Children are a blessing and many parents in Monroe will do anything to ensure their child is raised in a healthy and happy environment, especially if they divorce. North Carolina law states that any child custody decisions must be based on the best interests of the child. Therefore, it is important for divorcing parents to have a basic understanding of child custody laws in North Carolina, so they can make decisions that help their child moving forward.
What is the difference between legal custody and physical custody?
Legal custody refers to the ability of a parent to make key life decisions on behalf of the child. Legal custody can be sole, meaning only one parent has this right to make these decisions, or it can be joint. If it is joint, both parents must consult with one another when making a key life decision on behalf of the child. Some examples of key life decisions include where the child will go to school, what religion the child will participate in and major medical decisions affecting the child.
Physical custody refers to where the child will live on a daily basis. Like legal custody, physical custody can be sole or joint. If a parent has sole physical custody the child will reside with them although the other parent may have visitation rights on certain days. If the parents share joint physical custody the child’s time is split between both of them. Child custody schedules can be arranged in a variety of ways that meet the needs of both the child and the parents.
How are child custody decisions made?
North Carolina law does not favor mothers or fathers based on gender alone when making child custody decisions. Instead, the law will base child custody decisions on the best interests of the child. Some factors the court will consider include each parent’s living arrangements, the relationship the child has with each parent, and each parent’s capabilities when it comes to raising the child. This list is not all-exhaustive; there are other factors as well.
Learn more about child custody in North Carolina
Parents going through a divorce in North Carolina should try to work together when raising their child, even after a divorce. Having appropriate child custody arrangements in place can help. Therefore, it is important for parents to understand child custody laws in North Carolina so they can make decisions that are in their child’s best interests.