Anne H. v. Michael B.Annotate this Case
In 2014, the family court entered a permanent custody order granting. Father, a Bay Area resident, physical custody of L. during school years, while Mother was awarded physical custody at her home in Virginia during the summers. Th court stated that one of the primary considerations in granting Father custody during the school year was the presence of Mother’s family members in the Bay Area, which provided Mother a place to stay while visiting L. and allowed Mother’s family to share in L.’s care. The order noted the relocation of Mother’s family members from the Bay Area, among other factors, would be changed circumstances “requiring a new analysis.” Less than a year later, Mother requested modification of the custody order, claiming her parents had relocated to Virginia. Father claimed that Mothers' parents retained ownership of their California home.The request was heard by a different judge than the judge who had entered the custody order, who, without explanation, denied Mother’s request and granted sanctions to Father under Family Code section 271 in the amount of $5,000. The court of appeal affirmed, concluding that the statement in the custody order specifying changed circumstances requiring a reconsideration of custody arrangements was not binding on subsequent judges.