Co-Counsel Bulletins

CONSENT MODIFICATION OF CHILD CUSTODY

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Sometimes a legal assistance attorney must advise clients on an agreed-upon modification of child custody in North Carolina . This might be necessary when one parent becomes unable to take care of a child, is about join the military or move far away or is unwilling to retain custody because the child is undisciplined. When both parties consent to the change in custody, the law does not require lawyers for each side. Usually a simple consent modification of the prior order is all that is required, with the examples shown below.

Custody Modification Motion. When child custody has previously been determined in a court order, the proper format for consent modification is first to move for modification, with a motion as follows:

.........................................................

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF _______

 

IN THE GENERAL COURT OF JUSTICE DISTRICT COURT DIVISION
FILE NO. _______

____________________,
Plaintiff

v.

____________________,
Defendant

 

 

MOTION TO MODIFY CHILD CUSTODY

 

The [Plaintiff/Defendant] hereby moves this court for a modification of child custody under G.S. 50-13.7, showing to the court that:

1. In a prior order of this court, entered on [date] the [Plaintiff/Defendant] was awarded custody as follows: [here set out names, birthdates of children, terms of order, such as: Plaintiff received sole legal custody of Sally F. Brown, born 1/12/94, and Ira L. Brown, born 2/15/95.]

2. Since entry of the prior order there has been a substantial change of circumstances such as to justify a modification of child custody, namely: [here set out reason for modification, such as one parent's job demands or the child's unruly behavior, such as: The two minor children have become unmanageable and the Plaintiff and Defendant have agreed that they should live with Defendant].

3. This change of custody would be in the best interest of the child [or children].

WHEREFORE [Plaintiff/Defendant] prays that this court enter an order for transfer of custody and such other relief as is just and proper.

___________________________________ Date: ________________
[Typed Name][Plaintiff/Defendant]
PRO SE
[Address]
[Telephone Number]

Consent Order for Modification of Custody. After filing the above motion, the parties should execute a consent order in substance as below:

..............................................

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF ________

 

IN THE GENERAL COURT OF JUSTICE DISTRICT COURT DIVISION
FILE NO.

____________________,
Plaintiff

v.

____________________,
Defendant

 

ORDER MODIFYING CHILD CUSTODY

 

THIS CAUSE was heard before the undersigned District Court Judge on the motion of [Plaintiff/Defendant] for modification of child custody. It was made to appear to the court that the parties had knowingly and voluntarily consented to the entry of this order, as shown by their signatures below. The Court makes the following:

FINDINGS OF FACT:

1. In a prior order of this court, entered on [date] the [Plaintiff/Defendant] was awarded custody as follows: [here set out names, birthdates of children, terms of order, such as: Plaintiff received sole legal custody of Sally F. Brown, born 1/12/94, and Ira L. Brown, born 2/15/95.]

2. Since entry of the prior order there has been a change of circumstances such as to justify a modification of child custody, namely: [here set out reason for modification, such as one parent's job demands or the child's unruly behavior, such as: The two minor children have become unmanageable and the Plaintiff and Defendant have agreed that they should live with Defendant].

3. The terms of this order are fair, reasonable, adequate and necessary.

4. This order is in the best interest of the child, and the parties are fit and proper for the roles set out below.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

1. There has been a substantial change of circumstances since entry of the last order for child custody herein.

2. The terms of this order are fair, reasonable, adequate, and necessary.

3. The parties are entitled to a modification of child custody as set out below.

4. This order is in the best interest of the children, and the parties are fit and proper for the roles set out below.

DECREE

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:

1. The custody of ____ shall be transferred to the [ Plaintiff/Defendant ] as follows: [specify details of custody transfer].

2. This change shall be effective as of [date].

3. [OPTIONAL] The visitation rights of [Defendant/Plaintiff] shall be: [here set out new visitation schedule].

_________________________________ Date:__________________
DISTRICT COURT JUDGE PRESIDING

WE HAVE READ THE ABOVE AND CONSENT TO IT:

_____________________________ Date:___________________
PLAINTIFF

_____________________________ Date: ___________________
DEFENDANT

[rev. 3/14/07]

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The CO-COUNSEL BULLETIN series of information papers for JAG officers in North Carolina is a product of the NC State Bar's Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel (LAMP). For comments or corrections, contact LAMP Committee member Mark E. Sullivan, who is a retired Army Reserve JAG Colonel, author of The Military Divorce Handbook (Am. Bar Assn., 2006), and Chairman of the Military Committee, Family Law Section, American Bar Association. He can be reached at 600 Wade Avenue , Raleigh , NC 27605 (919-832-8507); E-mail: Mark.Sullivan@ncfamilylaw.com .

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