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I recently wrote about what happens when your spouse leaves with the kids.  This post is more geared towards situations where your ex leaves in violation of an existing custody order.  What do you do then?  I’m sorry to say that this is a situation that happens way too often, normally, but not always, where there has been domestic violence.

Assuming that your Ex left with the intention to establish residency in another state, rather than to just visit family/friends/etc. for a brief vacation, then your best course of action would be to file, at a minimum, a Motion for Contempt and a Motion for Return of Child (to you).  These motions must be served on your Ex in the other state, and then you need to schedule a hearing.  If the judge grants your motions, then you can take the orders to the state your Ex moved to and have them “domesticated” (i.e., become Orders that are enforceable by law enforcement and the courts in that state).

You can then have a police officer in that state enforce the orders by either arresting your Ex (if provided for in the Order) or simply taking custody of your child and returning him/her to you.  (Usually, you would accompany the officer to retrieve your child).  In all likelihood, the court in NC will want to see you and your Ex back in court to make a final decision on custody.