Modifications And Relocations
Modification Of Child Custody
If a custody order already exists in your case, in order to modify the
terms you will need to show there has been a substantial change in circumstances
since the entry of the last custody order. Changes can be made by agreement
of the parties and we can assist in honing and drafting the terms. If
you oppose the modification, we can assist you in analyzing and presenting
your defense of a claim. If you seek a modification, we can help analyze
whether you have a viable claim for modification, discuss your goals and
what terms you may reasonably obtain, and gather and present evidence
at a trial to support your claim.
Once you have established that a substantial change of circumstances affecting
your child exists, the court applies the best interest of the child standard.
If the existing custody order is from a state other than North Carolina,
the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act apply, and
the order must be registered here before it can be modified. Certain factors
must be met in order for an out of state
custody order to be registered here.
In most circumstances, it is best to address the issue of a move prior
to moving with the child, particularly if you desire to move out of state.
If there is no pending litigation or custody order in place and you move
out of state with the child, an emergency order may be entered requiring
you to return the child if the court finds you have evaded the jurisdiction
of the State of North Carolina. If a court order for custody is in place,
a temporary restraining order may be issued by the court preventing the
move of the child or preventing a change in school or some other circumstance
until a return hearing is held.
When a party seeks to relocate such that the child will not have regular
access to both parents, the reasons for the relocation and the effect
of the move on a child become paramount factors for consideration. If
this is an initial custody case, the standard applied by the court is
the best interest standard. If you seek to modify an existing custody
order, you must first show there is a substantial change in circumstances
affecting the welfare of the child before the best interest standard is applied.
With all of that being said, a move is possible in certain cases. Each
case is unique and the reasons for the move, the effect on the child,
the child’s needs and relationship with both parties and extended
family and community, economic circumstances, services available for a
special needs child, extraordinary circumstances, lifestyle of the parties,
distance between homes, and many other factors can all play a part to
shape a court’s decision regarding custody. Whether you desire to
relocate or need to defend against an action to relocate a child, Vitale
Family Law can assist you in attempts to reach a resolution and, if resolution
fails, in gathering and presenting evidence at trial.
Request an initial consultation and discuss your modifications or relocations
with a North Carolina family law attorney. Call 919-841-5680 or
send an email message to our law offices in Raleigh.