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Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Custody – ‘Temporary’ Order – Jurisdiction – Modification

Holding: The trial court’s 2015 custody order said it was temporary, but it (1) was not entered “without prejudice” to either party, (2) said, “Either party, or the Court, may place this order on the calendar for review after 6 months,” and (3) determined all the issues. Therefore, two years later, the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to modify custody when plaintiff submitted a calendar request but failed to file a motion to modify custody.

We affirm the trial court’s order, which concluded that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to modify custody.

While the 2015 order does not provide for a holiday and vacation visitation schedule, it provides for plaintiff’s visitation schedule for every week indefinitely into the future and says, “Plaintiff/Mother shall have no other contact with the minor child.” There is no indication that the trial court intended to provide a holiday visitation schedule, either on a temporary or permanent basis.

Although the 2015 order requires the mother to undergo a full psychiatric evaluation, the order does not indicate that custody could or would be revised upon the mother obtaining a favorable psychiatric evaluation; moreover, the order does not set forth any date to reconvene or any specific condition to review the mother’s psychiatric evaluation.

The 2015 order leaves no issues of custody undetermined. The 2015 custody order is a permanent order.


Linker v. Linker (Lawyers Weekly No. 012-021-18, 12 pp.) (John Tyson, J.) Appealed from Guilford County District Court (Angela Fox, J.) Harvey Barbee Jr. and Megan Spidell for plaintiff; Arlene Zipp and Aaron Davis for defendant. N.C. App. Unpub.


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