nature of the acts from which the parent was enjoined and the

period of time that has elapsed since that order. A parent may submit

to the court the name of a person that the parent deems suitable to

be present during visitation.

(c)  If visitation is ordered in a case in which domestic violence

is alleged and an emergency protective order, protective order, or

other restraining order has been issued, the visitation order shall

specify the time, day, place, and manner of transfer of the child, so

as to limit the child’s exposure to potential domestic conflict or

violence and to ensure the safety of all family members. If a

criminal protective order has been issued pursuant to Section 136.2

of the Penal Code, the visitation order shall make reference to, and

acknowledge the precedence of enforcement of, any appropriate

criminal protective order.

(d)  If the court finds a party is staying in a place designated

as a shelter for victims of domestic violence or other confidential

location, the court’s order for time, day, place, and manner of

transfer of the child for visitation shall be designed to prevent

disclosure of the location of the shelter or other confidential

location.

3101.  (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court may

grant reasonable visitation to a stepparent, if visitation by the

stepparent is determined to be in the best interest of the minor

child.

(b) If a protective order, as defined in Section 6218, has been

directed to a stepparent to whom visitation may be granted pursuant

to this section, the court shall consider whether the best interest

of the child requires that any visitation by the stepparent be

denied.

(c) Visitation rights may not be ordered under this section that

would conflict with a right of custody or visitation of a birth

parent who is not a party to the proceeding.

(d) As used in this section:

(1) “Birth parent” means “birth parent” as defined in Section

8512.

(2) “Stepparent” means a person who is a party to the marriage

that is the subject of the proceeding, with respect to a minor child

of the other party to the marriage.

3102.  (a) If either parent of an unemancipated minor child is

deceased, the children, siblings, parents, and grandparents of the

deceased parent may be granted reasonable visitation with the child

during the child’s minority upon a finding that the visitation would

be in the best interest of the minor child.

(b) In granting visitation pursuant to this section to a person

other than a grandparent of the child, the court shall consider the

amount of personal contact between the person and the child before

the application for the visitation order.

(c) This section does not apply if the child has been adopted by a

person other than a stepparent or grandparent of the child. Any

visitation rights granted pursuant to this section before the

adoption of the child automatically terminate if the child is adopted

by a person other than a stepparent or grandparent of the child.

3103.  (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in a

proceeding described in Section 3021, the court may grant reasonable

visitation to a grandparent of a minor child of a party to the

proceeding if the court determines that visitation by the grandparent

is in the best interest of the child.

(b) If a protective order as defined in Section 6218 has been

directed to the grandparent during the pendency of the proceeding,

the court shall consider whether the best interest of the child

requires that visitation by the grandparent be denied.

(c) The petitioner shall give notice of the petition to each of

the parents of the child, any stepparent, and any person who has

physical custody of the child, by certified mail, return receipt

requested, postage prepaid, to the person’s last known address, or to

the attorneys of record of the parties to the proceeding.

(d) There is a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of

proof that the visitation of a grandparent is not in the best

interest of a minor child if the child’s parents agree that the

grandparent should not be granted visitation rights.

(e) Visitation rights may not be ordered under this section if

that would conflict with a right of custody or visitation of a birth

parent who is not a party to the proceeding.

(f) Visitation ordered pursuant to this section shall not create a

basis for or against a change of residence of the child, but shall

be one of the factors for the court to consider in ordering a change

of residence.

(g) When a court orders grandparental visitation pursuant to this

section, the court in its discretion may, based upon the relevant

circumstances of the case:

(1) Allocate the percentage of grandparental visitation between

the parents for purposes of the calculation of child support pursuant

to the statewide uniform guideline (Article 2 (commencing with

Section 4050) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 9).

(2) Notwithstanding Sections 3930 and 3951, order a parent or

grandparent to pay to the other, an amount for the support of the

child or grandchild. For purposes of this paragraph, “support” means

costs related to visitation such as any of the following:

(A) Transportation.

(B) Provision of basic expenses for the child or grandchild, such

as medical expenses, day care costs, and other necessities.

(h) As used in this section, “birth parent” means “birth parent”

as defined in Section 8512.

3104.  (a) On petition to the court by a grandparent of a minor

child, the court may grant reasonable visitation rights to the

grandparent if the court does both of the following:

(1) Finds that there is a preexisting relationship between the

grandparent and the grandchild that has engendered a bond such that

visitation is in the best interest of the child.

(2) Balances the interest of the child in having visitation with

the grandparent against the right of the parents to exercise their

parental authority.

(b) A petition for visitation under this section may not be filed

while the natural or adoptive parents are married, unless one or more

of the following circumstances exist:

(1) The parents are currently living separately and apart on a

permanent or indefinite basis.

(2) One of the parents has been absent for more than one month

without the other spouse knowing the whereabouts of the absent

spouse.

(3) One of the parents joins in the petition with the

grandparents.

(4) The child is not residing with either parent.

(5) The child has been adopted by a stepparent.

At any time that a change of circumstances occurs such that none

of these circumstances exist, the parent or parents may move the

court to terminate grandparental visitation and the court shall grant

the termination.

(c) The petitioner shall give notice of the petition to each of

the parents of the child, any stepparent, and any person who has

physical custody of the child, by personal service pursuant to

Section 415.10 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(d) If a protective order as defined in Section 6218 has been

directed to the grandparent during the pendency of the proceeding,

the court shall consider whether the best interest of the child

requires that any visitation by that grandparent should be denied.

(e) There is a rebuttable presumption that the visitation of a

grandparent is not in the best interest of a minor child if the

natural or adoptive parents agree that the grandparent should not be

granted visitation rights.

(f) There is a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of

proof that the visitation of a grandparent is not in the best

interest of a minor child if the parent who has been awarded sole

legal and physical custody of the child in another proceeding, or the

parent with whom the child resides if there is currently no

operative custody order objects to visitation by the grandparent.

(g) Visitation rights may not be ordered under this section if

that would conflict with a right of custody or visitation of a birth

parent who is not a party to the proceeding.

(h) Visitation ordered pursuant to this section shall not create a

basis for or against a change of residence of the child, but shall

be one of the factors for the court to consider in ordering a change

of residence.

(i) When a court orders grandparental visitation pursuant to this

section, the court in its discretion may, based upon the relevant

circumstances of the case:

(1) Allocate the percentage of grandparental visitation between

the parents for purposes of the calculation of child support pursuant

to the statewide uniform guideline (Article 2 (commencing with

Section 4050) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 9).

(2) Notwithstanding Sections 3930 and 3951, order a parent or

grandparent to pay to the other, an amount for the support of the

child or grandchild. For purposes of this paragraph, “support” means

costs related to visitation such as any of the following:

(A) Transportation.

(B) Provision of basic expenses for the child or grandchild, such

as medical expenses, day care costs, and other necessities.

(j) As used in this section, “birth parent” means “birth parent”

as defined in Section 8512.

3105.  (a) The Legislature finds and declares that a parent’s

fundamental right to provide for the care, custody, companionship,

and management of his or her children, while compelling, is not

absolute. Children have a fundamental right to maintain healthy,

stable relationships with a person who has served in a significant,

judicially approved parental role.

(b) The court may grant reasonable visitation rights to a person

who previously served as the legal guardian of a child, if visitation

is determined to be in the best interest of the minor child.

(c) In the absence of a court order granting or denying visitation

between a former legal guardian and his or her former minor ward,

and if a dependency proceeding is not pending, a former legal

guardian may maintain an independent action for visitation with his

or her former minor ward. If the child does not have at least one

living parent, visitation shall not be determined in a proceeding

under the Family Code, but shall instead be determined in a

guardianship proceeding which may be initiated for that purpose.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3110-3118

3110.  As used in this chapter, “court-appointed investigator” means

a probation officer, domestic relations investigator, or

court-appointed evaluator directed by the court to conduct an

investigation pursuant to this chapter.

3110.5.  (a) No person may be a court-connected or private child

custody evaluator under this chapter unless the person has completed

the domestic violence and child abuse training program described in

Section 1816 and has complied with Rules 5.220 and 5.230 of the

California Rules of Court.

(b) (1) On or before January 1, 2002, the Judicial Council shall

formulate a statewide rule of court that establishes education,

experience, and training requirements for all child custody

evaluators appointed pursuant to this chapter, Section 730 of the

Evidence Code, or Chapter 15 (commencing with Section 2032.010) of

Title 4 of Part 4 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(A) The rule shall require a child custody evaluator to declare

under penalty of perjury that he or she meets all of the education,

experience, and training requirements specified in the rule and, if

applicable, possesses a license in good standing. The Judicial

Council shall establish forms to implement this section. The rule

shall permit court-connected evaluators to conduct evaluations if

they meet all of the qualifications established by the Judicial

Council. The education, experience, and training requirements to be

specified for court-connected evaluators shall include, but not be

limited to, knowledge of the psychological and developmental needs of

children and parent-child relationships.

(B) The rule shall require all evaluators to utilize comparable

interview, assessment, and testing procedures for all parties that

are consistent with generally accepted clinical, forensic,

scientific, diagnostic, or medical standards. The rule shall also

require evaluators to inform each adult party of the purpose, nature,

and method of the evaluation.

(C) The rule may allow courts to permit the parties to stipulate

to an evaluator of their choosing with the approval of the court

under the circumstances set forth in subdivision (d). The rule may

require courts to provide general information about how parties can

contact qualified child custody evaluators in their county.

(2) On or before January 1, 2004, the Judicial Council shall

include in the statewide rule of court created pursuant to this

section a requirement that all court-connected and private child

custody evaluators receive training in the nature of child sexual

abuse. The Judicial Council shall develop standards for this training

that shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(A) Children’s patterns of hiding and disclosing sexual abuse

occurring in a family setting.

(B) The effects of sexual abuse on children.

(C) The nature and extent of child sexual abuse.

(D) The social and family dynamics of child sexual abuse.

(E) Techniques for identifying and assisting families affected by

child sexual abuse.

(F) Legal rights, protections, and remedies available to victims

of child sexual abuse.

(c) In addition to the education, experience, and training

requirements established by the Judicial Council pursuant to

subdivision (b), on or after January 1, 2005, no person may be a

child custody evaluator under this chapter, Section 730 of the

Evidence Code, or Chapter 15 (commencing with Section 2032.010) of

Title 4 of Part 4 of the Code of Civil Procedure unless the person

meets one of the following criteria:

(1) He or she is licensed as a physician under Chapter 5

(commencing with Section 2000) of Division 2 of the Business and

Professions Code and either is a board certified psychiatrist or has

completed a residency in psychiatry.

(2) He or she is licensed as a psychologist under Chapter 6.6

(commencing with Section 2900) of Division 2 of the Business and

Professions Code.

(3) He or she is licensed as a marriage and family therapist under

Chapter 13 (commencing with Section 4980) of Division 2 of the

Business and Professions Code.

(4) He or she is licensed as a clinical social worker under

Article 4 (commencing with Section 4996) of Chapter 14 of Division 2

of the Business and Professions Code.

(5) He or she is a court-connected evaluator who has been

certified by the court as meeting all of the qualifications for

court-connected evaluators as specified by the Judicial Council

pursuant to subdivision (b).

(d) Subdivision (c) does not apply in any case where the court

determines that there are no evaluators who meet the criteria of

subdivision (c) who are willing and available, within a reasonable

period of time, to perform child custody evaluations. In those cases,

the parties may stipulate to an individual who does not meet the

criteria of subdivision (c), subject to approval by the court.

(e) A child custody evaluator who is licensed by the Medical Board

of California, the Board of Psychology, or the Board of Behavioral

Sciences shall be subject to disciplinary action by that board for

unprofessional conduct, as defined in the licensing law applicable to

that licensee.

(f) On or after January 1, 2005, a court-connected or private

child custody evaluator may not evaluate, investigate, or mediate an

issue of child custody in a proceeding pursuant to this division

unless that person has completed child sexual abuse training as

required by this section.

3111.  (a) In any contested proceeding involving child custody or

visitation rights, the court may appoint a child custody evaluator to

conduct a child custody evaluation in cases where the court

determines it is in the best interests of the child. The child

custody evaluation shall be conducted in accordance with the

standards adopted by the Judicial Council pursuant to Section 3117,

and all other standards adopted by the Judicial Council regarding

child custody evaluations. If directed by the court, the

court-appointed child custody evaluator shall file a written

confidential report on his or her evaluation. At least 10 days before

any hearing regarding custody of the child, the report shall be

filed with the clerk of the court in which the custody hearing will

be conducted and served on the parties or their attorneys, and any

other counsel appointed for the child pursuant to Section 3150. The

report may be considered by the court.

(b) The report shall not be made available other than as provided

in subdivision (a), or as described in Section 204 of the Welfare and

Institutions Code or Section 1514.5 of the Probate Code. Any

information obtained from access to a juvenile court case file, as

defined in subdivision (e) of Section 827 of the Welfare and

Institutions Code, is confidential and shall only be disseminated as

provided by paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 827 of the

Welfare and Institutions Code.

(c) The report may be received in evidence on stipulation of all

interested parties and is competent evidence as to all matters

contained in the report.

(d) If the court determines that an unwarranted disclosure of a

written confidential report has been made, the court may impose a

monetary sanction against the disclosing party. The sanction shall be

in an amount sufficient to deter repetition of the conduct, and may

include reasonable attorney’s fees, costs incurred, or both, unless

the court finds that the disclosing party acted with substantial

justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the

sanction unjust. The court shall not impose a sanction pursuant to

this subdivision that imposes an unreasonable financial burden on the

party against whom the sanction is imposed. This subdivision shall

become operative on January 1, 2010.

(e) The Judicial Council shall, by January 1, 2010, do the

following:

(1) Adopt a form to be served with every child custody evaluation

report that informs the report recipient of the confidentiality of

the report and the potential consequences for the unwarranted

disclosure of the report.

(2) Adopt a rule of court to require that, when a court-ordered

child custody evaluation report is served on the parties, the form

specified in paragraph (1) shall be included with the report.

(f) For purposes of this section, a disclosure is unwarranted if

it is done either recklessly or maliciously, and is not in the best

interests of the child.

3112.  (a) Where a court-appointed investigator is directed by the

court to conduct a custody investigation or evaluation pursuant to

this chapter or to undertake visitation work, including necessary

evaluation, supervision, and reporting, the court shall inquire into

the financial condition of the parent, guardian, or other person

charged with the support of the minor. If the court finds the parent,

guardian, or other person able to pay all or part of the expense of

the investigation, report, and recommendation, the court may make an

order requiring the parent, guardian, or other person to repay the

court the amount the court determines proper.

(b) The repayment shall be made to the court. The court shall keep

suitable accounts of the expenses and repayments and shall deposit

the collections as directed by the Judicial Council.

3113.  Where there has been a history of domestic violence between

the parties, or where a protective order as defined in Section 6218

is in effect, at the request of the party alleging domestic violence

in a written declaration under penalty of perjury or at the request

of a party who is protected by the order, the parties shall meet with

the court-appointed investigator separately and at separate times.

3114.  Nothing in this chapter prohibits a court-appointed

investigator from recommending to the court that counsel be appointed

pursuant to Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 3150) to represent

the minor child. In making that recommendation, the court-appointed

investigator shall inform the court of the reasons why it would be in

the best interest of the child to have counsel appointed.

3115.  No statement, whether written or oral, or conduct shall be

held to constitute a waiver by a party of the right to cross-examine

the court-appointed investigator, unless the statement is made, or

the conduct occurs, after the report has been received by a party or

his or her attorney.

3116.  Nothing in this chapter limits the duty of a court-appointed

investigator to assist the appointing court in the transaction of the

business of the court.

3117.  The Judicial Council shall, by January 1, 1999, do both of

the following:

(a) Adopt standards for full and partial court-connected

evaluations, investigations, and assessments related to child

custody.

(b) Adopt procedural guidelines for the expeditious and

cost-effective cross-examination of court-appointed investigators,

including, but not limited to, the use of electronic technology

whereby the court-appointed investigator may not need to be present

in the courtroom. These guidelines shall in no way limit the

requirement that the court-appointed investigator be available for

the purposes of cross-examination. These guidelines shall also

provide for written notification to the parties of the right to

cross-examine these investigators after the parties have had a

reasonable time to review the investigator’s report.

3118.  (a) In any contested proceeding involving child custody or

visitation rights, where the court has appointed a child custody

evaluator or has referred a case for a full or partial

court-connected evaluation, investigation, or assessment, and the

court determines that there is a serious allegation of child sexual

abuse, the court shall require an evaluation, investigation, or

assessment pursuant to this section. When the court has determined

that there is a serious allegation of child sexual abuse, any child

custody evaluation, investigation, or assessment conducted subsequent

to that determination shall be considered by the court only if the

evaluation, investigation, or assessment is conducted in accordance

with the minimum requirements set forth in this section in

determining custody or visitation rights, except as specified in

paragraph (1). For purposes of this section, a serious allegation of

child sexual abuse means an allegation of child sexual abuse, as

defined in Section 11165.1 of the Penal Code, that is based in whole

or in part on statements made by the child to law enforcement, a

child welfare services agency investigator, any person required by

statute to report suspected child abuse, or any other court-appointed

personnel, or that is supported by substantial independent

corroboration as provided for in subdivision (b) of Section 3011.

When an allegation of child abuse arises in any other circumstances

in any proceeding involving child custody or visitation rights, the

court may require an evaluator or investigator to conduct an

evaluation, investigation, or assessment pursuant to this section.

The order appointing a child custody evaluator or investigator

pursuant to this section shall provide that the evaluator or

investigator have access to all juvenile court records pertaining to

the child who is the subject of the evaluation, investigation, or

assessment. The order shall also provide that any juvenile court

records or information gained from those records remain confidential

and shall only be released as specified in Section 3111.

(1) This section does not apply to any emergency court-ordered

partial investigation that is conducted for the purpose of assisting

the court in determining what immediate temporary orders may be

necessary to protect and meet the immediate needs of a child. This

section does apply when the emergency is resolved and the court is

considering permanent child custody or visitation orders.

(2) This section does not prohibit a court from considering

evidence relevant to determining the safety and protection needs of

the child.

(3) Any evaluation, investigation, or assessment conducted

pursuant to this section shall be conducted by an evaluator or

investigator who meets the qualifications set forth in Section

3110.5.

(b) The evaluator or investigator shall, at a minimum, do all of

the following:

(1) Consult with the agency providing child welfare services and

law enforcement regarding the allegations of child sexual abuse, and

obtain recommendations from these professionals regarding the child’s

safety and the child’s need for protection.

(2) Review and summarize the child welfare services agency file.

No document contained in the child welfare services agency file may

be photocopied, but a summary of the information in the file,

including statements made by the children and the parents, and the

recommendations made or anticipated to be made by the child welfare

services agency to the juvenile court, may be recorded by the

evaluator or investigator, except for the identity of the reporting

party. The evaluator’s or investigator’s notes summarizing the child

welfare services agency information shall be stored in a file

separate from the evaluator’s or investigator’s file and may only be

released to either party under order of the court.

(3) Obtain from a law enforcement investigator all available

information obtained from criminal background checks of the parents

and any suspected perpetrator that is not a parent, including

information regarding child abuse, domestic violence, or substance

abuse.

(4) Review the results of a multidisciplinary child interview team

(hereafter MDIT) interview if available, or if not, or if the

evaluator or investigator believes the MDIT interview is inadequate

for purposes of the evaluation, investigation, or assessment,

interview the child or request an MDIT interview, and shall wherever

possible avoid repeated interviews of the child.

(5) Request a forensic medical examination of the child from the

appropriate agency, or include in the report required by paragraph

(6) a written statement explaining why the examination is not needed.

(6) File a confidential written report with the clerk of the court

in which the custody hearing will be conducted and which shall be

served on the parties or their attorneys at least 10 days prior to

the hearing. This report may not be made available other than as

provided in this subdivision. This report shall include, but is not

limited to, the following:

(A) Documentation of material interviews, including any MDIT

interview of the child or the evaluator or investigator, written

documentation of interviews with both parents by the evaluator or

investigator, and interviews with other witnesses who provided

relevant information.

(B) A summary of any law enforcement investigator’s investigation,

including information obtained from the criminal background check of

the parents and any suspected perpetrator that is not a parent,

including information regarding child abuse, domestic violence, or

substance abuse.

(C) Relevant background material, including, but not limited to, a

summary of a written report from any therapist treating the child

for suspected child sexual abuse, excluding any communication subject

to Section 1014 of the Evidence Code, reports from other

professionals, and the results of any forensic medical examination

and any other medical examination or treatment that could help

establish or disprove whether the child has been the victim of sexual

abuse.

(D) The written recommendations of the evaluator or investigator

regarding the therapeutic needs of the child and how to ensure the

safety of the child.

(E) A summary of the following information: whether the child and

his or her parents are or have been the subject of a child abuse

investigation and the disposition of that investigation; the name,

location, and telephone number of the children’s services worker; the

status of the investigation and the recommendations made or

anticipated to be made regarding the child’s safety; and any

dependency court orders or findings that might have a bearing on the

custody dispute.

(F) Any information regarding the presence of domestic violence or

substance abuse in the family that has been obtained from a child

protective agency in accordance with paragraphs (1) and (2), a law

enforcement agency, medical personnel or records, prior or currently

treating therapists, excluding any communication subject to Section

1014 of the Evidence Code, or from interviews conducted or reviewed

for this evaluation, investigation, or assessment.

(G) Which, if any, family members are known to have been deemed

eligible for assistance from the Victims of Crime Program due to

child abuse or domestic violence.

(H) Any other information the evaluator or investigator believes

would be helpful to the court in determining what is in the best

interests of the child.

(c) If the evaluator or investigator obtains information as part

of a family court mediation, that information shall be maintained in

the family court file, which is not subject to subpoena by either

party. If, however, the members of the family are the subject of an

ongoing child welfare services investigation, or the evaluator or

investigator has made a child welfare services referral, the

evaluator or investigator shall so inform the family law judicial

officer in writing and this information shall become part of the

family law file. This subdivision may not be construed to authorize

or require a mediator to disclose any information not otherwise

authorized or required by law to be disclosed.

(d) In accordance with subdivision (d) of Section 11167 of the

Penal Code, the evaluator or investigator may not disclose any

information regarding the identity of any person making a report of

suspected child abuse. Nothing in this section is intended to limit

any disclosure of information by any agency that is otherwise

required by law or court order.

(e) The evaluation, investigation, or assessment standards set

forth in this section represent minimum requirements of evaluation

and the court shall order further evaluation beyond these minimum

requirements when necessary to determine the safety needs of the

child.

(f) If the court orders an evaluation, investigation, or

assessment pursuant to this section, the court shall consider whether

the best interests of the child require that a temporary order be

issued that limits visitation with the parent against whom the

allegations have been made to situations in which a third person

specified by the court is present or whether visitation will be

suspended or denied in accordance with Section 3011.

(g) An evaluation, investigation, or assessment pursuant to this

section shall be suspended if a petition is filed to declare the

child a dependent child of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 300

of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and all information gathered

by the evaluator or investigator shall be made available to the

juvenile court.

(h) This section may not be construed to authorize a court to

issue any orders in a proceeding pursuant to this division regarding

custody or visitation with respect to a minor child who is the

subject of a dependency hearing in juvenile court or to otherwise

supersede Section 302 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3120-3121

3120.  Without filing a petition for dissolution of marriage or

legal separation of the parties, the husband or wife may bring an

action for the exclusive custody of the children of the marriage. The

court may, during the pendency of the action, or at the final

hearing thereof, or afterwards, make such order regarding the

support, care, custody, education, and control of the children of the

marriage as may be just and in accordance with the natural rights of

the parents and the best interest of the children. The order may be

modified or terminated at any time thereafter as the natural rights

of the parties and the best interest of the children may require.

3121.  (a) In any proceeding pursuant to Section 3120, and in any

proceeding subsequent to entry of a related judgment, the court shall

ensure that each party has access to legal representation, including

access early in the proceedings, to preserve each party’s rights by

ordering, if necessary based on the income and needs assessments, one

party, except a government entity, to pay to the other party, or to

the other party’s attorney, whatever amount is reasonably necessary

for attorney’s fees and for the cost of maintaining or defending the

proceeding during the pendency of the proceeding.

(b) When a request for attorney’s fees and costs is made, the

court shall make findings on whether an award of attorney’s fees and

costs under this section is appropriate, whether there is a disparity

in access to funds to retain counsel, and whether one party is able

to pay for legal representation of both parties. If the findings

demonstrate disparity in access and ability to pay, the court shall

make an order awarding attorney’s fees and costs. A party who lacks

the financial ability to hire an attorney may request, as an in pro

per litigant, that the court order the other party, if that other

party has the financial ability, to pay a reasonable amount to allow

the unrepresented party to retain an attorney in a timely manner

before proceedings in the matter go forward.

(c) Attorney’s fees and costs within this section may be awarded

for legal services rendered or costs incurred before or after the

commencement of the proceeding.

(d) The court shall augment or modify the original award for

attorney’s fees and costs as may be reasonably necessary for the

prosecution or defense of a proceeding described in Section 3120, or

any proceeding related thereto, including after any appeal has been

concluded.

(e) Except as provided in subdivision (f), an application for a

temporary order making, augmenting, or modifying an award of attorney’

s fees, including a reasonable retainer to hire an attorney, or

costs, or both, shall be made by motion on notice or by an order to

show cause during the pendency of any proceeding described in Section

3120.

(f) The court shall rule on an application for fees under this

section within 15 days of the hearing on the motion or order to show

cause. An order described in subdivision (a) may be made without

notice by an oral motion in open court at either of the following

times:

(1) At the time of the hearing of the cause on the merits.

(2) At any time before entry of judgment against a party whose

default has been entered pursuant to Section 585 or 586 of the Code

of Civil Procedure. The court shall rule on any motion made pursuant

to this subdivision within 15 days and prior to the entry of any

judgment.

(g) The Judicial Council shall, by January 1, 2012, adopt a

statewide rule of court to implement this section and develop a form

for the information that shall be submitted to the court to obtain an

award of attorney’s fees under this section.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3130-3135

3130.  If a petition to determine custody of a child has been filed

in a court of competent jurisdiction, or if a temporary order pending

determination of custody has been entered in accordance with Chapter

3 (commencing with Section 3060), and the whereabouts of a party in

possession of the child are not known, or there is reason to believe

that the party may not appear in the proceedings although ordered to

appear personally with the child pursuant to Section 3430, the

district attorney shall take all actions necessary to locate the

party and the child and to procure compliance with the order to

appear with the child for purposes of adjudication of custody. The

petition to determine custody may be filed by the district attorney.

3131.  If a custody or visitation order has been entered by a court

of competent jurisdiction and the child is taken or detained by

another person in violation of the order, the district attorney shall

take all actions necessary to locate and return the child and the

person who violated the order and to assist in the enforcement of the

custody or visitation order or other order of the court by use of an

appropriate civil or criminal proceeding.

3132.  In performing the functions described in Sections 3130 and

3131, the district attorney shall act on behalf of the court and

shall not represent any party to the custody proceedings.

3133.  If the district attorney represents to the court, by a

written declaration under penalty of perjury, that a temporary

custody order is needed to recover a child who is being detained or

concealed in violation of a court order or a parent’s right to

custody, the court may issue an order, placing temporary sole

physical custody in the parent or person recommended by the district

attorney to facilitate the return of the child to the jurisdiction of

the court, pending further hearings. If the court determines that it

is not in the best interest of the child to place temporary sole

physical custody in the parent or person recommended by the district

attorney, the court shall appoint a person to take charge of the

child and return the child to the jurisdiction of the court.

3134.  (a) When the district attorney incurs expenses pursuant to

this chapter, including expenses incurred in a sister state, payment

of the expenses may be advanced by the county subject to

reimbursement by the state, and shall be audited by the Controller

and paid by the State Treasury according to law.

(b) The court in which the custody proceeding is pending or which

has continuing jurisdiction shall, if appropriate, allocate liability

for the reimbursement of actual expenses incurred by the district

attorney to either or both parties to the proceedings, and that

allocation shall constitute a judgment for the state for the funds

advanced pursuant to this section. The county shall take reasonable

action to enforce that liability and shall transmit all recovered

funds to the state.

3134.5.  (a) Upon request of the district attorney, the court may

issue a protective custody warrant to secure the recovery of an

unlawfully detained or concealed child. The request by the district

attorney shall include a written declaration under penalty of perjury

that a warrant for the child is necessary in order for the district

attorney to perform the duties described in Sections 3130 and 3131.

The protective custody warrant for the child shall contain an order

that the arresting agency shall place the child in protective

custody, or return the child as directed by the court. The protective

custody warrant may be served in any county in the same manner as a

warrant of arrest and may be served at any time of the day or night.

(b) Upon a declaration of the district attorney that the child has

been recovered or that the warrant is otherwise no longer required,

the court may dismiss the warrant without further court proceedings.

3135.  Part 3 (commencing with Section 3400) does not limit the

authority of a district attorney or arresting agency to act pursuant

to this chapter, Section 279.6 of the Penal Code, or any other

applicable law.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3140

3140.  (a) Subject to subdivisions (b) and (c), before granting or

modifying a custody order in a case in which one or both parents of

the child have not appeared either personally or by counsel, the

court shall require the parent, petitioner, or other party appearing

in the case to submit a certified copy of the child’s birth

certificate to the court. The court or its designee shall forward the

certified copy of the birth certificate to the local police or

sheriff’s department which shall check with the National Crime

Information Center Missing Person System to ascertain whether the

child has been reported missing or is the victim of an abduction and

shall report the results of the check to the court.

(b) If the custody matter before the court also involves a

petition for the dissolution of marriage or the adjudication of

paternity rights or duties, this section applies only to a case in

which there is no proof of personal service of the petition on the

absent parent.

(c) For good cause shown, the court may waive the requirements of

this section.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3150-3153

3150.  (a) If the court determines that it would be in the best

interest of the minor child, the court may appoint private counsel to

represent the interests of the child in a custody or visitation

proceeding, provided that the court and counsel comply with the

requirements set forth in Rules 5.240, 5.241, and 5.242 of the

California Rules of Court.

(b) Upon entering an appearance on behalf of a child pursuant to

this chapter, counsel shall continue to represent that child unless

relieved by the court upon the substitution of other counsel by the

court or for cause.

3151.  (a) The child’s counsel appointed under this chapter is

charged with the representation of the child’s best interests. The

role of the child’s counsel is to gather evidence that bears on the

best interests of the child, and present that admissible evidence to

the court in any manner appropriate for the counsel of a party. If

the child so desires, the child’s counsel shall present the child’s

wishes to the court. The counsel’s duties, unless under the

circumstances it is inappropriate to exercise the duty, include

interviewing the child, reviewing the court files and all accessible

relevant records available to both parties, and making any further

investigations as the counsel considers necessary to ascertain

evidence relevant to the custody or visitation hearings.

(b) Counsel shall serve notices and pleadings on all parties,

consistent with requirements for parties. Counsel shall not be called

as a witness in the proceeding. Counsel may introduce and examine

counsel’s own witnesses, present arguments to the court concerning

the child’s welfare, and participate further in the proceeding to the

degree necessary to represent the child adequately.

(c) The child’s counsel shall have the following rights:

(1) Reasonable access to the child.

(2) Standing to seek affirmative relief on behalf of the child.

(3) Notice of any proceeding, and all phases of that proceeding,

including a request for examination affecting the child.

(4) The right to take any action that is available to a party to

the proceeding, including, but not limited to, the following: filing

pleadings, making evidentiary objections, and presenting evidence and

being heard in the proceeding, which may include, but shall not be

limited to, presenting motions and orders to show cause, and

participating in settlement conferences, trials, seeking writs,

appeals, and arbitrations.

(5) Access to the child’s medical, dental, mental health, and

other health care records, school and educational records, and the

right to interview school personnel, caretakers, health care

providers, mental health professionals, and others who have assessed

the child or provided care to the child. The release of this

information to counsel shall not constitute a waiver of the

confidentiality of the reports, files, and any disclosed

communications. Counsel may interview mediators; however, the

provisions of Sections 3177 and 3182 shall apply.

(6) The right to reasonable advance notice of and the right to

refuse any physical or psychological examination or evaluation, for

purposes of the proceeding, which has not been ordered by the court.

(7) The right to assert or waive any privilege on behalf of the

child.

(8) The right to seek independent psychological or physical

examination or evaluation of the child for purposes of the pending

proceeding, upon approval by the court.

3151.5.  If a child is represented by court appointed counsel, at

every hearing in which the court makes a judicial determination

regarding custody or visitation the court shall consider any

statement of issues and contentions of the child’s counsel. Any party

may subpoena as a witness any person listed in the statement of

issues and contentions as having provided information to the

attorney, but the attorney shall not be called as a witness.

3152.  (a) The child’s counsel may, upon noticed motion to all

parties and the local child protective services agency, request the

court to authorize release of relevant reports or files, concerning

the child represented by the counsel, of the relevant local child

protective services agency.

(b) The court shall review the reports or files in camera in order

to determine whether they are relevant to the pending action and

whether and to what extent they should be released to the child’s

counsel.

(c) Neither the review by the court nor the release to counsel

shall constitute a waiver of the confidentiality of the reports and

files. Counsel shall not disclose the contents or existence of the

reports or files to anyone unless otherwise permitted by law.

3153.  (a) If the court appoints counsel under this chapter to

represent the child, counsel shall receive a reasonable sum for

compensation and expenses, the amount of which shall be determined by

the court. Except as provided in subdivision (b), this amount shall

be paid by the parties in the proportions the court deems just.

(b) Upon its own motion or that of a party, the court shall

determine whether both parties together are financially unable to pay

all or a portion of the cost of counsel appointed pursuant to this

chapter, and the portion of the cost of that counsel which the court

finds the parties are unable to pay shall be paid by the county. The

Judicial Council shall adopt guidelines to assist in determining

financial eligibility for county payment of counsel appointed by the

court pursuant to this chapter.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3160-3165

3160.  Each superior court shall make a mediator available. The

court is not required to institute a family conciliation court in

order to provide mediation services.

3161.  The purposes of a mediation proceeding are as follows:

(a) To reduce acrimony that may exist between the parties.

(b) To develop an agreement assuring the child close and

continuing contact with both parents that is in the best interest of

the child, consistent with Sections 3011 and 3020.

(c) To effect a settlement of the issue of visitation rights of

all parties that is in the best interest of the child.

3162.  (a) Mediation of cases involving custody and visitation

concerning children shall be governed by uniform standards of

practice adopted by the Judicial Council.

(b) The standards of practice shall include, but not be limited

to, all of the following:

(1) Provision for the best interest of the child and the

safeguarding of the rights of the child to frequent and continuing

contact with both parents, consistent with Sections 3011 and 3020.

(2) Facilitation of the transition of the family by detailing

factors to be considered in decisions concerning the child’s future.

(3) The conducting of negotiations in such a way as to equalize

power relationships between the parties.

(c) In adopting the standards of practice, the Judicial Council

shall consider standards developed by recognized associations of

mediators and attorneys and other relevant standards governing

mediation of proceedings for the dissolution of marriage.

(d) The Judicial Council shall offer training with respect to the

standards to mediators.

3163.  Courts shall develop local rules to respond to requests for a

change of mediators or to general problems relating to mediation.

3164.  (a) The mediator may be a member of the professional staff of

a family conciliation court, probation department, or mental health

services agency, or may be any other person or agency designated by

the court.

(b) The mediator shall meet the minimum qualifications required of

a counselor of conciliation as provided in Section 1815.

3165.  Any person, regardless of administrative title, hired on or

after January 1, 1998, who is responsible for clinical supervision of

evaluators, investigators, or mediators or who directly supervises

or administers the Family Court Services evaluation or mediation

programs shall meet the same continuing education requirements

specified in Section 1816 for supervising and associate counselors of

conciliation.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3170-3173

3170.  (a) If it appears on the face of a petition, application, or

other pleading to obtain or modify a temporary or permanent custody

or visitation order that custody, visitation, or both are contested,

the court shall set the contested issues for mediation.

(b) Domestic violence cases shall be handled by Family Court

Services in accordance with a separate written protocol approved by

the Judicial Council. The Judicial Council shall adopt guidelines for

services, other than services provided under this chapter, that

counties may offer to parents who have been unable to resolve their

disputes. These services may include, but are not limited to, parent

education programs, booklets, video recordings, or referrals to

additional community resources.

3171.  (a) If a stepparent or grandparent has petitioned, or

otherwise applied, for a visitation order pursuant to Chapter 5

(commencing with Section 3100), the court shall set the matter for

mediation.

(b) A natural or adoptive parent who is not a party to the

proceeding is not required to participate in the mediation

proceeding, but failure to participate is a waiver of that parent’s

right to object to a settlement reached by the other parties during

mediation or to require a hearing on the matter.

3172.  Mediation shall not be denied to the parties on the basis

that paternity is at issue in a proceeding before the court.

3173.  (a) Upon the adoption of a resolution by the board of

supervisors authorizing the procedure, a petition may be filed

pursuant to this chapter for mediation of a dispute relating to an

existing order for custody, visitation, or both.

(b) The mediation of a dispute concerning an existing order shall

be set not later than 60 days after the filing of the petition.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3175-3188

3175.  If a matter is set for mediation pursuant to this chapter,

the mediation shall be set before or concurrent with the setting of

the matter for hearing.

3176.  (a) Notice of mediation and of any hearing to be held

pursuant to this chapter shall be given to the following persons:

(1) Where mediation is required to settle a contested issue of

custody or visitation, to each party and to each party’s counsel of

record.

(2) Where a stepparent or grandparent seeks visitation rights, to

the stepparent or grandparent seeking visitation rights, to each

parent of the child, and to each parent’s counsel of record.

(b) Notice shall be given by certified mail, return receipt

requested, postage prepaid, to the last known address.

(c) Notice of mediation pursuant to Section 3188 shall state that

all communications involving the mediator shall be kept confidential

between the mediator and the disputing parties.

3177.  Mediation proceedings pursuant to this chapter shall be held

in private and shall be confidential. All communications, verbal or

written, from the parties to the mediator made in the proceeding are

official information within the meaning of Section 1040 of the

Evidence Code.

3178.  An agreement reached by the parties as a result of mediation

shall be limited as follows:

(a) Where mediation is required to settle a contested issue of

custody or visitation, the agreement shall be limited to the

resolution of issues relating to parenting plans, custody,

visitation, or a combination of these issues.

(b) Where a stepparent or grandparent seeks visitation rights, the

agreement shall be limited to the resolution of issues relating to

visitation.

3179.  A custody or visitation agreement reached as a result of

mediation may be modified at any time at the discretion of the court,

subject to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 3020), Chapter 2

(commencing with Section 3040), Chapter 4 (commencing with Section

3080), and Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 3100).

3180.  (a) In mediation proceedings pursuant to this chapter, the

mediator has the duty to assess the needs and interests of the child

involved in the controversy, and is entitled to interview the child

where the mediator considers the interview appropriate or necessary.

(b) The mediator shall use his or her best efforts to effect a

settlement of the custody or visitation dispute that is in the best

interest of the child, as provided in Section 3011.

3181.  (a) In a proceeding in which mediation is required pursuant

to this chapter, where there has been a history of domestic violence

between the parties or where a protective order as defined in Section

6218 is in effect, at the request of the party alleging domestic

violence in a written declaration under penalty of perjury or

protected by the order, the mediator appointed pursuant to this

chapter shall meet with the parties separately and at separate times.

(b) Any intake form that an agency charged with providing family

court services requires the parties to complete before the

commencement of mediation shall state that, if a party alleging

domestic violence in a written declaration under penalty of perjury

or a party protected by a protective order so requests, the mediator

will meet with the parties separately and at separate times.

3182.  (a) The mediator has authority to exclude counsel from

participation in the mediation proceedings pursuant to this chapter

if, in the mediator’s discretion, exclusion of counsel is appropriate

or necessary.

(b) The mediator has authority to exclude a domestic violence

support person from a mediation proceeding as provided in Section

6303.

3183.  (a) Except as provided in Section 3188, the mediator may,

consistent with local court rules, submit a recommendation to the

court as to the custody of or visitation with the child, if the

mediator has first provided the parties and their attorneys,

including counsel for any minor children, with the recommendations in

writing in advance of the hearing. The court shall make an inquiry

at the hearing as to whether the parties and their attorneys have

received the recommendations in writing. If the mediator is

authorized to submit a recommendation to the court pursuant to this

subdivision, the mediation and recommendation process shall be

referred to as “child custody recommending counseling” and the

mediator shall be referred to as a “child custody recommending

counselor.” Mediators who make those recommendations are considered

mediators for purposes of Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 3160),

and shall be subject to all requirements for mediators for all

purposes under this code and the California Rules of Court. On and

after January 1, 2012, all court communications and information

regarding the child custody recommending counseling process shall

reflect the change in the name of the process and the name of the

providers.

(b) If the parties have not reached agreement as a result of the

mediation proceedings, the mediator may recommend to the court that

an investigation be conducted pursuant to Chapter 6 (commencing with

Section 3110) or that other services be offered to assist the parties

to effect a resolution of the controversy before a hearing on the

issues.

(c) In appropriate cases, the mediator may recommend that

restraining orders be issued, pending determination of the

controversy, to protect the well-being of the child involved in the

controversy.

3184.  Except as provided in Section 3188, nothing in this chapter

prohibits the mediator from recommending to the court that counsel be

appointed, pursuant to Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 3150), to

represent the minor child. In making this recommendation, the

mediator shall inform the court of the reasons why it would be in the

best interest of the minor child to have counsel appointed.

3185.  (a) If issues that may be resolved by agreement pursuant to

Section 3178 are not resolved by an agreement of all the parties who

participate in mediation, the mediator shall inform the court in

writing and the court shall set the matter for hearing on the

unresolved issues.

(b) Where a stepparent or grandparent requests visitation, each

natural or adoptive parent and the stepparent or grandparent shall be

given an opportunity to appear and be heard on the issue of

visitation.

3186.  (a) An agreement reached by the parties as a result of

mediation shall be reported to counsel for the parties by the

mediator on the day set for mediation or as soon thereafter as

practical, but before the agreement is reported to the court.

(b) An agreement may not be confirmed or otherwise incorporated in

an order unless each party, in person or by counsel of record, has

affirmed and assented to the agreement in open court or by written

stipulation.

(c) An agreement may be confirmed or otherwise incorporated in an

order if a party fails to appear at a noticed hearing on the issue

involved in the agreement.

3188.  (a)  Any court selected by the Judicial Council under

subdivision (c) may voluntarily adopt a confidential mediation

program that provides for all of the following:

(1) The mediator may not make a recommendation as to custody or

visitation to anyone other than the disputing parties, except as

otherwise provided in this section.

(2) If total or partial agreement is reached in mediation, the

mediator may report this fact to the court. If both parties consent

in writing, where there is a partial agreement, the mediator may

report to the court a description of the issues still in dispute,

without specific reference to either party.

(3) In making the recommendation described in Section 3184, the

mediator may not inform the court of the reasons why it would be in

the best interest of the minor child to have counsel appointed.

(4) If the parties have not reached agreement as a result of the

initial mediation, this section does not prohibit the court from

requiring subsequent mediation that may result in a recommendation as

to custody or visitation with the child if the subsequent mediation

is conducted by a different mediator with no prior involvement with

the case or knowledge of any communications, as defined in Section

1040 of the Evidence Code, with respect to the initial mediation. The

court, however, shall inform the parties that the mediator will make

a recommendation to the court regarding custody or visitation in the

event that the parties cannot reach agreement on these issues.

(5) If an initial screening or intake process indicates that the

case involves serious safety risks to the child, such as domestic

violence, sexual abuse, or serious substance abuse, the court may

provide an initial emergency assessment service that includes a

recommendation to the court concerning temporary custody or

visitation orders in order to expeditiously address those safety

issues.

(b) This section shall become operative upon the appropriation of

funds in the annual Budget Act sufficient to implement this section.

(c) This section shall apply only in four or more counties

selected by the Judicial Council that currently allow a mediator to

make custody recommendations to the court and have more than 1,000

family law case filings per year. The Judicial Council may also make

this section applicable to additional counties that have fewer than

1,000 family law case filings per year.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3190-3192

3190.  (a) The court may require parents or any other party involved

in a custody or visitation dispute, and the minor child, to

participate in outpatient counseling with a licensed mental health

professional, or through other community programs and services that

provide appropriate counseling, including, but not limited to, mental

health or substance abuse services, for not more than one year,

provided that the program selected has counseling available for the

designated period of time, if the court finds both of the following:

(1) The dispute between the parents, between the parent or parents

and the child, between the parent or parents and another party

seeking custody or visitation rights with the child, or between a

party seeking custody or visitation rights and the child, poses a

substantial danger to the best interest of the child.

(2) The counseling is in the best interest of the child.

(b) In determining whether a dispute, as described in paragraph

(1) of subdivision (a), poses a substantial danger to the best

interest of the child, the court shall consider, in addition to any

other factors the court determines relevant, any history of domestic

violence, as defined in Section 6211, within the past five years

between the parents, between the parent or parents and the child,

between the parent or parents and another party seeking custody or

visitation rights with the child, or between a party seeking custody

or visitation rights and the child.

(c) Subject to Section 3192, if the court finds that the financial

burden created by the order for counseling does not otherwise

jeopardize a party’s other financial obligations, the court shall fix

the cost and shall order the entire cost of the services to be borne

by the parties in the proportions the court deems reasonable.

(d) The court, in its finding, shall set forth reasons why it has

found both of the following:

(1) The dispute poses a substantial danger to the best interest of

the child and the counseling is in the best interest of the child.

(2) The financial burden created by the court order for counseling

does not otherwise jeopardize a party’s other financial obligations.

(e) The court shall not order the parties to return to court upon

the completion of counseling. Any party may file a new order to show

cause or motion after counseling has been completed, and the court

may again order counseling consistent with this chapter.

3191.  The counseling pursuant to this chapter shall be specifically

designed to facilitate communication between the parties regarding

their minor child’s best interest, to reduce conflict regarding

custody or visitation, and to improve the quality of parenting skills

of each parent.

3192.  In a proceeding in which counseling is ordered pursuant to

this chapter, where there has been a history of abuse by either

parent against the child or by one parent against the other parent

and a protective order as defined in Section 6218 is in effect, the

court may order the parties to participate in counseling separately

and at separate times. Each party shall bear the cost of his or her

own counseling separately, unless good cause is shown for a different

apportionment. The costs associated with a minor child participating

in counseling shall be apportioned in accordance with Section 4062.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3200-3204

3200.  The Judicial Council shall develop standards for supervised

visitation providers in accordance with the guidelines set forth in

this section. For the purposes of the development of these standards,

the term “provider” shall include any individual who functions as a

visitation monitor, as well as supervised visitation centers.

Provisions shall be made within the standards to allow for the

diversity of supervised visitation providers.

(a) When developing standards, the Judicial Council shall consider

all of the following issues:

(1) The provider’s qualifications, experience, and education.

(2) Safety and security procedures, including ratios of children

per supervisor.

(3) Any conflict of interest.

(4) Maintenance and disclosure of records, including

confidentiality policies.

(5) Procedures for screening, delineation of terms and conditions,

and termination of supervised visitation services.

(6) Procedures for emergency or extenuating situations.

(7) Orientation to and guidelines for cases in which there are

allegations of domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse, or

special circumstances.

(8) The legal obligations and responsibilities of supervisors.

(b) The Judicial Council shall consult with visitation centers,

mothers’ groups, fathers’ groups, judges, the State Bar of

California, children’s advocacy groups, domestic violence prevention

groups, Family Court Services, and other groups it regards as

necessary in connection with these standards.

(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that the safety of

children, adults, and visitation supervisors be a precondition to

providing visitation services. Once safety is assured, the best

interest of the child is the paramount consideration at all stages

and particularly in deciding the manner in which supervision is

provided.

3201.  Any supervised visitation maintained or imposed by the court

shall be administered in accordance with Section 26.2 of the

California Standards of Judicial Administration recommended by the

Judicial Council.

3201.  (a) The programs described in this chapter shall be

administered by the family law division of the superior court in the

county.

(b) For purposes of this chapter, “education about protecting

children during family disruption” includes education on parenting

skills and the impact of parental conflict on children, how to put a

parenting agreement into effect, and the responsibility of both

parents to comply with custody and visitation orders.

3202.  (a) All supervised visitation and exchange programs funded

pursuant to this chapter shall comply with all requirements of the

Uniform Standards of Practice for Providers of Supervised Visitation

set forth in Section 26.2 of the Standards of Judicial Administration

as amended. The family law division of the superior court may

contract with eligible providers of supervised visitation and

exchange services, education, and group counseling to provide

services under this chapter.

(b) As used in this section, “eligible provider” means:

(1) For providers of supervised visitation and exchange services,

a local public agency or nonprofit entity that satisfies the Uniform

Standards of Practice for Providers of Supervised Visitation.

(2) For providers of group counseling, a professional licensed to

practice psychotherapy in this state, including, but not limited to,

a licensed psychiatrist, licensed psychologist, licensed clinical

social worker, or licensed marriage and family therapist; or a mental

health intern working under the direct supervision of a professional

licensed to practice psychotherapy.

(3) For providers of education, a professional with a bachelor’s

or master’s degree in human behavior, child development, psychology,

counseling, family-life education, or a related field, having

specific training in issues relating to child and family development,

substance abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, effective

parenting, and the impact of divorce and interparental conflict on

children; or an intern working under the supervision of that

professional.

3203.  Subject to the availability of federal funding for the

purposes of this chapter, the family law division of the superior

court in each county may establish and administer a supervised

visitation and exchange program, programs for education about

protecting children during family disruption, and group counseling

programs for parents and children under this chapter. The programs

shall allow parties and children to participate in supervised

visitation between a custodial party and a noncustodial party or

joint custodians, and to participate in the education and group

counseling programs, irrespective of whether the parties are or are

not married to each other or are currently living separately and

apart on a permanent or temporary basis.

3204.  (a) The Judicial Council shall annually submit an application

to the federal Administration for Children and Families, pursuant to

Section 669B of the “1996 Federal Personal Responsibility and Work

Opportunity Recovery Act” (PRWORA), for a grant to fund child custody

and visitation programs pursuant to this chapter.

The Judicial Council shall be charged with the administration of

the grant funds.

(b) (1) It is the intention of the Legislature that, effective

October 1, 2000, the grant funds described in subdivision (a) shall

be used to fund the following three types of programs: supervised

visitation and exchange services, education about protecting children

during family disruption, and group counseling for parents and

children, as set forth in this chapter. Contracts shall follow a

standard request for proposal procedure, that may include multiple

year funding. Requests for proposals shall meet all state and federal

requirements for receiving access and visitation grant funds.

(2) The grant funds shall be awarded with the intent of approving

as many requests for proposals as possible while assuring that each

approved proposal would provide beneficial services and satisfy the

overall goals of the program under this chapter. The Judicial Council

shall determine the final number and amount of grants. Requests for

proposals shall be evaluated based on the following criteria:

(A) Availability of services to a broad population of parties.

(B) The ability to expand existing services.

(C) Coordination with other community services.

(D) The hours of service delivery.

(E) The number of counties or regions participating.

(F) Overall cost-effectiveness.

(G) The purpose of the program to promote and encourage healthy

parent and child relationships between noncustodial parents and their

children, while ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of the

children.

(3) Special consideration for grant funds shall be given to

proposals that coordinate supervised visitation and exchange

services, education, and group counseling with existing court-based

programs and services.

(c) The family law division of the superior court in each county

shall approve sliding scale fees that are based on the ability to pay

for all parties, including low-income families, participating in a

supervised visitation and exchange, education, and group counseling

programs under this chapter.

(d) The Judicial Council shall, on March 1, 2002, and on the first

day of March of each subsequent even-numbered year, report to the

Legislature on the programs funded pursuant to this chapter and

whether and to what extent those programs are achieving the goal of

promoting and encouraging healthy parent and child relationships

between noncustodial or joint custodial parents and their children

while ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of children, and the

other goals described in this chapter.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3400-3412

3400.  This part may be cited as the Uniform Child Custody

Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

3402.  As used in this part:

(a) “Abandoned” means left without provision for reasonable and

necessary care or supervision.

(b) “Child” means an individual who has not attained 18 years of

age.

(c) “Child custody determination” means a judgment, decree, or

other order of a court providing for the legal custody, physical

custody, or visitation with respect to a child. The term includes a

permanent, temporary, initial, and modification order. The term does

not include an order relating to child support or other monetary

obligation of an individual.

(d) “Child custody proceeding” means a proceeding in which legal

custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child is

an issue. The term includes a proceeding for dissolution of marriage,

legal separation of the parties, neglect, abuse, dependency,

guardianship, paternity, termination of parental rights, and

protection from domestic violence, in which the issue may appear. The

term does not include a proceeding involving juvenile delinquency,

contractual emancipation, or enforcement under Chapter 3 (commencing

with Section 3441).

(e) “Commencement” means the filing of the first pleading in a

proceeding.

(f) “Court” means an entity authorized under the law of a state to

establish, enforce, or modify a child custody determination.

(g) “Home state” means the state in which a child lived with a

parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive

months immediately before the commencement of a child custody

proceeding. In the case of a child less than six months of age, the

term means the state in which the child lived from birth with any of

the persons mentioned. A period of temporary absence of any of the

mentioned persons is part of the period.

(h) “Initial determination” means the first child custody

determination concerning a particular child.

(i) “Issuing court” means the court that makes a child custody

determination for which enforcement is sought under this part.

(j) “Issuing state” means the state in which a child custody

determination is made.

(k) “Modification” means a child custody determination that

changes, replaces, supersedes, or is otherwise made after a previous

determination concerning the same child, whether or not it is made by

the court that made the previous determination.

(l) “Person” means an individual, corporation, business trust,

estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association,

joint venture, or government; governmental subdivision, agency, or

instrumentality; public corporation; or any other legal or commercial

entity.

(m) “Person acting as a parent” means a person, other than a

parent, who: (1) has physical custody of the child or has had

physical custody for a period of six consecutive months, including

any temporary absence, within one year immediately before the

commencement of a child custody proceeding; and (2) has been awarded

legal custody by a court or claims a right to legal custody under the

law of this state.

(n) “Physical custody” means the physical care and supervision of

a child.

(o) “State” means a state of the United States, the District of

Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any

territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the

United States.

(p) “Tribe” means an Indian tribe or band, or Alaskan Native

village, that is recognized by federal law or formally acknowledged

by a state.

(q) “Warrant” means an order issued by a court authorizing law

enforcement officers to take physical custody of a child.

3403.  This part does not govern an adoption proceeding or a

proceeding pertaining to the authorization of emergency medical care

for a child.

3404.  (a) A child custody proceeding that pertains to an Indian

child as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901

et seq.) is not subject to this part to the extent that it is

governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act.

(b) A court of this state shall treat a tribe as if it were a

state of the United States for the purpose of applying this chapter

and Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 3421).

(c) A child custody determination made by a tribe under factual

circumstances in substantial conformity with the jurisdictional

standards of this part must be recognized and enforced under Chapter

3 (commencing with Section 3441).

3405.  (a) A court of this state shall treat a foreign country as if

it were a state of the United States for the purpose of applying

this chapter and Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 3421).

(b) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (c), a child

custody determination made in a foreign country under factual

circumstances in substantial conformity with the jurisdictional

standards of this part must be recognized and enforced under Chapter

3 (commencing with Section 3441).

(c) A court of this state need not apply this part if the child

custody law of a foreign country violates fundamental principles of

human rights.

3406.  A child custody determination made by a court of this state

that had jurisdiction under this part binds all persons who have been

served in accordance with the laws of this state or notified in

accordance with Section 3408 or who have submitted to the

jurisdiction of the court, and who have been given an opportunity to

be heard. As to those persons, the determination is conclusive as to

all decided issues of law and fact except to the extent the

determination is modified.

3407.  If a question of existence or exercise of jurisdiction under

this part is raised in a child custody proceeding, the question, upon

request of a party, must be given priority on the calendar and

handled expeditiously.

3408.  (a) Notice required for the exercise of jurisdiction when a

person is outside this state may be given in a manner prescribed by

the law of this state for service of process or by the law of the

state in which the service is made. Notice must be given in a manner

reasonably calculated to give actual notice but may be by publication

if other means are not effective.

(b) Proof of service may be made in the manner prescribed by the

law of this state or by the law of the state in which the service is

made.

(c) Notice is not required for the exercise of jurisdiction with

respect to a person who submits to the jurisdiction of the court.

3409.  (a) A party to a child custody proceeding, including a

modification proceeding, or a petitioner or respondent in a

proceeding to enforce or register a child custody determination, is

not subject to personal jurisdiction in this state for another

proceeding or purpose solely by reason of having participated, or of

having been physically present for the purpose of participating, in

the proceeding.

(b) A person who is subject to personal jurisdiction in this state

on a basis other than physical presence is not immune from service

of process in this state. A party present in this state who is

subject to the jurisdiction of another state is not immune from

service of process allowable under the laws of that state.

(c) The immunity granted by subdivision (a) does not extend to

civil litigation based on acts unrelated to the participation in a

proceeding under this part committed by an individual while present

in this state.

3410.  (a) A court of this state may communicate with a court in

another state concerning a proceeding arising under this part.

(b) The court may allow the parties to participate in the

communication. If the parties are not able to participate in the

communication, they must be given the opportunity to present facts

and legal arguments before a decision on jurisdiction is made.

(c) Communication between courts on schedules, calendars, court

records, and similar matters may occur without informing the parties.

A record need not be made of the communication.

(d) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (c), a record must

be made of a communication under this section. The parties must be

informed promptly of the communication and granted access to the

record.

(e) For the purposes of this section, “record” means information

that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an

electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.

3411.  (a) In addition to other procedures available to a party, a

party to a child custody proceeding may offer testimony of witnesses

who are located in another state, including testimony of the parties

and the child, by deposition or other means allowable in this state

for testimony taken in another state. The court, on its own motion,

may order that the testimony of a person be taken in another state

and may prescribe the manner in which and the terms upon which the

testimony is taken.

(b) A court of this state may permit an individual residing in

another state to be deposed or to testify by telephone, audiovisual

means, or other electronic means before a designated court or at

another location in that state. A court of this state shall cooperate

with courts of other states in designating an appropriate location

for the deposition or testimony.

(c) Documentary evidence transmitted from another state to a court

of this state by technological means that do not produce an original

writing may not be excluded from evidence on an objection based on

the means of transmission.

3412.  (a) A court of this state may request the appropriate court

of another state to do all of the following:

(1) Hold an evidentiary hearing.

(2) Order a person to produce or give evidence pursuant to

procedures of that state.

(3) Order that an evaluation be made with respect to the custody

of a child involved in a pending proceeding.

(4) Forward to the court of this state a certified copy of the

transcript of the record of the hearing, the evidence otherwise

presented, and any evaluation prepared in compliance with the

request.

(5) Order a party to a child custody proceeding or any person

having physical custody of the child to appear in the proceeding with

or without the child.

(b) Upon request of a court of another state, a court of this

state may hold a hearing or enter an order described in subdivision

(a).

(c) Travel and other necessary and reasonable expenses incurred

under subdivisions (a) and (b) may be assessed against the parties

according to the law of this state.

(d) A court of this state shall preserve the pleadings, orders,

decrees, records of hearings, evaluations, and other pertinent

records with respect to a child custody proceeding until the child

attains 18 years of age. Upon appropriate request by a court or law

enforcement official of another state, the court shall forward a

certified copy of those records.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3421-3430

3421.  (a) Except as otherwise provided in Section 3424, a court of

this state has jurisdiction to make an initial child custody

determination only if any of the following are true:

(1) This state is the home state of the child on the date of the

commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child

within six months before the commencement of the proceeding and the

child is absent from this state but a parent or person acting as a

parent continues to live in this state.

(2) A court of another state does not have jurisdiction under

paragraph (1), or a court of the home state of the child has declined

to exercise jurisdiction on the grounds that this state is the more

appropriate forum under Section 3427 or 3428, and both of the

following are true:

(A) The child and the child’s parents, or the child and at least

one parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant

connection with this state other than mere physical presence.

(B) Substantial evidence is available in this state concerning the

child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships.

(3) All courts having jurisdiction under paragraph (1) or (2) have

declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that a court of this

state is the more appropriate forum to determine the custody of the

child under Section 3427 or 3428.

(4) No court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the

criteria specified in paragraph (1), (2), or (3).

(b) Subdivision (a) is the exclusive jurisdictional basis for

making a child custody determination by a court of this state.

(c) Physical presence of, or personal jurisdiction over, a party

or a child is not necessary or sufficient to make a child custody

determination.

3422.  (a) Except as otherwise provided in Section 3424, a court of

this state that has made a child custody determination consistent

with Section 3421 or 3423 has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction over

the determination until either of the following occurs:

(1) A court of this state determines that neither the child, nor

the child and one parent, nor the child and a person acting as a

parent have a significant connection with this state and that

substantial evidence is no longer available in this state concerning

the child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships.

(2) A court of this state or a court of another state determines

that the child, the child’s parents, and any person acting as a

parent do not presently reside in this state.

(b) A court of this state that has made a child custody

determination and does not have exclusive, continuing jurisdiction

under this section may modify that determination only if it has

jurisdiction to make an initial determination under Section 3421.

3423.  Except as otherwise provided in Section 3424, a court of this

state may not modify a child custody determination made by a court

of another state unless a court of this state has jurisdiction to

make an initial determination under paragraph (1) or (2) of

subdivision (a) of Section 3421 and either of the following

determinations is made:

(a) The court of the other state determines it no longer has

exclusive, continuing jurisdiction under Section 3422 or that a court

of this state would be a more convenient forum under Section 3427.

(b) A court of this state or a court of the other state determines

that the child, the child’s parents, and any person acting as a

parent do not presently reside in the other state.

3424.  (a) A court of this state has temporary emergency

jurisdiction if the child is present in this state and the child has

been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the

child because the child, or a sibling or parent of the child, is

subjected to, or threatened with, mistreatment or abuse.

(b) If there is no previous child custody determination that is

entitled to be enforced under this part and a child custody

proceeding has not been commenced in a court of a state having

jurisdiction under Sections 3421 to 3423, inclusive, a child custody

determination made under this section remains in effect until an

order is obtained from a court of a state having jurisdiction under

Sections 3421 to 3423, inclusive. If a child custody proceeding has

not been or is not commenced in a court of a state having

jurisdiction under Sections 3421 to 3423, inclusive, a child custody

determination made under this section becomes a final determination,

if it so provides and this state becomes the home state of the child.

(c) If there is a previous child custody determination that is

entitled to be enforced under this part, or a child custody

proceeding has been commenced in a court of a state having

jurisdiction under Sections 3421 to 3423, inclusive, any order issued

by a court of this state under this section must specify in the

order a period that the court considers adequate to allow the person

seeking an order to obtain an order from the state having

jurisdiction under Sections 3421 to 3423, inclusive. The order issued

in this state remains in effect until an order is obtained from the

other state within the period specified or the period expires.

(d) A court of this state that has been asked to make a child

custody determination under this section, upon being informed that a

child custody proceeding has been commenced in, or a child custody

determination has been made by, a court of a state having

jurisdiction under Sections 3421 to 3423, inclusive, shall

immediately communicate with the other court. A court of this state

which is exercising jurisdiction pursuant to Sections 3421 to 3423,

inclusive, upon being informed that a child custody proceeding has

been commenced in, or a child custody determination has been made by,

a court of another state under a statute similar to this section

shall immediately communicate with the court of that state to resolve

the emergency, protect the safety of the parties and the child, and

determine a period for the duration of the temporary order.

(e) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting subdivision

(a) that the grounds on which a court may exercise temporary

emergency jurisdiction be expanded. It is further the intent of the

Legislature that these grounds include those that existed under

Section 3403 of the Family Code as that section read on December 31,

1999, particularly including cases involving domestic violence.

3425.  (a) Before a child custody determination is made under this

part, notice and an opportunity to be heard in accordance with the

standards of Section 3408 must be given to all persons entitled to

notice under the law of this state as in child custody proceedings

between residents of this state, any parent whose parental rights

have not been previously terminated, and any person having physical

custody of the child.

(b) This part does not govern the enforceability of a child

custody determination made without notice or an opportunity to be

heard.

(c) The obligation to join a party and the right to intervene as a

party in a child custody proceeding under this part are governed by

the law of this state as in child custody proceedings between

residents of this state.

3426.  (a) Except as otherwise provided in Section 3424, a court of

this state may not exercise its jurisdiction under this chapter if,

at the time of the commencement of the proceeding, a proceeding

concerning the custody of the child has been commenced in a court of

another state having jurisdiction substantially in conformity with

this part, unless the proceeding has been terminated or is stayed by

the court of the other state because a court of this state is a more

convenient forum under Section 3427.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in Section 3424, a court of this

state, before hearing a child custody proceeding, shall examine the

court documents and other information supplied by the parties

pursuant to Section 3429. If the court determines that a child

custody proceeding has been commenced in a court in another state

having jurisdiction substantially in accordance with this part, the

court of this state shall stay its proceeding and communicate with

the court of the other state. If the court of the state having

jurisdiction substantially in accordance with this part does not

determine that the court of this state is a more appropriate forum,

the court of this state shall dismiss the proceeding.

(c) In a proceeding to modify a child custody determination, a

court of this state shall determine whether a proceeding to enforce

the determination has been commenced in another state. If a

proceeding to enforce a child custody determination has been

commenced in another state, the court may do any of the following:

(1) Stay the proceeding for modification pending the entry of an

order of a court of the other state enforcing, staying, denying, or

dismissing the proceeding for enforcement.

(2) Enjoin the parties from continuing with the proceeding for

enforcement.

(3) Proceed with the modification under conditions it considers

appropriate.

3427.  (a) A court of this state that has jurisdiction under this

part to make a child custody determination may decline to exercise

its jurisdiction at any time if it determines that it is an

inconvenient forum under the circumstances and that a court of

another state is a more appropriate forum. The issue of inconvenient

forum may be raised upon motion of a party, the court’s own motion,

or request of another court.

(b) Before determining whether it is an inconvenient forum, a

court of this state shall consider whether it is appropriate for a

court of another state to exercise jurisdiction. For this purpose,

the court shall allow the parties to submit information and shall

consider all relevant factors, including:

(1) Whether domestic violence has occurred and is likely to

continue in the future and which state could best protect the parties

and the child.

(2) The length of time the child has resided outside this state.

(3) The distance between the court in this state and the court in

the state that would assume jurisdiction.

(4) The degree of financial hardship to the parties in litigating

in one forum over the other.

(5) Any agreement of the parties as to which state should assume

jurisdiction.

(6) The nature and location of the evidence required to resolve

the pending litigation, including testimony of the child.

(7) The ability of the court of each state to decide the issue

expeditiously and the procedures necessary to present the evidence.

(8) The familiarity of the court of each state with the facts and

issues in the pending litigation.

(c) If a court of this state determines that it is an inconvenient

forum and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum,

it shall stay the proceedings upon condition that a child custody

proceeding be promptly commenced in another designated state and may

impose any other condition the court considers just and proper.

(d) A court of this state may decline to exercise its jurisdiction

under this part if a child custody determination is incidental to an

action for dissolution of marriage or another proceeding while still

retaining jurisdiction over the dissolution of marriage or other

proceeding.

(e) If it appears to the court that it is clearly an inappropriate

forum, the court may require the party who commenced the proceeding

to pay, in addition to the costs of the proceeding in this state,

necessary travel and other expenses, including attorney’s fees,

incurred by the other parties or their witnesses. Payment is to be

made to the clerk of the court for remittance to the proper party.

3428.  (a) Except as otherwise provided in Section 3424 or by any

other law of this state, if a court of this state has jurisdiction

under this part because a person seeking to invoke its jurisdiction

has engaged in unjustifiable conduct, the court shall decline to

exercise its jurisdiction unless one of the following are true:

(1) The parents and all persons acting as parents have acquiesced

in the exercise of jurisdiction.

(2) A court of the state otherwise having jurisdiction under

Sections 3421 to 3423, inclusive, determines that this state is a

more appropriate forum under Section 3427.

(3) No court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the

criteria specified in Sections 3421 to 3423, inclusive.

(b) If a court of this state declines to exercise its jurisdiction

pursuant to subdivision (a), it may fashion an appropriate remedy to

ensure the safety of the child and prevent a repetition of the

unjustifiable conduct, including staying the proceeding until a child

custody proceeding is commenced in a court having jurisdiction under

Sections 3421 to 3423, inclusive.

(c) If a court dismisses a petition or stays a proceeding because

it declines to exercise its jurisdiction pursuant to subdivision (a),

it shall assess against the party seeking to invoke its jurisdiction

necessary and reasonable expenses including costs, communication

expenses, attorney’s fees, investigative fees, expenses for

witnesses, travel expenses, and child care during the course of the

proceedings, unless the party from whom fees are sought establishes

that the assessment would be clearly inappropriate. The court may not

assess fees, costs, or expenses against this state unless authorized

by law other than this part.

(d) In making a determination under this section, a court shall

not consider as a factor weighing against the petitioner any taking

of the child, or retention of the child after a visit or other

temporary relinquishment of physical custody, from the person who has

legal custody, if there is evidence that the taking or retention of

the child was a result of domestic violence against the petitioner,

as defined in Section 6211.

3429.  (a) In a child custody proceeding, each party, in its first

pleading or in an attached affidavit, shall give information, if

reasonably ascertainable, under oath as to the child’s present

address or whereabouts, the places where the child has lived during

the last five years, and the names and present addresses of the

persons with whom the child has lived during that period. However,

where there are allegations of domestic violence or child abuse, any

addresses of the party alleging violence or abuse and of the child

which are unknown to the other party are confidential and may not be

disclosed in the pleading or affidavit. The pleading or affidavit

must state whether the party:

(1) Has participated, as a party or witness or in any other

capacity, in any other proceeding concerning the custody of, or

visitation with, the child and, if so, identify the court, the case

number, and the date of the child custody determination, if any.

(2) Knows of any proceeding that could affect the current

proceeding, including proceedings for enforcement and proceedings

relating to domestic violence, protective orders, termination of

parental rights, and adoptions and, if so, identify the court, the

case number, and the nature of the proceeding.

(3) Knows the names and addresses of any person not a party to the

proceeding who has physical custody of the child or claims rights of

legal custody or physical custody of, or visitation with, the child

and, if so, the names and addresses of those persons.

(b) If the information required by subdivision (a) is not

furnished, the court, upon motion of a party or its own motion, may

stay the proceeding until the information is furnished.

(c) If the declaration as to any of the items described in

paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, of subdivision (a) is in the

affirmative, the declarant shall give additional information under

oath as required by the court. The court may examine the parties

under oath as to details of the information furnished and other

matters pertinent to the court’s jurisdiction and the disposition of

the case.

(d) Each party has a continuing duty to inform the court of any

proceeding in this or any other state that could affect the current

proceeding.

3430.  (a) In a child custody proceeding in this state, the court

may order a party to the proceeding who is in this state to appear

before the court in person with or without the child. The court may

order any person who is in this state and who has physical custody or

control of the child to appear in person with the child.

(b) If a party to a child custody proceeding whose presence is

desired by the court is outside this state, the court may order that

a notice given pursuant to Section 3408 include a statement directing

the party to appear in person with or without the child and

informing the party that failure to appear may result in a decision

adverse to the party.

(c) The court may enter any orders necessary to ensure the safety

of the child and of any person ordered to appear under this section.

(d) If a party to a child custody proceeding who is outside this

state is directed to appear under subdivision (b) or desires to

appear personally before the court with or without the child, the

court may require another party to pay reasonable and necessary

travel and other expenses of the party so appearing and of the child.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3441-3457

3441.  In this chapter:

(a) “Petitioner” means a person who seeks enforcement of an order

for return of a child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects

of International Child Abduction or enforcement of a child custody

determination.

(b) “Respondent” means a person against whom a proceeding has been

commenced for enforcement of an order for return of a child under

the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child

Abduction or enforcement of a child custody determination.

3442.  Under this chapter, a court of this state may enforce an

order for the return of a child made under the Hague Convention on

the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction as if it were a

child custody determination.

3443.  (a) A court of this state shall recognize and enforce a child

custody determination of a court of another state if the latter

court exercised jurisdiction in substantial conformity with this part

or the determination was made under factual circumstances meeting

the jurisdictional standards of this part and the determination has

not been modified in accordance with this part.

(b) A court of this state may utilize any remedy available under

other laws of this state to enforce a child custody determination

made by a court of another state. The remedies provided in this

chapter are cumulative and do not affect the availability of other

remedies to enforce a child custody determination.

3444.  (a) A court of this state which does not have jurisdiction to

modify a child custody determination may issue a temporary order

enforcing either:

(1) A visitation schedule made by a court of another state.

(2) The visitation provisions of a child custody determination of

another state that does not provide for a specific visitation

schedule.

(b) If a court of this state makes an order under paragraph (2) of

subdivision (a), it shall specify in the order a period that it

considers adequate to allow the petitioner to obtain an order from a

court having jurisdiction under the criteria specified in Chapter 2

(commencing with Section 3421). The order remains in effect until an

order is obtained from the other court or the period expires.

3445.  (a) A child custody determination issued by a court of

another state may be registered in this state, with or without a

simultaneous request for enforcement, by sending all of the following

to the appropriate court in this state:

(1) A letter or other document requesting registration.

(2) Two copies, including one certified copy, of the determination

sought to be registered, and a statement under penalty of perjury

that to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person seeking

registration the order has not been modified.

(3) Except as otherwise provided in Section 3429, the name and

address of the person seeking registration and any parent or person

acting as a parent who has been awarded custody or visitation in the

child custody determination sought to be registered.

(b) On receipt of the documents required by subdivision (a), the

registering court shall do both of the following:

(1) Cause the determination to be filed as a foreign judgment,

together with one copy of any accompanying documents and information,

regardless of their form.

(2) Serve notice upon the persons named pursuant to paragraph (3)

of subdivision (a) and provide them with an opportunity to contest

the registration in accordance with this section.

(c) The notice required by paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) shall

state all of the following:

(1) That a registered determination is enforceable as of the date

of the registration in the same manner as a determination issued by a

court of this state.

(2) That a hearing to contest the validity of the registered

determination must be requested within 20 days after service of the

notice.

(3) That failure to contest the registration will result in

confirmation of the child custody determination and preclude further

contest of that determination with respect to any matter that could

have been asserted.

(d) A person seeking to contest the validity of a registered order

must request a hearing within 20 days after service of the notice.

At that hearing, the court shall confirm the registered order unless

the person contesting registration establishes any of the following:

(1) That the issuing court did not have jurisdiction under Chapter

2 (commencing with Section 3421).

(2) That the child custody determination sought to be registered

has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction

to do so under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 3421).

(3) That the person contesting registration was entitled to

notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of

Section 3408, in the proceedings before the court that issued the

order for which registration is sought.

(e) If a timely request for a hearing to contest the validity of

the registration is not made, the registration is confirmed as a

matter of law and the person requesting registration and all persons

served shall be notified of the confirmation.

(f) Confirmation of a registered order, whether by operation of

law or after notice and hearing, precludes further contest of the

order with respect to any matter that could have been asserted at the

time of registration.

3446.  (a) A court of this state may grant any relief normally

available under the law of this state to enforce a registered child

custody determination made by a court of another state.

(b) A court of this state shall recognize and enforce, but may not

modify, except in accordance with Chapter 2 (commencing with Section

3421), a registered child custody determination of a court of

another state.

3447.  If a proceeding for enforcement under this chapter is

commenced in a court of this state and the court determines that a

proceeding to modify the determination is pending in a court of

another state having jurisdiction to modify the determination under

Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 3421), the enforcing court shall

immediately communicate with the modifying court. The proceeding for

enforcement continues unless the enforcing court, after consultation

with the modifying court, stays or dismisses the proceeding.

3448.  (a) A petition under this chapter must be verified. Certified

copies of all orders sought to be enforced and of any order

confirming registration must be attached to the petition. A copy of a

certified copy of an order may be attached instead of the original.

(b) A petition for enforcement of a child custody determination

must state all of the following:

(1) Whether the court that issued the determination identified the

jurisdictional basis it relied upon in exercising jurisdiction and,

if so, what the basis was.

(2) Whether the determination for which enforcement is sought has

been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court whose decision must be

enforced under this part and, if so, identify the court, the case

number, and the nature of the proceeding.

(3) Whether any proceeding has been commenced that could affect

the current proceeding, including proceedings relating to domestic

violence, protective orders, termination of parental rights, and

adoptions and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the

nature of the proceeding.

(4) The present physical address of the child and the respondent,

if known.

(5) Whether relief in addition to the immediate physical custody

of the child and attorney’s fees is sought, including a request for

assistance from law enforcement officials and, if so, the relief

sought.

(6) If the child custody determination has been registered and

confirmed under Section 3445, the date and place of registration.

(c) Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall issue an order

directing the respondent to appear in person with or without the

child at a hearing and may enter any order necessary to ensure the

safety of the parties and the child. The hearing must be held on the

next judicial day after service of the order unless that date is

impossible. In that event, the court shall hold the hearing on the

first judicial day possible. The court may extend the date of hearing

at the request of the petitioner.

(d) An order issued under subdivision (c) must state the time and

place of the hearing and advise the respondent that, at the hearing,

the court will order that the petitioner may take immediate physical

custody of the child and the payment of fees, costs, and expenses

under Section 3452, and may schedule a hearing to determine whether

further relief is appropriate, unless the respondent appears and

establishes either of the following:

(1) That the child custody determination has not been registered

and confirmed under Section 3445 and all of the following are true:

(A) The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under Chapter 2

(commencing with Section 3421).

(B) The child custody determination for which enforcement is

sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having

jurisdiction to do so under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 3421).

(C) The respondent was entitled to notice, but notice was not

given in accordance with the standards of Section 3408, in the

proceedings before the court that issued the order for which

enforcement is sought.

(2) That the child custody determination for which enforcement is

sought was registered and confirmed under Section 3445, but has been

vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having

jurisdiction to do so under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 3421).

3449.  Except as otherwise provided in Section 3451, the petition

and order shall be served, by any method authorized by the law of

this state, upon the respondent and any person who has physical

custody of the child.

3450.  (a) Unless the court issues a temporary emergency order

pursuant to Section 3424, upon a finding that a petitioner is

entitled to immediate physical custody of the child, the court shall

order that the petitioner may take immediate physical custody of the

child unless the respondent establishes either of the following:

(1) That the child custody determination has not been registered

and confirmed under Section 3445 and one of the following is true:

(A) The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under Chapter 2

(commencing with Section 3421).

(B) The child custody determination for which enforcement is

sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state

having jurisdiction to do so under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section

3421).

(C) The respondent was entitled to notice, but notice was not

given in accordance with the standards of Section 3408, in the

proceedings before the court that issued the order for which

enforcement is sought.

(2) That the child custody determination for which enforcement is

sought was registered and confirmed under Section 3445 but has been

vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having

jurisdiction to do so under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 3421).

(b) The court shall award the fees, costs, and expenses authorized

under Section 3452 and may grant additional relief, including a

request for the assistance of law enforcement officials, and set a

further hearing to determine whether additional relief is

appropriate.

(c) If a party called to testify refuses to answer on the ground

that the testimony may be self-incriminating, the court may draw an

adverse inference from the refusal.

(d) A privilege against disclosure of communications between

spouses and a defense of immunity based on the relationship of

husband and wife or parent and child may not be invoked in a

proceeding under this chapter.

3451.  (a) Upon the filing of a petition seeking enforcement of a

child custody determination, the petitioner may file a verified

application for the issuance of a warrant to take physical custody of

the child if the child is imminently likely to suffer serious

physical harm or be removed from this state.

(b) If the court, upon the testimony of the petitioner or other

witness, finds that the child is imminently likely to suffer serious

physical harm or be removed from this state, it may issue a warrant

to take physical custody of the child. The petition must be heard on

the next judicial day after the warrant is executed unless that date

is impossible. In that event, the court shall hold the hearing on the

first judicial day possible. The application for the warrant must

include the statements required by subdivision (b) of Section 3448.

(c) A warrant to take physical custody of a child must do all of

the following:

(1) Recite the facts upon which a conclusion of imminent serious

physical harm or removal from the jurisdiction is based.

(2) Direct law enforcement officers to take physical custody of

the child immediately.

(3) Provide for the placement of the child pending final relief.

(d) The respondent must be served with the petition, warrant, and

order immediately after the child is taken into physical custody.

(e) A warrant to take physical custody of a child is enforceable

throughout this state. If the court finds on the basis of the

testimony of the petitioner or other witness that a less intrusive

remedy is not effective, it may authorize law enforcement officers to

enter private property to take physical custody of the child. If

required by exigent circumstances of the case, the court may

authorize law enforcement officers to make a forcible entry at any

hour.

(f) The court may impose conditions upon placement of a child to

ensure the appearance of the child and the child’s custodian.

3452.  (a) The court shall award the prevailing party, including a

state, necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by or on behalf of

the party, including costs, communication expenses, attorney’s fees,

investigative fees, expenses for witnesses, travel expenses, and

child care during the course of the proceedings, unless the party

from whom fees or expenses are sought establishes that the award

would be clearly inappropriate.

(b) The court may not assess fees, costs, or expenses against a

state unless authorized by law other than this part.

3453.  A court of this state shall accord full faith and credit to

an order issued by another state, and consistent with this part,

enforce a child custody determination by a court of another state

unless the order has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court

having jurisdiction to do so under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section

3421).

3454.  An appeal may be taken from a final order in a proceeding

under this chapter in accordance with expedited appellate procedures

in other civil cases. Unless the court enters a temporary emergency

order under Section 3424, the enforcing court may not stay an order

enforcing a child custody determination pending appeal.

3455.  (a) In a case arising under this part or involving the Hague

Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, a

district attorney is authorized to proceed pursuant to Chapter 8

(commencing with Section 3130) of Part 2.

(b) A district attorney acting under this section acts on behalf

of the court and may not represent any party.

3456.  At the request of a district attorney acting under Section

3455, a law enforcement officer may take any lawful action reasonably

necessary to locate a child or a party and assist the district

attorney with responsibilities under Section 3455.

3457.  The court may assess all direct expenses and costs incurred

by a district attorney under Section 3455 or 3456 pursuant to the

provisions of Section 3134.

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3461-3465

3461.  In applying and construing this Uniform Child Custody

Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, consideration shall be given to the

need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject

matter among states that enact it.

3462.  If any provision of this part or its application to any

person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not

affect other provisions or applications of this part that can be

given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to

this end the provisions of this part are severable.

3465.  A motion or other request for relief made in a child custody

proceeding or to enforce a child custody determination that was

commenced before the effective date of this part is governed by the

law in effect at the time the motion or other request was made.

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