Child Custody Decisions in North Carolina

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What Types of Custody Decisions have been made in North Carolina?

Unlike other states which often presume in favor of granting full custody to the mother, North Carolina does not make any presumptions as to which parent will best be able to provide for the welfare and happiness of the child.  If custody has been contested, the court will consider various factors which must be in line with the best interests of the child.

What factors does the court consider in assigning custody?

In determining custody, the court must consider all relevant factors, which may include:
• The age and educational background of the child, as well as their psychological and emotional disposition
• Any previous history of an emotional bond between the child and the parents
• The child’s preferences in certain instances
• Whether there have been any instances of domestic violence or abuse with either parent. If there have been previous instances, the court must determine which arrangement best secures the safety of the child
• If joint custody has been requested by either parent, the court must make evaluations regarding the request

Do the laws of North Carolina contain any other specific provisions?

Yes, if one of the parents has relocated with the child due to a previous act of violence, that party’s relocation or absence may not be used as a factor which weighs against them when determining custody rights. In other words, North Carolina law places a heavy emphasis on the child’s safety and protection.

Do I need a North Carolina Lawyer for my Child Custody Issues?

Hiring a lawyer may be necessary in order for you to be properly prepared in filing a custody claim. The laws regarding child custody are complex and can vary from area to area, and an attorney can help you to understand your options under the law. Also, they can help you anticipate future changes as you present your terms in the custody agreement.

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Last Modified: 06-18-2010 02:53 PM PDT

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