Custody and Jurisdictional Issues


I am a resident of Maryland and have been for the past eight years. My children were also born here. My wife and I also resided here in Maryland from 2001 to 2006. My wife left me to return to North Carolina in August of 2006. She came back in September of that year, and ultimately left again in November of 2006. In April of 2007, here local department of social services contacted me about a child support order. My understanding was that she had to be a resident of the state for 6 months to claim status as a resident, but obviously that wasn’t the case. She claimed she had always been a NC resident. A child support order was instated shortly thereafter. As far as I know, NC does not have jurisdiction over me as none of the 7 or 8 circumstances that would have to have existed applied to me (I wasn’t SERVED in NC, I haven’t asserted paternity in any NC documents, I didn’t live in NC with my wife and children, etc.). Were my rights violated? In the grand scheme of things, I’m not really concerned about the kids getting support since they need it, but this whole situation reeked of a “rail-roading.” At the time of the order, I was preparing for a child custody case in Maryland, and I had reason to believe that I would get custody. My three year update period is approaching. Is there any chance that I could get this order, if not reduced, then thrown out on the basis of non-jurisdiction. To date, I have never appeared in an NC court for this case, and have never been served anything IN the state of NC.


Are the kids in NC right now? If the kids have been in NC for at least 6 months, then NC has jurisdiction over custody issues, as NC has jurisidiction over the kids.

As far as child support orders, would “the child at issue resides in this State as a result of the responding party’s actions” apply?

What do you mean by “my three year update period is approaching”? Has the child support order been in place for almost three years? If so, why haven’t you collaterally attacked the judgement already? Also, did you make any motions (either in person, or otherwise) in NC? (If so, you may have waived a defense of lack of personal jurisdiction.)


It sounds like your wife had a MD order registered in NC for enforcement purposes. If that is the case there are no jurisdictional issues.


Actually, there was no existing court order in Maryland. The custody order was set in place in Maryland AFTER the child support order was made. I had actually applied for child custody PRIOR in Maryland–where I live–BEFORE this child support order was made. There IS and ALWAYS HAS BEEN a jurisdictional case. I’ve known that from the very beginning. I’m looking for a way to undo this current situation.


My wife ended up in NC in November of 2006. The child support claim was filed in April of 2007. That isn’t NOW and WASN’T THEN a period of six months.

There’s a long backstory. My wife and I had a lot of issues and things were pretty bad in the summer of '06. In August of that year, I brought her and out kids down here for a break. When I returned to pick them up, she said she wasn’t going back. I ended up with one of the two kids, and he and I came back to Maryland. A few days later I got served with an ex parte order alleging that my wife had “fled” to NC to “escape” from me and that she had custody of my kids. I was threatened with arrest if I didn’t return my son to NC. I was also accused of kidnapping. Ultimately, I complied. At the time I didn’t understand that this was completely ILLEGAL since there was no custody order, and I had just as much right to have my kids as she did. At the trial hearing in September, the emphasis was on keeping me out of jail. The ex parte was dissovleve but I went home to Maryland by myself.

My wife actually came back at the end of September. It wasn’t long before things went south. When we headed back to NC for Thanksgiving, AGAIN, she said she wasn’t going back…which led to a heated arguments…and AGAIN she was threatening to call the police if I left with the kids. I was afraid of being arrested if I stayed down there, so I went back home.

I still reside in Maryland, and while this child support matter was going on in NC, I had put all of my resources into my custody case here. That ended up a bust, so I’ve never had the opportunity to mount any offense in NC.