What are my options?

Dear Hartbroken:

I am sorry to hear about your situation. When you say that the judge met with your ex’s attorney before court, I am assuming that your ex’s attorney attempted to get an “ex parte” order - meaning an order with only them present to force you to bring the children back to North Carolina.

Yes, the court can force you to bring the children back to North Carolina, and it appears that the court will do this. Generally, children are allowed to move with the parent they live with if the move is beneficial to the parent and the move is not being made to remove the children from the other parent and the jurisdiction of the court. In this case, it appears that the judge thinks you did just that.

What I would tell you is to look long and hard for a job in the Charlotte area. I agree with your attorney. Once a judge sees a situation in a certain way, and it appears that this judge does, it can be hard to change their mind.

So, my suggestion is to #1 begin looking for jobs long and hard, go to all interviews, and really focus on Charlotte #2 talk to someone from the firm we are associated with in Charlotte and #3 follow your attorney’s advice, whichever attorney you use. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney at Law
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.

I moved from NC in January to Georgia to be closer to my dad and my family. I am renting a home from my Dad’s realestate business.
I obtained a new job with a promotion and a pay raise.
I have had primary custody of our(my Ex’s and mine) 2 children since April 2003. My Ex is requesting we revisit custody or a substantial change in the visitation agreement. I’ve provided him 3 versions of a new visitation agreement.
He refused to agree and says he wants a judge to decide. We went to court in Winston-Salem N.C. in March 2004. The judge met with my Ex’s attorney befor court. In court the Judge began asking me even befor the testimony started, if I could find a job in Charlotte. The judge heard my Ex’s testimony, claming I was alenating him from his children by moving out of state. I wasn’t provided an opportunity to present my side or testify, before the judge continued the case for 90 days and ordered me to begin looking for a job within 120 miles of W-S. and to provide that proof to my attorney for our next court date in July. I wasn’t allowed to present the reason for my move to Ga. The judge mentioned several times that he felt I could’ve found a job in Charlotte. I have no idea how the idea of Charlotte started. I have never lived in Charlotte, I have no family in Charlotte.
I am VERY scared that this judge may very well take my 2yr old and 4yr old from me. I work in a Bank with banking hours, and my Ex is a Police Officer with a rotational shift. He lives with his parents. While we were married I had to take a 50-B domestic violence order out on him. He lost a promotion because of that. I can’t believe a judge could order me to move away from my family and home. I’m not a criminal. I am worried my Ex is a 10 yr vetran of the Police Department and he and this judge have worked together for many years.
I requested an out of county judge and was told no, by my own attorny. After the continuance I requested the judge be removed and an out of county judge replace him to hear the case. My attorny called and said if I pushed the issue it would not go in my favor in July. What are my options?