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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years legal experience including family law
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My ex-wife and I have joint custody of our 10-year-old son,

Customer Question

My ex-wife and I have joint custody of our 10-year-old son, but she has physical custody and I pay her child support. Three months ago, my son came to live with me (mutual agreement), but she is still receiving child support even though he lives with me full time.

The original custody/support agreement was administered in the Georgia court system 8 years ago. We have both since moved to different states (she to Virginia 2 years ago and me to North Carolina 7 years ago).

I am not sure how to proceed with getting the custody/child support order switched as I have received a different answer from each attorney I've contacted in NC, GA, and VA. Which state has jurisdiction over my case and where should I start to get this resolved?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.
Hello and welcome,

I am working on your answer now and will post it here shortly.
Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.

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.

It has been my pleasure to assist you. Please remember to press the smiley faces/stars on the right of your screen when we are finished with our communication so I will be credited for my time.

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Thank you very much and all the best to you,

Tina

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

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?

Expert:  Tina replied 4 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.


It has been my pleasure to assist you. Please remember to press the smiley faces/stars on the right of your screen when we are finished with our communication so I will be credited for my time.

Kindly remember to ONLY rate my answer when you are fully satisfied. If you feel the need to rate anything less than OK, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY TO EXPERT or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will be happy to continue further and assist you until I am able to explain your concern to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to you or not, so please don’t shoot the messenger.

Thank you very much and all the best to you,

Tina

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:

http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-tina/

Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.
Hello again,
I wanted to thank you for using JustAnswer, and to inquire whether my answer was helpful in clarifying your understanding of the law.
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Also, please feel free to bookmark my profile if you have legal questions in the future using the following link: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-tina/
Thank you very much and good luck to you.
Tina