Written by Jonathan Breeden
If your child’s other parent somehow jeopardizes your child, you may find it necessary to seek sole custody. However, obtaining sole custody rights in North Carolina can be challenging.
You will need to prove that it is in your child’s best interest for their other parent only to have visitation rights. Here is more about how you can go about winning sole custody of your children in NC:
Having sole custody does not entirely remove the other parent’s rights. However, when one parent retains sole custody, they will have primary physical custody of their children and primary legal custody of their children.
This means you will not be required to discuss any significant parenting decisions with your child’s other parent if you have sole custody rights. Your child’s other parent may still have the right to visit their children if they do not pose a threat or risk to their child. Some of the different types of decisions you might have the right to make as a parent with sole custody include:
These are just a few examples of the decisions a parent with sole custody can have discretion over. Virtually every way in which your child is raised will be up to you if you get sole custody of your child. If you do not have sole custody and are instead involved in a joint custody arrangement with your child’s other parent, these decisions must be discussed with your child’s other parent first.
Sole custody is not awarded lightly in the state of North Carolina. North Carolina child custody laws aim to ensure children can spend quality time with both parents, as long as one parent is not a risk or threat to their child. Some of the situations in which the family courts in North Carolina might consider awarding sole custody include:
These are just a few situations where family courts may find it necessary to award one parent sole custody. If you have reason to believe your child’s other parent poses a significant risk to your child’s safety or well-being, obtaining sole custody may be in your child’s best interests.
When determining whether a request for sole custody should be granted, the North Carolina family courts will always prioritize the child’s best interests. According to the statute, some of the factors that may be considered include:
It should be noted that accusations of domestic violence or abuse between parents will not necessarily impact your child custody agreement. Only in situations where the alleged abuse or neglect impacts the parent’s ability to properly care for their child will these allegations be taken into consideration as part of your request for sole custody.
Children may be able to testify when one parent is seeking sole custody rights. No age limit in the state of North Carolina prevents children from testifying. However, ordering a particularly young child to testify could negatively reflect your parenting abilities.
Children can testify as witnesses to abuse or neglect or discuss their preferences with the judge. Depending on the child’s maturity and ability to make good decisions, the judge may take into consideration where the child prefers to live and what relationships they hope to have with both parents in determining whether sole custody should be granted.
If you are hoping to obtain sole custody rights in the state of North Carolina, there are certain steps you need to take for your motion to be granted. These steps include:
It is up to you to look out for your child’s best interests. If that means retaining sole custody rights, you need to take action to do so. Reach out to a dedicated North Carolina child custody lawyer at Breeden Law Office to discuss your next steps. Fill out our secured contact form or call us at (919) 661-4970 for a confidential case evaluation today.