Generally, the appropriate place to file a child custody action is in the state that is considered the home state of the child. That state is said to have jurisdiction over the child custody matter. Generally, under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), the child’s home state rules on child custody issues. This blog explores the concept of the home state of the child. This blog is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.

What is the home state of the child?

The home state of the child is the state that the child has lived in for the six months preceding the filing of the child custody action.

What if the child is under six months old?

Generally, if the child is under six months old, then the child’s home state would be state that the child was born in and has lived since birth.

What if the parents live in different states?

That does not matter. The state with jurisdiction over the child custody matter is the home state of the child. Please note that the out-of-state parent still must be properly served.

What if there is a custody order in one state but the child has moved to another state?

Once the child has lived in the new state for at least six months, that state may assume jurisdiction after the parties take the appropriate steps. For example, let’s say that there is a custody order in California. The child moves to North Carolina and has lived in North Carolina for at least six months. North Carolina can assume jurisdiction of the California child custody order, and once this has occurred, the order would be enforceable in North Carolina.

If you are in need of a family law attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina or the surrounding region, contact us for more information.

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