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While both Acts---UCCJEA and UIFSA were enacted, in part, to unify and clarify the different states’ interpretations and approaches to jurisdiction in these child related issues, the jurisdictional laws are distinct under each Act. Therefore, a party who submits to the jurisdiction of a court for a child custody proceeding does not necessarily waive his/her challenge to that court’s jurisdiction over child support. Consequently, jurisdiction over child related issues can be bifurcated between two states---in fact they may be forced to do just that.
As to Custody, under the UCCJEA, initial custody Jurisdiction in all but the most unusual case is determined based on:
The forum must be the child’s home state on the date of the commencement of the proceedings, OR was the home state of the child within six months prior to the commencement of the proceedings and the child is absent from the forum but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in the forum.
A court that has made a child custody determination retains exclusive jurisdiction over the matter until:
1) That court, or a court in another jurisdiction determines that neither the child, nor the child and one parent, nor the child and a person acting as a parent have a significant connection with the forum of the original custody order, and that substantive evidence is no longer available in the original forum state concerning the child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships. And in that instance the state where the child presently resides has jurisdiction---becoming the home state.
What all this means, is that since none of the interested parties live in GA, if the child has lived in NC with you for at least 6 months to establish residency there, I would typically file a petition to modify the order of custody in NC.
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He has only lived with me in NC for 3 months, so do I have to file in Virginia? Does it matter that the case was never transferred to VA when she moved there 2 years ago?
Hello again,If you do not wish to wait the additional time, jurisdiction would typically be proper in VA, but you could try filing in NC and if she does not challenge jurisdiction, the court could assume jurisdiction over the matter, which would likely be more convenient for you.
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