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What Are the Child Custody Laws in North Carolina?

What Are the Child Custody Laws in North Carolina?

Regardless of the circumstances, fighting for child custody can be a grueling experience. Whether you are contesting for full custody or joint custody, it is not easy to argue over the best interests of your child. This gets all the more stressful when you have to look into specific child custody laws for your home state. 

When looking for details on child custody laws in North Carolina, you may be presented with a plethora of information across the web. But more often than not, it remains challenging to understand and complicated to process.

Understanding that the experience is already as rough as it can be, we are here to assist you with your child custody investigations. To help you navigate through the intricacies with ease, here are the most crucial details on child custody in North Carolina.

How Is Child Custody Determined in North Carolina?

Similar to other jurisdictions, North Carolina determines child custody cases based upon a child’s best interests. 

Factors include the child’s safety, current living arrangements; relationship with each parent; circumstances of the custody case; and history of abuse or neglect. 

All of these factors, as well as, other pertinent histories can steer the outcome of a child custody case, including school attendance. This is why you must discuss your specific situation with a family attorney before you proceed to court.

How Does Child Custody Work in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, you can share joint custody or hold sole custody of your child. You can also contest for visitation rights, which also extend to your child’s grandparents or non-parental relatives. Lastly, but most importantly, your child’s wishes are considered when deciding the outcome of your custody case.

According to details of the child custody laws in North Carolina, these aspects are integral to a variety of cases. To help you understand these essential distinctions without weighing you down, here is a brief outline of each significant segment in child custody.

Legal Custody vs. Physical Custody

Similar to other jurisdictions, child custody in North Carolina is segmented into two types: 

  1. Legal Custody
  2. Physical Custody 

Legal custody refers to a parent’s right to have a say in the best interests of their child in medical, educational, and religious decisions. Whereas physical custody refers to a parent’s right to have their child live with them. 

Joint or Shared Legal Custody

A joint or shared legal custody means that each parent has the right to make essential decisions in the child’s life. 

Shared legal custody is a widespread arrangement that is granted in most cases. You can easily reach for this arrangement barring any exceptional circumstances.

Sole Legal Custody

According to child custody laws in North Carolina, courts can grant sole legal custody to one parent in some cases. In these instances, only one parent has the right to make essential decisions in the child’s life.

While rare, it is still a possibility that can come forth in light of certain events. With that being said, you can always contest it in a few cases with the help of a family attorney.

Joint or Shared Physical Custody

Some parents may also reach an agreement for joint or shared physical custody. This gives both parents the right to physical custody of their child. 

But the time between each parent is not always divided equally. It depends upon the child’s wishes and their best interests as well as the parents’ preferences. If you need an equal number of nights a year with your child, then you should discuss it with your family attorney.

Sole Physical Custody

In some cases, sole physical custody is provided to one parent. This may often prevent the other parent from any physical custody rights except for visitation time. 

In case a parent does not get shared physical custody, they can request for an agreement for visitation rights. If you find yourself in such a situation, an experienced family attorney can give you specific advice according to your case. 

Grandparents’ Visitation Rights

According to child custody laws in North Carolina, grandparents can have visitation rights under non-parent visitation rights. This means that if your parents want to visit your child, they can express their wishes and have them incorporated in the custody verdict. 

Since anyone wanting to visit a child has to prove that it is in the child’s best interests, this is also something that needs to be discussed with your attorney. This also applies to other relatives, such as older siblings.

Child’s Preference

A child’s wishes are considered during custody cases. In case a child leans towards one parent or living arrangement more than the other, chances are that their preference will be respected.

This means that you will need to respect your child’s wishes and their preference towards a living arrangement. 

Child Support

North Carolina law requires both parents to provide child support. This is often dependent on the type of custody agreement you share in your case.

In the case where one parent has primary custody, child support payments are made to the custodial parent. But the custodial parent still has to spend their share of support on the child. These calculations can get complicated. But your family attorney can break them down for you.

Uniform Child Custody Act

It is also important to note that North Carolina follows the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)

As a Uniform Act, the UCCJEA has been adopted by most territories in the United States. This helps in enforcing child custody decisions across different states. 

In simple terms, this means that if you hold certain child custody conditions from another state that follows UCCJEA, they will hold up in North Carolina. This also works the other way around. If this situation applies to you, a family attorney can help you with your specific case.

Contact JP Investigations for Child Custody Advice

At JP Investigations, we specialize in handling child custody cases in North Carolina. Whether you want to reach an amicable arrangement or need to contest a problematic proposition, our expertise is just a call away. 

If you have any questions or need to discuss your specific case, feel free to contact us today.

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