Unlike other states, 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. Many states give this presumption with the mother. What North Carolina does have in common with other states is the best interest standard the courts use if custody has been contested. Essentially, North Carolina courts will consider several factors to determine what will be in the best interests of the child.

What Factors Do Courts Consider in Assigning Custody?

To determine custody, the court must consider any relevant factors, including:

  •  The age and education of the child
  • The psychological and emotional disposition of the child
  • An emotional bond between the child and the parents
  • The child’s preference
  • Any instances of domestic violence or abuse with either parent.
  • If joint custody has been requested by either parent, the court must make evaluations regarding the request

Are There 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 Lawyer for Child Custody Issues?

Hiring a North Carolina child custody lawyer will be necessary in order to be properly prepared for filing a custody claim. Child custody laws are complex and can vary from area to area, and a local child custody lawyer 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.