Change of Custody


The court of the state that determined custody initially is the “home state,” and retains jurisdiction over custody matters. However, if neither of the parents nor the child lives in the state which initially decided custody, jurisdiction can be assumed by another state. Generally, states have a residency requirement before the filing of a custody action, but provided you’ve lived in New Jersey long enough to satisfy that requirement, you can probably file there. You would need to consult a New Jersey attorney on that issue. Another option is to file in NC, where the other parent and child live.

David L. McGuire
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

My ex-husband currently has custody of my 16 year old son Justin. They have been living in North Carolina for about 18 months.

I would like custody and live in New Jersey…the divorce took place in Colorado.

Which state has jurisdiction for a child custody change? Is this a complicated and expensive procedure?

[b]Although I pay child support every month, I am willing to forfeit MY rights to child support payments in order to gain custody!!![/b]

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

(P.S. My ex-husband is very vindictive. He’s burned most of the gifts I’ve given my son…about $1200.00 worth. I would like to initiate the custody change while my son visits me this summer).

Linda R. Elliott