NC: Child Custody

All too often, spouses have disagreements about custody, visitation, and other matters that can affect the welfare of their children. Many people do not understand how much their actions can affect their parental rights if the matter ends up being decided by a judge. It is not uncommon for people to make critical errors that adversely affect their position in a custody dispute because they do not know what judges expect of them. It is advisable that you speak with and let us advise you on the correct course of action.

There are a variety of factors that impact a Judge’s decision about physical child custody, such as:

  • The age of the child/children
  • Number of siblings
  • The proximity of the two parent’s households
  • The work schedule of each parent
  • Each parent’s ability to provide for their child/children physically and emotionally
  • Each parent’s ability to support educational and medical needs of the child/children
  • The parent’s relationship with each other and their ability to productively communicate
  • The ability of each parent to support the relationship of the children with the other parent
  • Any half siblings or extended family members
  • Special needs of a child/children
  • The family history of parenting while together in the marriage
  • Any limitations of a parent due to substance abuse of mental health issues
  • Evidence of domestic violence

More and more often, judges in North Carolina courts are deciding that it is in the best interest of the children for parents to maintain joint legal custody rights even after separating and divorcing. For one parent to gain sole decision-making power in a case, there are usually extenuating circumstances that establish that one parent is not fit to make decisions in the children’s best interests, or that joint decisions are impossible given the personalities of the two parents involved.