By Sade Knox, Intern, Woodruff Family Law Group
King v. Giannini-King, 784 S.E.2d 237 (N.C. Ct. App. 2016).
Facts: In October 2001, Plaintiff (father) and Defendant (mother) were married and then separated, about seven years later, in early June 2008. Two minor children were born to the parties’ marriage. After the separation, Defendant relocated with the minor children. Subsequently, to Defendant’s relocation, Plaintiff brought an action for divorce from bed and board, child custody, and equitable distribution. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss, a motion to strike, in addition to a counterclaim for custody, child support, alimony, etc.
The trial court initially granted both parties temporary joint legal and physical custody of the minor children. The trial court, nearly a year later, entered a custody order, granting Defendant permanent legal and physical custody of the minor children, and permitted Defendant’s relocation of herself and the minor children to Wilmington, N.C.
Plaintiff was granted visitation rights and relocated to Southport, N.C., where the parties began to modify their custody schedule. Plaintiff later remarried and returned to Person County. Soon after, Plaintiff filed motions alleging a substantial change in circumstance, which resulted in the trial court transferring primary physical custody of the minor children to Plaintiff, temporarily, and allowed Plaintiff to relocate the minor children to Person County.
Defendant filed a motion asking for a new trial, or set aside the temporary order, shortly thereafter, which the trial court denied. Finally, in mid-December 2014, the court entered a permanent order that granted both parties joint legal and physical custody of the minor children. Defendant appealed arguing the trial court had erred in their custody orders.
Issue: Whether Plaintiff’s argument concerning the temporary custody order was appropriate for appellate review. Was there enough evidence to support a substantial change in circumstance?
Answer to Issue: No. Yes. Continue reading →