* 50A-102. Definitions. In this Article:
(1) "Abandoned" means left without provision for reasonable and necessary care or supervision.
(2) "Child" means an individual who has not attained 18 years of age.
(3) "Child-custody determination" means a judgment, decree, or other order of a court providing for the legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child. The term includes a permanent, temporary, initial, and modification order. The term does not include an order relating to child support or other monetary obligation of an individual.
(4) "Child-custody proceeding" means a proceeding in which legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child is an issue. The term includes a proceeding for divorce, separation, neglect, abuse, dependency, guardianship, paternity, termination of parental rights, and protection from domestic violence in which the issue may appear. The term does not include a proceeding involving juvenile delinquency, contractual emancipation, or enforcement under Part 3 of this Article.
(5) "Commencement" means the filing of the first pleading in a proceeding.
(6) "Court" means an entity authorized under the law of a state to establish, enforce, or modify a child-custody determination.
(7) "Home state" means the state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child-custody proceeding. In the case of a child less than six months of age, the term means the state in which the child lived from birth with any of the persons mentioned. A period of temporary absence of any of the mentioned persons is part of the period.
(8) "Initial determination" means the first child-custody determination concerning a particular child.
(9) "Issuing court" means the court that makes a child-custody determination for which enforcement is sought under this Article.
(10) "Issuing state" means the state in which a child-custody determination is made.
(11) "Modification" means a child-custody determination that changes, replaces, supersedes, or is otherwise made after a previous determination concerning the same child, whether or not it is made by the court that made the previous determination.
(12) "Person" means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, government; governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality; public corporation; or any other legal or commercial entity.
(13) "Person acting as a parent" means a person, other than a parent, who:
a. Has physical custody of the child or has had physical custody for a period of six consecutive months, including any temporary absence, within one year immediately before the commencement of a child-custody proceeding; and
b. Has been awarded legal custody by a court or claims a right to legal custody under the law of this State.
(14) "Physical custody" means the physical care and supervision of a child.
(15) "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, * 50A-103, 104, 105 * 50A-103. Proceedings governed by other law.
This Article does not govern an adoption proceeding or a proceeding pertaining to the authorization of emergency medical care for a child. (1999-223, s. 3.)
* 50A-104. Application to Indian tribes.
(a) A child-custody proceeding that pertains to an Indian child, as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 U.S.C. * 1901 et seq., is not subject to this Article to the extent that it is governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act.
(b) A court of this State shall treat a tribe as if it were a state of the United States for the purpose of applying Parts 1 and 2.
(c) A child-custody determination made by a tribe under factual circumstances in substantial conformity with the jurisdictional standards of this Article must be recognized and enforced under Part 3. (1999-223, s. 3.)
* 50A-105. International application of Article.
(a) A court of this State shall treat a foreign country as if it were a state of the United States for the purpose of applying Parts 1 and 2.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), a child-custody determination made in a foreign country under factual circumstances in substantial conformity with the jurisdictional standards of this Article must be recognized and enforced under Part 3.
(c) A court of this State need not apply this Article if the child-custody law of a foreign country violates fundamental principles of human rights. (1979, c. 110, s. 1; 1999-223, s. 3.) * 50A-106, 107, 108 * 50A-106. Effect of child-custody determination.
A child-custody determination made by a court of this State that had jurisdiction under this Article binds all persons who have been served in accordance with the laws of this State or notified in accordance with G.S. 50A-108 or who have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court and who have been given an opportunity to be heard. As to those persons, the determination is conclusive as to all decided issues of law and fact except to the extent the determination is modified. (1979, c. 110, s.1; 1999-223, s. 3.)
* 50A-107. Priority.
If a question of existence or exercise of jurisdiction under this Article is raised in a child-custody proceeding, the question, upon request of a party, must be given priority on the calendar and handled expeditiously. (1999-223, s. 3.)
* 50A-108. Notice to persons outside State.
(a) Notice required for the exercise of jurisdiction when a person is outside this State may be given in a manner prescribed by the law of this State for service of process or by the law of the state in which the service is made. Notice must be given in a manner reasonably calculated to give actual notice but may be by publication if other means are not effective.
(b) Proof of service may be made in the manner prescribed by the law of this State or by the law of the state in which the service is made.
(c) Notice is not required for the exercise of jurisdiction with respect to a person who submits to the jurisdiction of the court. (1999-223, s. 3.) * 50A-109, 110, 111 * 50A-109. Appearance and limited immunity.
(a) A party to a child-custody proceeding, including a modification proceeding, or a petitioner or respondent in a proceeding to enforce or register a child-custody determination, is not subject to personal jurisdiction in this State for another proceeding or purpose solely by reason of having participated, or of having been physically present for the purpose of participating, in the proceeding.
(b) A person who is subject to personal jurisdiction in this State on a basis other than physical presence is not immune from service of process in this State. A party present in this State who is subject to the jurisdiction of another state is not immune from service of process allowable under the laws of that state.
(c) The immunity granted by subsection (a) does not extend to civil litigation based on acts unrelated to the participation in a proceeding under this Article committed by an individual while present in this State. (1999-223, s. 3.)
* 50A-110. Communication between courts.
(a) A court of this State may communicate with a court in another state concerning a proceeding arising under this Article.
(b) The court may allow the parties to participate in the communication. If the parties are not able to participate in the communication, they must be given the opportunity to present facts and legal arguments before a decision on jurisdiction is made.
(c) Communication between courts on schedules, calendars, court records, and similar matters may occur without informing the parties. A record need not be made of the communication.
(d) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), a record must be made of a communication under this section. The parties must be informed promptly of the communication and granted access to the record.
(e) For the purposes of this section, "record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form. (1999-223, s. 3.)
* 50A-111. Taking testimony in another state.
(a) In addition to other procedures available to a party, a party to a child-custody proceeding may offer testimony of witnesses who are located in another state, including testimony of the parties and the child, by deposition or other means allowable in this State for testimony taken in another state. The court on its own motion may order that the testimony of a person be taken in another state and may prescribe the manner in which and the terms upon which the testimony is taken.
(b) A court of this State may permit an individual residing in another state to be deposed or to testify by telephone, audiovisual means, or other electronic means before a designated court or at another location in that state. A court of this State shall cooperate with courts of other states in designating an appropriate location for the deposition or testimony.
(c) Documentary evidence transmitted from another state to a court of this State by technological means that do not produce an original writing may not be excluded from evidence on an objection.