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Our Charlotte Family Lawyers can help register, enforce, and modify your out of state custody and/or support agreement in NC.
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To speak with one of our Charlotte child custody and support attorneys regarding an out of state order, call us today at 704-412-1442. We can help.
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Our Charlotte based child custody and support lawyers are well versed on the procedures involved in registering, enforcing, and modifying foreign orders. NC Law considers any child custody or child support order that was entered in a state other than NC to be a "foreign" order. Prior to enforcing or possibly modifying an out of state child support order, North Carolina law requires that the order must first be "registered" in North Carolina. NC law does not similarly specifically require registration of foreign child custody orders, but in practice, we have seen judges require the extra step prior to enforcement or modification. Registration can be a relatively easy process assuming all statutorily dictated steps are followed. Things get tricky when jurisdiction becomes an issue after one or more parties to a child custody or child support order moves from one state to another. The biggest questions become, how is the out of state (foreign) order enforced in the new state, and which state (the original state or the new state) has jurisdiction and power over the parties moving forward to modify and change the order? These questions often involve a complex legal analysis and may lead to cross state battles. It is important to seek legal counsel to ensure that you are following the proper steps regarding the enforcement and possible modification of your foreign order.
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Our Charlotte Mecklenburg child custody lawyers have experience with out of state custody order and can help. Call us at 704-412-1442 to speak to an attorney today.
Child custody issues stretching across state lines are typically resolved through the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which has been adopted by every state in the United States. Per the UCCJEA, a state that originally creates a child custody order (the issuing state) has exclusive and continuing jurisdiction over other states until jurisdiction is transferred and another court accepts jurisdiction, or until the issuing state relinquishes jurisdiction. This does not happen automatically when one party to a child custody matter moves, and can often involve intense legal battles across state lines.
Assuming one party now lives in North Carolina, foreign orders are enforceable and may be modifiable in NC depending on a number of additional factors including the location of all parties and the specific facts surrounding the custody case. Interstate child custody modification cases often involve a complex analysis of the UCCJEA statutes regarding jurisdiction. For more on jurisdiction, view our blog "Does NC Have Jurisdiction Over my Custody Case?"
In practice, and although not specifically required by statute, we have found some judges prefer that foreign orders be "registered" through NC courts prior to taking any sort of action to enforcing or modifying the order. Registration involves filing for registration, notice, service, and confirmation of the foreign order.
Need help registering or modifying an existing out of state child custody and/or child support order? Call us today to speak with one of our Charlotte child custody and support lawyers. We can help. 704-412-1442.
When it comes to modifying support orders, a bit of a different analysis is involved. Rather than following the UCCJEA, NC has specific statutes set aside addressing the modification of foreign child support orders, called the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), which has been adopted by almost every state in the country. These statutes relate in part to the state of residence of the obligor (the person responsible for paying child support), the obligee (the person receiving child support), and the child(ren) involved, and carves out several situations in which a foreign order may be modified in the state of North Carolina.
UIFSA specifically requires that a foreign child support order be registered in North Carolina prior to enforcement or modification. Assuming one party now lives in North Carolina, support orders may be enforceable through NC courts assuming proper steps are followed regarding registration, notice, service, and confirmation of the foreign order. Once fully registered, and assuming that North Carolina can exercise personal jurisdiction over the non-resident party, a child support order will be enforceable through the contempt powers of NC courts, and may possibly be modifiable depending on a number of additional factors.
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