Parent Allienation and Child Support Arrears

My husbands ex (they were never married) moved their son without any notice to Raleigh, NC in 2013. Although she has full custody from the state of NV because “they were never married” (per court documents. As it stands today, she has moved them again somewhere in NC and never told my husband where. So we have no idea where his son is living or going to school now. She has blocked all communication from phones, blocked us on social media as well as completely alienated son and father from each other. We have not spoken to him since August of 2015. We want to fight for full custody, but my husband has arrears from being unemployed a few years ago. We are trying to settle the amount now but its pulling teeth even trying to cut a check for the arrears. His son was here this past summer and expressed over and over that he wants to live with his Dad (us) and this is when the ex lost it and when he went back home we were blocked from each others lives. (Control issue). Should we file for custody yet? There has never been a custody agreement so she has always had full custody being that they weren’t married as mentioned before (state of NV) Or do we have a better shot of getting custody if arrears are paid off. We are married, have jobs/careers, no records etc. We recently found out that she is a charged felon and has a warrant for her arrest in NV, has no job, lives off welfare and child support and has an abusive boyfriend who we assume she is living with. I ran his record and he was recently charged with assault on a woman.

What do we do? we don’t have a ton of money and we only want whats best for his son. Whatever new school he has been moved to now, is his third school this school year alone. Should we file? Should we get a lawyer? should we pay arrears first? How can we find him? We called the Raleigh police to do a wellness check yesterday (2/17/2016) but the place was vacant and now we have no clue where he is.

Please any help is appreciated.

Thank you,

You can definitely file for child custody regardless of an issue of arrearages in child support. The question is where do you file for child custody. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act governs child custody jurisdiction, and provides that a child custody action can only be brought in the child’s home state, which is defined as the state where the child has lived with a parent for six consecutive months prior to filing. If the child has been in North Carolina for six months, then NC is the home state. If the child has not lived in any state for at least six months, then it is proper to file in a state that has (1) “significant connections” with the child and at least one parent and (2) “substantial evidence concerning the child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships.”

To learn more about the UCCJEA, read our article discussing which state has jurisdiction in custody cases.