Congratulations to Sarah Privette, President-Elect for the Wake County Bar Association for 2023!
Parents have the right to be involved in their child’s life through physical presence and the ability to make decisions for the child. Parental rights are fundamental, meaning terminating these rights is challenging and will only happen under specific circumstances.
When determining child custody arrangements, the court considers more than where the child will physically spend time. That is physical custody. The court also considers who will have legal custody of the child. Legal custody means a parent’s right to make significant decisions regarding their child’s welfare like healthcare, religion, and education. In North Carolina, there are a variety of child custody arrangements that a court can award, including:
Under North Carolina law, there are several factors that the court will use to determine what type of child custody arrangement is in the child’s best interests. Some of these factors are as follows:
When determining custody arrangements, the court is trying to determine what is in the child’s best interests. Typically, having both parents play an active role in the child’s life is in the child’s best interests. As a result, joint custody is more common than sole physical and legal custody.
There are various elements that someone will need to show to overcome the court’s preference for joint legal and physical custody. To get sole custody, you must show that it is in the child’s best interests.
Courts will be inclined to order sole physical and legal custody if one of the parents is unfit to care for the child or make decisions on the child’s behalf. For example, the court may order sole custody if one parent has the following.
If there is any evidence that sole custody is in the child’s best interests, an experienced attorney will use it to pursue sole custody for their client.
When an order for sole custody is entered, it may be accompanied by an order for visitation. Visitation allows the non-custodial parent to be a part of their child’s life through a less active role. Visitation may be awarded with stipulations, such as only in the presence of another person or during specific days and times. Violating a visitation order can result in visitation rights being taken away from the non-custodial parent.
If you believe that seeking sole custody is in your child’s best interests, turn to Marshall & Taylor PLLC. We want to help get the custody arrangement you need. Our family law attorneys are experienced with custody cases. We will work to increase your chances of being awarded sole physical and legal custody of your child. Contact us today by calling us at (919) 833-1040 or through our online contact form to discuss your legal options.