In re B.L.H., 239 N.C. App. 52 (2015)

Affirmed in Part
  • Facts: VA was home state when initial custody action commenced in VA, although mother and child resided in NC but father remained in VA at the time the initial custody order was entered in 2004. In 2006, VA modified its custody order (father remained in VA; child and mother remained in NC). Based on a 2007 conviction, the father was incarcerated in federal prison in TX with a projected release date of 2017. Father claims his domicile continues to be VA, and therefore, NC does not have subject matter jurisdiction to modify the VA custody decree in a NC TPR filed in 2013.
  • “G.S. 50A-203 does not require that the parties no longer be domiciled in the state which initially exercised jurisdiction” but instead requires that neither parent nor the child “presently reside” in the state that initially exercised jurisdiction. Presently reside differs from domicile in that residence is “a person’s actual place of abode, whether permanent or temporary.” No parties presently resided in VA such that VA no longer possessed exclusive continuing jurisdiction. NC properly assumed jurisdiction.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Modification Jurisdiction
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