Exclusive and Continuing Jurisdiction

While there can be very complex jurisdictional issues in a child custody case and the details of every case should be discussed with an attorney, generally, once an initial child custody determination is made by a court of this State, North Carolina will continue to have exclusive jurisdiction over the matter. To simplify this into very general terms, after North Carolina has made a determination in a child custody case, North Carolina will maintain exclusive continuing jurisdiction over the child custody matter and a party would have to return to the courts of North Carolina to make modifications to the child custody order that has been established.

There are some circumstances that would warrant changing this exclusive, continuing jurisdiction. For example, if a court of this State determined that neither the child, the child’s parents, or any person acting as a parent no longer had a significant connection with this State and that substantial evidence was no longer available in this State concerning the child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships; or a court of this State or a court of another state determined that the child, the child’s parents, and any person acting as a parent no longer resided in this State.