I just relocated to North Carolina from another state. I have a custody and child support order from my former state. Are the orders good in North Carolina or do I need to get a North Carolina order? How do I enforce the orders or have changes made to them?
– Puzzled Parent
When a custodial parent moves to North Carolina it is important to bring copies of any custody and child support orders issued by another state. Orders issued by another state are given full faith and credit in North Carolina under the U.S. Constitution and North Carolina’s State Constitution. You do not need to start the custody or child support process again from the beginning.
However, before a local court can change any of the terms of the custody or child support orders, the orders must be registered in North Carolina. Custody and child support orders entered in another state are referred to as “foreign orders.” North Carolina provides a relatively simple process for registering foreign custody and child support orders.
Forms are available on the NCCourts.gov website which are downloadable and fillable. The forms have easy to follow instructions which outline all the necessary steps for properly registering a foreign custody and/or support order. The opposing party or non-custodial parent will need to receive copies of any petitions for registration filed in North Carolina. Once the foreign order is registered then you can petition the local court for modifications of child custody or child support.
There is an exception for child custody orders. A child custody order does not need to be registered before it can be enforced. North Carolina provides for the expedited enforcement of a foreign child custody order. A request for expedited enforcement is a separate form, also available at NCCourts.gov. Expedited enforcement of an order will require a court hearing which will be scheduled on the next workday for the court immediately following the filing of the petition.
Following the proper procedure for registering your custody and/or child support order when you first arrive in North Carolina is the best way to avoid unnecessary delays if you ever need to make changes to the orders. As always if you have any questions you should consult an attorney who regularly practices in the field of family law.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general in nature and not to be taken as legal advice, nor to establish an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Jennifer Fleet or Weaver | Budd, Attorneys at Law. Submit your questions for The Fine Print to: inquiries@weaverbud dlaw.com.