Which State Has Jurisdiction?


For a 5 year old child born into a marriage in the state of NC and listed as a child of the marriage in a NC divorce decree, but who has lived in the state of California for 15 months with the mother, who is now remarried in CA (i.e., planning to stay there permanently) and who also filed for Medicaid for the child in CA which resulted in a child support action against the legal father (ex-husband) who still resides in NC, which state would have jurisdiction if the legal father files a paternity action in an attempt to have his legal paternity set aside? CA states that it has jurisdiction after the child has lived there for 6 months, but since the conception, marriage, birth and divorce all took place in NC, would NC have continuing jurisdiction, or would a paternity action filed after divorce proceedings were closed be a separate matter from the others?


North Carolina has continuing exclusive jurisdiction over the action involving the child so long as the father still lives in NC. NC may decided to relinquish jurisdiction over custody issues to CA based on the facts you list, however jurisdiction lies in NC until that time.


Thank you for responding. Can you speculate on how receptive the court in NC would be to this man if he files a paternity action? He has held the child out as his own for 5 years even though he knew from the beginning that there was a possibility that he was not the biological father. Would evidence that he knew this have any bearing on his success in court? The child knows him as dad and loves him dearly at this point, and he willingly chose to marry the mother before the child was born in order to legitimate the child. There are also at least two uncontested child support orders against him that are closed at present time.


Though he is presumptively the father he can request a DNA paternity test, and the courts will hear the case.