“Do Juvenile Court Orders Override Family Law Orders?”

Yes, they do. In fact, there is a hierarchy of jurisdiction regarding orders about children.

If there is a juvenile court order and a currently open juvenile case for dependency, the juvenile court has jurisdiction and authority over the orders—family or guardianship (probate) orders will be overridden and superceded by the juvenile court orders until the case is released from juvenile court.

In a similar way, Guardianship orders (initiated through probate court in California) override previous custody orders. If a third party (often a relative) has guardianship of your child (either temporary or non-temporary) you must seek visitation through the probate court, not the family law court.

It is also important to note that if a juvenile case or a guardianship case is dismissed, the orders do not always go back to the previous family law orders. Both courts have the authority to issue, in some circumstances, “exit orders” which award custody and visitation as the final act of the case. These orders can then be modified in family law court, but they are effective until the family law judge takes back control of the case and confirms or modifies the orders.

DISCLAIMER: All legal principles quoted are valid as of the date of writing in the State of California. However, you should NEVER base your actions on a legal article, blog, or internet story, as facts in real life are complicated. You should have your case evaluated by an attorney experienced in the area of law needed for your case. In addition, there are often exceptions and potential changes to results that occur due to facts that you may think are trivial or unimportant. This article should not be taken in any way as legal advice on your specific legal matter.