Jurisdiction is defined by Black’s Law dictionary as a court’s power to decide a case or issue a decree. In California , jurisdiction for dissolution, paternity matters, or other family law matters require that a party reside in the state of California six months before filing the Petition and within the county where the petition is filed for three months before filing the petition. Emergency jurisdiction is an exception and only available under extreme circumstances.
The legal issue that must be ascertained is where does the person reside and how to substantiate their residence. Various means are available, such as driver’s license, property tax payments, employment, leasing or buying a residence, and other statements or actions that are consistent with residency.