Intersection of Juvenile Dependency Court and family court
After a juvenile court ends jurisdiction over a minor, the county will move to family court to establish the issue of custody. Depending on the county the agency will draft exit orders or a final judgement. These orders are the custody orders based on the outcome of the dependency case. They will reflect who has legal and physical custody. Since juvenile court deals with minors at risk of abuse or neglect, their orders supersede any pending family court orders. Sometimes dependency court orders do not ever reach the family court and this can cause confusion later on.
First and foremost: "Second, some family court judges have not understood the authority of juvenile court custody orders. For a number of years, some family court and appellate judges held that they were pendent lite orders and not equivalent to permanent custody orders.33 However, juvenile court custody orders are not similar to pendente lite orders under family law. Instead, they are equivalent to a permanent custody order."
It is important for parents to understand that any orders written by juvenile court supersedes family court orders. Because the minor is at risk, family court must obey dependency custody ordres because they are drafted with the minor's protection in mind. Take for example if the court orders that the father have supervised visit at a designated facility, the family court must obey this. The parents' counsel may not change those orders without good reason.
In some cases, family court does not receive the dependency orders. "Some family court judges have not been aware that a juvenile court custody order exists. This problem arises depending on the transfer process and depending on whether the juvenile court custody order is available to the family court judge. On occasion, the juvenile court custody order never reaches the family court file."
"The practice is for any modification requests in family court within one year of dismissal of the juvenile dependency case to be heard by the juvenile dependency judge who created the order"
Another issue is as time passes, the parents may wish to petition for a change in orders. Usually it requires a show of significant change in circumstances to change a juvenile order. In some counties the parents must return to the dependency judge who issued the orders and present their case. Even if the juvenile dependency court terminates jurisdiction, the standing orders shall be a final judgement.
"Any custody or visitation order issued by the juvenile court at the time the juvenile court terminates its jurisdiction pursuant to Section 362.4 regarding a child who has been previously adjudged to be a dependent child of the juvenile court shall be a final judgment and shall remain in effect after that jurisdiction is terminated. The order shall not be modified in a proceeding or action described in Section 3021 of the Family Code"
Important information that I am passing along to anyone in the dependency process.
Juvenile Dependency and