My husband has primary custody of his two daughters. In order to get custody, their Mother would not sign the consent order unless juristiction stayed in NC and she didn't have to pay child support. Since then we have moved to Utah and then California because of work. Their mother has only gotten the kids for one out of the five visitations she has had so far. The children do not want to go to NC to visit their mother this summer even though she says it's her ''right''. The kids are angry at her, they even hate when we make them talk to her on the phone. They talk to her side of their family but they say their mother doesn't treat them right (child protective services were once called on her). We don't know what to do. I talk to their mothers sister and she says she would be worried about them if they went,the NC sheriff's dept. say my husband would be a bad father to send them. What should we do? What would happen if we didn't send them? We can't afford to fly to NC to go to court if she sues us.
3 Answers from Attorneys
If you have been in California for at least six months you may be able to get jurisdiction moved to California, but there is no guarentee that it would be moved. You would need to file a motion and the CA judge would talk to the NC judge and between them decide which state will retain jurisdiction. Get the children to a counselor and let them work through their frustration with their mother, you will then have a expert who can speak on behalf of the children and you have worked at solving two problems at once. Good Luck, Pat McCrary
Because your husband is the children's primary caretaker and your husband and the children and, presumably, all relevant witnesses reside in California, I would recommend that you file a motion in the courts in NC for a change of jurisdiction to California. In the meantime, the childern should probably go to counseling to try to work out the problems with mom. Obviously, if mom poses a threat to the children's safety and well-being, you need to have a court of competent jurisdiction make a determination as soon as possible regarding the children's visitation with mom.
Look at the agreement regarding who pays the costs of transportation of the children for visitation. If there is no provision for the payment of transportation then ask mom to provide a roundtrip ticket for each child, before the visit. If you have to pay part of the transportation costs, pay the costs for the children to return home. This procedure will place some of the burden for visitation on the children's mother.
Also proceed as previously advised with the therapist for the children.