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How does one request that a North Carolina Court (New Hanover) release jurisdiction under the UCCJEA to another state?Procedure?

Bothell, WA |

Wilmington, NC: Three children.Father severely abuses mother.Mother leaves w/agreement to keep kids.Father snags & keeps kids. An order for custody was entered in late 2006 in favor of the father.Father cut off communication between the mother & children & threatened her with arrest if she came around them (father: police officer),then quickly relocates to Virginia.After being skip traced & issued an ultimatum,he sends 1 child to the mother in WA.UCCJEA: no party or child resides in NC, no action has been filed since '06, & no action has been filed in VA, how does one request the NC court to release jurisdiction to WA for a custody petition? Grounds for an emergency order exist, though, I understand that a "loss of continuing jurisdiction," must be agreed to by the original court. Thanks.

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Attorney answers 1

Posted

If neither parent still resides in NC, NC has NO subject matter jurisdiction. You don't need their release.

Apparently you are seeking custody of the other children (and maybe the one already in WA, if not previously done through the court), with the father in Virginia. If they have been there at least six months, Virginia would be considered their "home state", for purposes of the UCCJEA.

Basically, you have to have two actions pending: one in each state. Then you ask the judges in each court to phone each other to discuss which court ought to decide the pending parenting issues. One will yield to the other, and you then continue in the court which prevails.

If this answer is helpful or the best answer, please say so. Legal disclaimer: In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship.

Asker

Posted

Mark, thank you very much for your answer. To make sure I understand you correctly, if the mother seeks only to secure custody of the child currently in her custody, and the father has agreed to give full custody to the mother, all she would need to do is file her action here in Seattle, then serve him in VA?

Asker

Posted

~ The thought being that its better to lock in the one, rather than go for all three from the start and risk losing them all over again.

Mark L. Alexander

Mark L. Alexander

Posted

If no state has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction (that would have been NC), then the next question is which is the "home state" of the child(ren) in question. That's the state where the child has lived with a person acting as parent for at least 6 months before the action is filed about that child. As to the child with the mother, that is probably WA (you didn't say how long they have lived here.) As to the other two children, it may well be Virginia.

Asker

Posted

Mark, you've really made sense of about 300 pages on the internet thus far. One last clarification: The child in Washington has resided with her since May 12, 2012, been enrolled in school, just joined YMCA (in WA), is entering the Civil Air Patrol (in WA), and is 15 years old. Would any of this make WA his home state? Lastly, I have photographic evidence of abuse by his father and step-mother in VA. His father who is a deputy, his mother, and his sister, have all prepared statements, filed a police report against him, and are prepared to assist in any manner necessitated. That being said, if Washington would not qualify as the "home state," would the fact that he sent him to me for the purpose of releasing custody, and the abuse, meet the requirements for Washington to enter a temporary order based on an "emergency situation," and if so, can that temporary order be converted into a permanent order eventually, despite Washington not technically being considered the "home state," under the UCCJEA? Check's in the mail mark. (Sincerely) I appreciate your insight.

Mark L. Alexander

Mark L. Alexander

Posted

WA would not be the child's home state until 11/12/12. Until then, it's VA. It's discretionary with the court whether to assert emergency jurisdiction, and I think an uphill battle. I didn't quite understand the list of people who have prepared statements. In my experience, the person who is being accused of abuse never prepares a statement saying so, nor would his current wife. Rather than airing the dirty laundry in an attempt to get WA to assert jurisdiction, if the father is willing to agree to an order transferring custody to you, why not hire a VA attorney to prepare and file the necessary agreed orders? If this has been helpful, please mark it as Helpful and/or as Best Answer. Good luck to you.

Asker

Posted

Understood. The statement list was referring to the father's relatives (child's grandparents and aunt). Lastly, if he files, he intends on having conditions put into the agreement that would bar me from pursuing the other two children at a later time. He's already attempted to obtain a verbal agreement to that extent. I could never sign such a document. Yet, if I refuse to accept the one, under those circumstances, I fear that I could loose them all. I have an absolutely legitimate concern regarding the child's safety in my custody, for several verifiable reasons beyond that which I've indicated above. I too, would rather not disclose the information at present or ever, unless absolutely necessary. That is one of the reasons why I was hoping to file an agreed custody petition here in Washington. I was hoping to only address the one child in the petition, have the judgment entered where we resided so there will not be a 3000 mile burden, and I was hoping to do it pro se, as I struggle financially and am still paying child support. I have rated your answers as helpful and sincerely appreciate your assistance Mark.

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