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JdlRsl21

Jurisdiction...where do I file?

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My wife and I were divorced in VA. Now she lives in NC and has since before the divorce was finalized.I am moving there now and that is why I am filing for a custody change.. How do I get the courts to change jurisdiction? or does it happen automatically since neither of us live in the original state?

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If your ex and the child have been living in NC for more than 6 months, NC already has jurisdiction:

 

"In North Carolina, the current uniform law is known as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act ("UCCJEA").  One of the basic tenets of the UCCJEA is the establishment of jurisdiction based upon the "home state" concept.  In other words, the state that is the child's "home state" has jurisdiction to make an initial custody determination.  "Home state" is defined under North Carolina law as the state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive months immediately before the commencement of the child custody proceeding, provided at least one parent or a person acting as a parent remains a resident of that state."

 

I found that at:

 

http://www.wardandsmith.com/articles/child-custody-when-parents-relocate-to-a-different-state

 

Once you have completed your move and settled in, you file your petition with the local family court. I don't know what the procedure for that would be. You might get some help from the Domestic Case Coordinator at the county family court where your ex and child reside:

 

http://www.nccourts.org/citizens/cprograms/family/

 

Or, you might have to hire an attorney.

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The court that makes the initial custody determination (in this case, Virginia) retains jurisdiction no matter where one or both parties relocate unless the custodial parent files to have the case relocated (domesticated) to his or her current state of residence, in accordance with that state's laws.  Unless or until that happens, jurisdiction will remain with the original court in Virginia.

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The court that makes the initial custody determination (in this case, Virginia) retains jurisdiction no matter where one or both parties relocate unless the custodial parent files to have the case relocated (domesticated) to his or her current state of residence, in accordance with that state's laws.  Unless or until that happens, jurisdiction will remain with the original court in Virginia.

 

That seems to contradict what I found earlier so I looked up the statutes. Here's what I found:

 

"50A-203.  Jurisdiction to modify determination.

Except as otherwise provided in G.S. 50A-204, a court of this State may not modify a child-custody determination made by a court of another state unless a court of this State has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under G.S. 50A-201(a)(1) or G.S. 50A-201(a)(2) and:

(1)        The court of the other state determines it no longer has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction under G.S. 50A-202 or that a court of this State would be a more convenient forum under G.S. 50A-207; or

(2)        A court of this State or a court of the other state determines that the child, the child's parents, and any person acting as a parent do not presently reside in the other state."

 

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/Statutes/StatutesTOC.pl?Chapter=0050A

 

Paragraph (2) tells me that the NCP can file the petition and the court can take jurisdiction upon determining that the CP and the child reside within the state of NC.

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You need to read all the statutes that are referenced, Jack.  201A deals with original custody determinations.  The case remains in the original state until that court is asked to have it moved.  You can't circumvent it by filing a new action in a new state.

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You need to read all the statutes that are referenced, Jack.  201A deals with original custody determinations.  The case remains in the original state until that court is asked to have it moved.  You can't circumvent it by filing a new action in a new state.

 

I disagree after both parties have relocated to another state. I would encourage the poster to consult an attorney in North Carolina.

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JdlRsL21,

 

As you can tell from the responses above this is not s a simple matter; therefore, you should seek an attorney's help in domesticating your child custody order.  If you need help searching for a North Carolina family law attorney, you can use our directory to find one.

 

The FindLaw.com Team

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