Determining a child custody and visitation schedule often raise a lot of issues, such as which parent will have the child for holidays or which home the child will stay at for summer vacations.
When one of the child’s parents wants to relocate to another state, these decisions can become even more arduous. If your child’s other parent moves to another state with your child, how will the two of you handle interstate custody?
North Carolina family lawyer Jonathan Breeden can help you deal with an interstate custody issue. He will compassionately listen to your situation and help you and your family reach an agreement that works best for your children. Call Breeden Law Office today at to find out how he can help you.
Child custody and visitation hearings are difficult for parents because they are giving up their ability to have their children full-time. When a parent wishes to move out of state and take the child with them, these cases can become even more stressful.
Because the issue of interstate custody has become increasingly prevalent, many states have adopted a set of laws directed at enforcing child custody agreements called the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA).
One main concept of the UCCJEA is determining which state has jurisdiction over custody issues. Generally, a state has jurisdiction if the child has been a resident for the requisite amount of time. For example, in North Carolina, a child is considered a resident of the state if:
The other concept of the UCCJEA is the idea of continuing jurisdiction for a state. The state wherein the custody agreement was entered, often called the home state, continues to have jurisdiction over the custody orders. Other states may enforce the agreement, but no other state may modify the agreement.
No matter where else your child lives, and for however long, the state that originally had jurisdiction over your custody agreement is generally the only one that may modify it unless all parties including the child have left the state that had original jurisdiction.
The only time another state may modify out-of-state custody orders is in the case of an emergency. If, for example, your child is staying with his other parent and you have good cause to believe your child is in physical danger, you can file an application with the court to have your child taken into physical custody. This order will be good for up to 10 days which will give you time to set up a hearing in the state that entered the original order.
You may also file this type of application if you have a viable reason to think your child’s other parent is planning to leave the state with your child without getting permission from you or the court when both parents live in the same state. Law enforcement, upon receipt of the order, will immediately take your child into custody and serve your child’s other parent with a ex parte custody order explaining why emergency measures were taken and when a review hearing on the need for continuing the emergency custody order will be held.
Occasionally, parents take it upon themselves to enforce their own custody and visitation schedule. While it is great when two parents can get along so well that they can work out their own schedule, it may not be the best idea in the long run. Not having a custody agreement in place makes your child vulnerable in certain situations.
If your child’s other parent decided to accept a new job out of the state, or out of the country, he or she could just move with your child and there would not be any document in place to stop the move. You could contest the move, but it may take a very long time to reach an agreement, and it’s possible that things will not work out the way you want, leaving you with even less time to spend with your child.
To protect your rights as a parent, and to continue making choices based on the best interest of your child, you should contact an experienced family law attorney to help you draw up a legal custody agreement.
Child custody and visitation hearings are difficult for parents because they are giving up their ability to have their children full-time. When a parent wishes to move out of state and take the child with them, these cases can become even more stressful. You may find that working with a compassionate custody attorney will alleviate some of your emotions while you work with your child’s other parent on the best outcome. Attorney Jonathan Breeden can help you navigate the delicate subject of interstate custody so that you can concentrate on spending quality time with your child. Call Breeden Law Offices today.