One of the newer laws that directly affects child custody in California is known as AB 458.  This 2011 piece of legislation amends one probate code and adds another to clarify a parent’s ability to petition for guardianship of his or her child.  AB 458 also establishes requirements for transferring a proceeding to another court in circumstances in which a proceeding that concerns custody or visitation of a minor is pending in one or more counties when a guardianship petition is filed.

In addition, AB 458 acts to clarify that a court in Probate Code related guardianship proceedings may not appoint the parents of a minor child as a guardian of the person of that child, except as specified in Probate Code §2105.  This section concerns the appointment of a custodial parent who is terminally ill as a joint guardian with another person nominated by that parent.

AB 458 establishes requirements for transferring a proceeding to another court in circumstances in which a proceeding that concerns custody or visitation of a minor child is already pending in one or more California counties when the guardianship petition is filed.  It also specifies circumstances under which the court in a guardianship proceeding would maintain exclusive jurisdiction to determine issues of custody or visitation.  The bill also requires the court in which a guardianship proceeding is filed to communicate with each court in which a custody or visitation proceeding is pending before making a determination on maintaining or transferring the guardianship proceeding.

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