Once a juvenile court assumes jurisdiction over a child and the child becomes a ward of the court under the juvenile code, the juvenile court’s orders supersede all previous orders, including custody orders entered by another court, even if inconsistent or contradictory. In other words, the previous custody orders affecting the minor become dormant, in a metaphoric sense, during the pendency of the juvenile proceedings, but when the juvenile court dismisses its jurisdiction over the child, all those previous custody orders continue to remain in full force and effect.DHS v Gunther is significant as it also addresses jurisdiction via the juvenile code over children that are already under the jurisdiction of the family court. In this case, Mother had “physical custody” of the parties’ children resulting from a divorce judgment.
The case of Hoeve v Hoeve continues the series of Court of Appeals decisions holding that the parents' school-district decision may be, by itself, proper cause to change custody. In Hoeve, the pre-school child spent week-on-week-off with mom and dad. Father sought and was awarded sole physical custody, however, once the child became eligible for kindergarten.
The parents lived about 70-miles apart. Father's motion to acquire sole physical custody succeeded at trial and was affirmed on appeal.
According to family law appellate attorney Scott Bassett, the Hoeve case suggests that parental school choice disputes is the "new frontier" in child custody litigation.