Question re: registration of foreign child custody order


#1

subject: question re: registration of foreign child custody order…

Hello -

I received a “notice of registration of foreign child custody order”. I believe the intent of my ex is to change the jurisdiction from the state our divorce was completed in to North Carolina. This is somewhat complicated by the fact that I now live in a third state…

My first question is - Is this necessary? We already have a finalized divorce from last year (she has already remarried), and a MSA that spells out custody arrangements as well as property division completed at the time the divorce was granted.

As far as I know, there are no issues being disputed from our agreement.

I believe the issue she wants to bring up in NC mediation and or court is a specific visitation issue; She wants to prevent me from visiting her relatives with the children! When we were finalizing the MSA, she tried unsuccessfully to add similar language to do this. Unfortunately for our situation she is not currently getting along well with her own relatives. Her relatives are still very friendly and supportive to me and I still consider them family. I regularly visit them when I travel to NC to visit the children. I feel it is unfair for her to try to dictate how or with whom I and the children spend my time with them. I also feel strongly that we should be fostering and promoting positive relationships between the children and all of their relatives (as much as reasonably possible!).

My second question is - what, if any, precedent exists for this argument she is making? Is this a reasonable or feasible legal issue at all?

I would like to be able to freely make plans with the children and whoever I and they would like to visit without having to worry about repercussions either to me or the children - she has already begun to poison the children with regard to her relatives…

Thanks in advance for your response!


#2

A parent should always register the child custody order in his or her state of residence.
As for your visits with her family, no court can prevent you from visiting folks who want you there.


#3

Her action requests that North Carolina assume jurisdiction over custody issues - I would think that only one state can have jurisdiction over custody issues at a time.

Since she is the primary custodial parent, even though we have joint legal and physical custody, I believe the courts usually want to have jurisdiction in the children’s primary residential state.

I will take immediate steps to register our agreement in my state as well.

So - do I need to respond to or contest her action?

Lastly - I wanted to be sure that your statement about visits applies to my visits with her relatives that include the children

Thanks so much for your help!


#4

You are correct in that only one state can assume jurisdiction of custody issues at any one time. If you have all left the state where the order was issued, and the children now primarily reside in NC, NC is the proper state to assume jurisdiction at this time.
You do not need to respond to the notice of registration.
As for the relatives, unless there are a danger to the children I see no reason why you cannot chose to spend your custodial time with them.


#5

Thanks again! I really appreciate your quick response.