To help, North Carolina has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJEA.) This is a compact entered into by most states in the nation, and sets forth parameters for determining where custody cases should be heard.
If you and the other parent have never been to court before over your children, then you need what is called an “initial determination” of custody. If the child has lived in North Carolina for six months, or more, it is the child’s home state. If the child has lived somewhere else, it is likely that will be considered the child’s home state, and the case will be decided there. (Of course, if the child has been moved from one place to the other simply in order to make the case difficult, then there may be other issues which you will want to discuss with your attorney.)
If, however, there is an existing court order and you wish to modify it, there is another set of considerations. The first is where the initial custody order was issued; that will likely be where the matter should be heard. However, there are other issues that may arise. Perhaps both parties have moved out of the original state; or perhaps an emergency situation has arisen. In that case, the questions become even more complex.
If you are dealing with interstate custody issues, realize they are very complex and technical. Makes sure you have someone who understands the provisions and how to use them to your best advantage. Meek Law Firm has experience dealing with interstate custody issues; call our office today for a consultation.
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