North Carolina Parenting Laws

What Are the Parenting Laws in North Carolina?

If you are a parent or guardian, you need to understand the laws in North Carolina. Child custody can be difficult to navigate for anyone. In almost all cases, the court’s decisions are centered around the child’s best interests. Whether you’re seeking custody or want to modify your current agreement, here are a few things you will want to know about parenting laws in North Carolina. 

Types of Child Custody

As you may already know, child custody is divided into two types: legal and physical. Under North Carolina statutes, legal custody allows a parent to make decisions about the child’s life and welfare, while physical custody determines where the minor will live. Custody can be awarded on a sole (one parent) or joint (both parent) basis.

Disputing Custody in North Carolina

If you want to file for child custody in North Carolina, you must submit paperwork to the appropriate court. The filing should include basic information about the parties involved, such as their names, addresses, phone numbers, and a brief description of the custody dispute. When the filing of the complaint, the court will assign a case number and schedule a hearing.

At the hearing, both parties will have the opportunity to present their case and argue for the custody arrangement they believe is in the child’s best interests. They may present evidence such as: 

  • Witness testimonies
  • Expert opinions
  • Documentation

Mediation can help the parties reach an agreement without a full trial. If the parties are able to come to a resolution through mediation, the terms of their agreement will be incorporated into a court order.

However, if the parties cannot reach a resolution, the case will proceed to a full trial. The courts will hear evidence and testimony from both sides and then make a custody decision, factoring issues, such as:

  • The child’s age, physical and emotional health
  • The relationship between the child and each parent
  • The parent’s ability to provide a stable and loving home

In all these instances, the courts will decide based on the child’s best interests. 

Custody for Unmarried Parents

Custody issues are not just for those who have been married. Unmarried couples can go to court to settle their issues for child custody. Under the law, if the father does not take any legal action to seek custody, custody is awarded to the mother. 

However, if the father contests the custody, and he can prove it is in the child’s best interest, the court may award his visitation or legal/physical custody. 

Modification Custody Orders

Once the custody order is in the place, it is a legally enforceable court decision. But, life can change. If the parent’s living situation or income changes, then requests for modifications may be given. Any modification must be submitted to the court, where a judge will decide whether to deny or grant the request. 

Get the Help You Need for Your Case

These are just a few of the state laws that govern child custody in the state. Sometimes, navigating them requires the help of a legal professional. If you want to learn more about the parenting laws in North Carolina, contact Stephen E. Robertson Law Office. We are here to help with your case. 

Contact us today to schedule a consultation. You can set up an appointment by calling 336-370-6760 today.