Separation and Leaving State

Here’s the dilemma. My daughter (B)and her husband are splitting up. She just told him last week that she’s finally made up her mind. It’s been a long time coming, but that’s not the point.

I’ve been looking online at some things and the way I read things, “B” can legally pack up and leave the state of Indiana and come to NC with “D” (her daughter) right now. She can do this because there are no court orders or anything yet, correct? No divorce papers or custody papers have been filed. I also read that she would have to establish residency in NC (6 months) in order to file for divorce and/or custody in NC. That would give NC jurisdiction over the divorce and custody case. So, with all that being said, what are his legal options during that first 6 months? I know he can file in Indiana and that would give Indiana jurisdiction, but could they force “B” to come back to Indiana during that 6 months?

She hasn’t said she is going to come here, but I’m going to propose all this to her. She has NOBODY up there and he has his entire family and her husband has already got them all turned against her. I just think it would be better for her to come here where she has family now so she can think things through and decide what she wants to do. She has a minimum wage job and basically nowhere to go up there. She doesn’t want to take “D” from her husband and not let him ever see her, that’s not what this is. But he’s already said he’s going to try to take full custody from her. She’s a great mother and he has no grounds whatsoever to get full custody.

So, I’m pretty sure talking to a lawyer is the best advice right now. I guess I just want to make sure she isn’t going to get herself in trouble for coming to NC if I can convince her to do it and make sure it isn’t going to look bad if it did come down to a court battle for custody that she did.

I cannot provide advice on the law in Indiana.
If a parent in NC was to leave this state tanking the children with the intention not returning that would be grounds for the other parent to file an action for emergency custody to have the children returned to their home state. I would recommend that she see a lawyer in her state immediately to create a plan of action.

I am one who, when I left my ex, took my child and we left the state, for the same reasons you stated. I had no family in NC, and have family in the state I came to. I had a decent job in NC, and left it too. That said, I did that because for me and my son, it was a safety issue on top of an “I have no one here” issue.

My ex was going to file for emergency custody (and thus forcing me and my son back to the state), but I filed first. At our hearing, I GOT REAMED by the judge…BUT, he permitted me and my son to stay in the state we moved to. I don’t know if it was because of the safety issue (ex is a drug addict), or if it was because my ex admitted in court that I am a good mother and that he would sooner move to the new state than risk our son end up in the “system”, but the judge allowed me to stay.

Shortly after, my ex followed us to the new state, and filed for jurisdiction to be moved to the new state. The judge ordered that it be moved, as it was in the best interests of all involved.

All this to say, it CAN be done, but it is a calculated RISK that your daughter would be taking.

I Also had the advice of a lawyer to get out of Dodge, while I could…so it really depends on the exact situation. Please at least consult a lawyer in the state that currently has jurisdiction before doing anything.

If she makes the leap and leaves IN and goes to NC, if he does nothing for 6 months, then under UCCJEA, NC would then have jurisdiction.

Good luck!