Can My Divorce Case Be Transferred to Another County in California?

We live in a mobile society. Jobs relocate, people move to be close to a college or university, and other changes happen. What happens when this happens in the middle of a divorce?

The answer, at least when the issues are money and property issues, is the case has to stay in the same court until the divorce is finished. (There are other, somewhat complicated rules, when custody is at issue and the children no longer reside in the county where the case was filed.)

Essentially, if neither party objected to the filing in the original county at the time the Response to the divorce petition was filed, you cannot ask to move the case during the middle of litigation. An objection MAY be filed at the outset, under Code of Civil Procedure Sections 392 and 397. It is also fairly easy to transfer jurisdiction AFTER a judgment for post-judgment motions, if neither party lives in the county anymore.

Courts may differ on how they treat these motions (sometimes a court may grant a change of venue, in contradiction of the law, when neither party lives in the county anymore, simply as a matter of convenience) but the general principle is that the divorce is started and finished in one court.

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.

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