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Child Custody Laws in North Carolina

  • A parent’s economic situation and earning potential
  • A parent’s physical, mental, emotional well-being
  • A parent’s availability to the child
  • A parent’s caretaking skills
  • The child’s preferences
  • The child’s level of bonding with other siblings

Your lawyer can help you seek sole physical and legal custody or joint physical and legal custody depending on your situation. If you are denied physical custody, your lawyer can work to secure visitation rights that allow you to have quality parenting time with your children.

North Carolina is a No-Fault Divorce State

North Carolina is a No-Fault Divorce State

Can Child Custody Agreements be Modified?

It is important to note that no child custody arrangement is permanent. Child custody is always open to being modified. If you are not satisfied with your current arrangement, you can work with a family lawyer to seek modifications if your circumstances have changed since the agreement was enforced.

If your parenting agreement was reached with your ex-spouse outside of the court, the focus in a child custody modification will be to determine what new arrangement will serve the best interest of the child. However, if the child’s custody resulted from a court order, the parent seeking a modification will need to show “changed circumstances” that have adversely affected the child to warrant a modification. A judge who agrees that the changes are substantial may modify the existing child support agreement.

If ever a child is in danger of being physically or psychologically harmed, your lawyer will work quickly to obtain an emergency custody order.

Can Grandparents in NC seek Child Custody and Visitation Rights?

In North Carolina, grandparents may be granted custody and visitation rights. To have standing to sue a child’s parents for custody, the grandparent must prove the unfitness of the child’s parents or show neglect of the children.

Grandparents can also be granted visitation rights if they can demonstrate that the children’s parents are in an ongoing child custody dispute and having visitation rights would be beneficial to the children.

How is Visitation Determined?

There are no set rules regarding how much visitation time a parent without primary custody can have or when visitations should occur. Visitation cases depend on a number of variables, including:

  • Distance between the parents’ homes
  • Ages of the children
  • Schedules of the children
  • Work schedules of the parents

Can I Move out of the Area or State with my Children?

There are often travel and relocation restrictions placed on the divorced parent who has legal custody of the children. The parent with legal custody might be forbidden from moving outside of a certain geographic area, including moving out of state.

One could, however, seek court approval for a move if you are able to prove that the move will be in the children’s best interest.

How does a Criminal Record Affect Child Custody?

While a criminal conviction is not necessarily a disqualifier for custody, it will be a significant factor in custody cases. Some convictions carry greater weight than others depending on:

  • The nature of the crime
  • The victim of the crime
  • The sentence ordered and served
  • Length of time since the conviction
  • Criminal history

A domestic violence conviction, in particular, could weigh heavily against a parent as might illegal drug offenses or drunk driving convictions.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Lawyer for Child Custody Cases

Our family law lawyers at Wilson, Reives, Silverman & Doran know the rights and protections that are part of North Carolina’s child custody laws. We are committed to securing the best custody arrangements for our clients that meet the needs of parents and their children.

Call us today or use our online form to connect with our team of lawyers for a confidential consultation.

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