Charlotte, NC asked in Family Law for North Carolina

Q: Will a judge grant my 5-month-old son visitation out-of-state if his father moved to MD permanently?

I filed for custody of our son the first week in December 2020 and 3 weeks later the father left NC and returned to MD to live with his mother. He has visited once since moving. We have mediation late March and he has informed me he will request for his visitations to be held in MD. He also said he would like for our son to spend 6 months in MD with him and then 6 months in NC with me. Due to our sons age - his requests seem unreasonable to me; therefore, I’m certain we will not agree in mediation and will likely have to appear in front of a judge. Should I anticipate a judge ordering our infant to travel 6 hours to MD for frequent visitation? Or to split custody between two states? Please note that breastfeeding is not a factor in our situation.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
Answered
  • Greensboro, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: I dislike these types of questions as it really just calls for speculation when we don't know anything else about the parties, the case, or the judge. So any answer you receive is going to be mostly guesswork. All that said, I could see a judge ordering that the child is to have visitations in Maryland with the parties meeting in the middle for exchanges. I don't think it is likely that the child would split his time between the two locations - it is much more likely that he would live primarily in one location and visit the other (in particular around the holidays/summer).

Amanda Bowden Johnson
Amanda Bowden Johnson
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Jacksonville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: The child's age is likely not a relevant factor and your concern about that is likely unfounded but not necessarily an unusual or unexpected stance for any mother to take. So yes, likely (and hopefully) the Court will force you to comply with reasonable and liberal visitation out of state if you continue to refuse to do so voluntarily (assuming of course there is no legitimate reason not to allow it). The fact that breast feeding is not a factor makes your inclination to limit visitation even more incredibly unreasonable even though it is very understandable. It is likely the best you will be able to do is inappropriately use the court process to delay the likely inevitable court ordered visitation as long as possible but that is likely an awful thing to do and I would encourage you not to unless you have a much better reason than the child's age. Best of luck.

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