FROM WHITLEY CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE PAUL E. BRADEN, JUDGE
ACTION NO. 08-CI-00759
FOR APPELLANT: Amanda Hill Corbin, Kentucky
FOR APPELLEE: Marcia A. Smith David O. Smith Corbin, Kentucky
BEFORE: COMBS, KRAMER AND THOMPSON, JUDGES.
William Claude Robinson appeals from an order of the Whitley
Circuit Court determining that Kentucky is an inconvenient
forum to hear this child custody matter and relinquishing
jurisdiction to North Carolina under the Uniform Child
Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). We
conclude the trial court did not abuse its discretion and
and Jana Hughes Robinson married in 2007 and, in 2008, a
decree of dissolution was entered in the Whitley Circuit
Court. They have one child who was born in 2008. On June 4,
2009, a final judgment was entered awarding joint custody of
the child to both parents with Jana as the primary
residential custodian and David having visitation in
accordance with the Whitley County Visitation Guidelines.
20, 2010, Jana sought permission to relocate with the child
to Indiana and then to North Carolina. On August 11, 2010, an
agreed mutual restraining order was entered as well as an
agreed order modifying visitation. Pursuant to that order,
Jana remained the child's residential custodian and was
permitted to relocate the child to Charlotte, North Carolina.
The parties agreed David would have visitation the first full
weekend of each month from Friday at 6:00 p.m. to Sunday at
6:00 p.m., with the exchange to occur in Asheville, North
Carolina, with summer vacation divided between the parties.
August 31, 2010 through January 2017, there was no further
activity in the Whitley Circuit Court. However, it is
undisputed that court proceedings were held in North Carolina
concerning post-decree custody issues.
record contains a temporary order entered by a North Carolina
court on March 23, 2012, after Jana filed a motion to modify
visitation. The court's order noted that a telephonic
conference was held between the court and David to inquire
about his absence in the case. The court's order reflects
that David agreed to amend the Kentucky custody/visitation
order by eliminating his monthly visits with the child.
7, 2012, the North Carolina court conducted a hearing on
Jana's motion. David was notified of the hearing but did
5, 2012, the North Carolina court issued an order modifying
David's visitation. The North Carolina court determined
that it had jurisdiction over the child and subject matter
pursuant to the UCCJEA as adopted in North Carolina and that
the Whitley Circuit Court's final judgment and the order
entered on August 11, 2010, had been registered in North
North Carolina court found that a substantial change in
circumstance had occurred. The court found that David had not
exercised his monthly visitation and had not exercised summer
visitation in 2011 or Memorial Day visitation. Although Jana
had driven to Ashville on seven occasions to exchange the
child, David did not appear without providing Jana an
explanation. The North Carolina court modified David's
visitation to terminate his monthly weekend visits and
granted him certain holiday visits and one full week in June,
July and August provided he notify Jana by specified dates.
February 27, 2014, the North Carolina court issued an order
allowing the child to travel overseas without David's
signature and the issuance of a passport without his
signature provided that Jana notify David thirty days prior
to any such travel with location and contact information. The
court found that David had "extremely low
interaction" with the child, there had been instances of
domestic violence between the parties and, except ...