Child custody is often a contentiously debated issue. When both parties live in the same town, determining where to file the custody complaint is easy. As time passes, parents often move to different towns or even different states. Deciding where to file custody then becomes a bit more complicated.
The decision on which State to file for custody is determined by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJEA). Whether North Carolina is the appropriate state to file for custody may depend on whether the Court is making a decision for the first time (initial custody decision) or whether a party is seeking to modify a decision which was already made (modification).
Assuming North Carolina is the appropriate state to file for custody according to the UCCJEA, the next question is where in North Carolina a party should file (venue). Assuming no other domestic actions are currently pending, North Carolina allows a party to file for custody “in the county where the child resides or is physically present or in a county where a parent resides.” This means a party may have more than one choice of where in North Carolina to file for custody.