California Family Code Section 3047
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California Laws > Family Code > California Family Code Section 3047
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, any necessary modification of the existing custody order
shall be deemed a temporary custody order made without prejudice,
which shall be subject to review and reconsideration upon the return
of the party from military deployment, mobilization, or temporary
(2) 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. The
court shall not, as part of its review of the temporary order upon
the return of the deploying party, order a child custody evaluation
under Section 3111 of this code or Section 730 of the Evidence Code,
unless the party opposing reversion of the order makes a prima facie
showing that reversion is not in the best interest of the child.
(3) (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
(C) Nothing in this paragraph shall increase the authority of the
persons described in subparagraph (B) to seek visitation orders
(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
(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) A relocation by a nondeploying parent during a period of a
deployed parent's absence while a temporary modification order for a
parenting plan is in effect shall not, by itself, terminate the
exclusive and continuing jurisdiction of the court for purposes of
later determining custody or parenting time under this chapter.
(e) When a court of this state has issued a custody or visitation
order, the absence of a child from this state during the deployment
of a parent shall be considered a "temporary absence" for purposes of
the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (Part 3
(commencing with Section 3400)), and the court shall retain exclusive
continuing jurisdiction under Section 3422.
(f) The deployment of a parent shall not be used as a basis to
assert inconvenience of the forum under Section 3247.
(g) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the
(1) "Deployment" means the temporary transfer of a member of the
Armed Forces in active-duty status in support of combat or some other
(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.
(h) 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, as well as at
the time that the party returns from service and files a motion to
revert back to the custody order in place before the deployment. The
Legislature intends that family courts shall, to the extent feasible
within existing resources and court practices, prioritize the
calendaring of these cases, avoid unnecessary delay or continuances,
and ensure that parties who serve in the military are not penalized
for their service by a delay in appropriate access to their children.
Last modified: February 22, 2013