Enforcing a Custody Order from Another State

In Child Custody by Sarah Hink

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is a uniform set of laws recognized and adopted by 49 states (including North Carolina). The purpose of these laws and their nationwide adoption are to provide guidance when multiple states are implicated in a child custody dispute, to address parental kidnapping, and to preempt dirty tactics in child custody disputes. These laws create a protocol for recognizing and enforcing existing child custody orders, of determining what court has jurisdiction to hear a custody matter for the first time, and for determining whether temporary orders are appropriate under the circumstances.

Registration of Another State’s Custody Order

If you have moved to North Carolina with a valid custody order from another state, then it would be wise to speak with a family law attorney to discuss registering your order in North Carolina. Under General Statute § 50A-305, you may register this order with an appropriate family court in this state if you comply with the procedural and notice requirements. If the other people affected by that order fail to challenge its registration in this state, then you are entitled to recognition and enforcement of that order under North Carolina laws.

Filing for Enforcement of an Order

If another party affected by the out of state order is failing to comply with its provisions, General Statute § 50A-308 and § 50A-311 provide family courts in North Carolina with the authority to enforce these orders as if they were originally entered in this state. For example, if your child’s other parent is violating your out of state custody order by refusing to return the child after a visit, then you would need to get a hearing before the court, demonstrate that the order entitles you to care of the child, and the other parent is in violation of this order.  The court can then take action to enforce the order, which can even include issuing a warrant for law enforcement to take custody of the child to prevent the kidnapping of the child.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

New Direction Family Law

If you are in North Carolina and need help resolving an issue regarding child custody or visitation, contact New Direction Family Law. Our office serves men and women in Wake, Johnston, Durham, and surrounding counties who want parenting agreements, temporary orders, original child custody and visitation orders, or to modify existing child custody orders. Our attorneys are smart, experienced, and effective. Contact New Direction Family Law today at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an initial appointment or reach us online.