How to File for Sole Custody in North Carolina (2023)

How to File for Sole Custody in North Carolina (1)

If you and your spouse are getting divorced or have divorced and you feel that your ex-spouse is not suited to be an equally involved parent to your children, you may want to consider applying for single parentsChild custody in North Carolina. To learn more, we share what you need to know about unilateral custody in North Carolina.

Types of Child Custody in North Carolina

Due to complicated laws, requesting sole custody may not be a foregone conclusion. You need a strong family law attorney by your side to fight your case.custody casewho understands the nuances of NC child custody laws.

understand custody

First, there are two types of custody: legal and physical. Legal custody refers to the ability to make decisions for a child, e.g. B. where they study, what religion they practice or what medical care they receive. With joint custody, both parents have an equal say in these matters and both parents must agree on the course of action. With unilateral custody, the custodial parent can decide for the child alone and does not need to talk to the other party.

Understand physical custody

Custody concerns who the children live with. While many people believe that mothers are given preferential treatment or automatic custody, this has not been the case, particularly over the past two decades. Now,Parents have equal custody of their childrenin North Carolina.

Most judges rule that it is thechild welfarethat the parents have joint custody, which means that the child spends time with both parents, although this does not necessarily mean equal time. For example, joint custody could be one week with one parent and one week with the other, it could be weekends with one parent, weekdays with the other, or anything else.Child care planparents agree or the judge intervenes. In cases where a child spends more time with one parent than the other, one parent may be said to have primary physical custody while the other has visitation rights or secondary custody. There is a minimum policy of one midweek visit per week and every other weekend for this to count as shared custody.

Unilateral custody is when one parent has primary custody for a significant period of time, usually longer than the minimum joint custody rule, and the other parent has visitation, often with conditions. This could mean that visits need to be monitored or supervised, or that night visits are not allowed.

Understand one-sided custody

Typically, unilateral custody, both legal and physical, is only granted if the judge determines that one parent is unsuitable due to issues such as:

  • History of child abuse
  • History of abuse by the other party
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Inability to provide a secure and stable environment
  • Physical and emotional health issues

Contact a custody attorney

(Video) Understanding How Child Custody Is Decided in North Carolina

Can grandparents apply for unilateral custody?

In North Carolina,grandparentshave no guaranteed right of visitation or custody. However, in line with the principle of the best interests of the child, grandparents may request visitation, especially when there is an active divorce or custody dispute. Visiting rights or temporary custody are often granted to grandparents when parents are fighting a bitter custody battle.

One-sided custody order

The steps to filing for unilateral custody in North Carolina are challenging, and having a custody attorney on your side to ensure the process is handled correctly can be a huge benefit.

Whether you hire a lawyer or not, the process has similar steps. Here's what to expect when seeking full custody.

Step 1: Prepare-if

When preparing for incarceration in North Carolina, it's important to know what to expect. Which of the following best meets your child's needs and interests?

  • Exclusive custody
  • joint guard
  • An agreed custody agreement
  • visiting rights
  • supervised visit
  • alimony payments

These are all aspects you need to understand to be prepared. North Carolina child custody laws are not easy to understand. If you cannot afford a lawyer, seek free or inexpensive advice.

Step 2: Open a case

Now that you've prepared yourself, it's time to file a lawsuit in the North Carolina courts.

  • May be filed in connection with open separation or divorce proceedings
  • If no other cases are currently active, open the case independently

After opening the case, you must follow up and notify the other parent. There are many ways to do this without contacting the other parent in hopes of avoiding an ugly custody battle.

Possible: In case of emergency

The judge issues aemergency orderwhen unilateral custody is requested due to an emergency and pending custody proceedings are voided. The judge will then schedule another hearing to determine primary custody.

Step 3: Mediation comes first

Unless an emergency is declared, all parents should try toCustody MediationFirst. Courts offer free mediators to try to avoid a custody battle. If both parents agree, the mediator will draw up custody agreements, in which case the parents can skip steps 4 through 6. If the parents do not agree, the case goes to a hearing.

Step 4: Hearings

This is where you change custody and present any information or defenses you have. The judge will then write a custody order for one or both parents, assigning legal and physical custody.

The following are some of the actions that may be seen at a child custody hearing:

(Video) Child custody trials in North Carolina courts: Part 1: How to prepare

  • Child custody assessment
  • Guardian Ad Litem
  • Parenting coordinators may sometimes be assigned to a custody case that involves conflict situations
  • Provisional Custody Order
  • Organization of a second custody hearing

education class

In some cases, the judge may order an educational course. The judge will decide on an educational course that best meets your family's needs. In North Carolina there are two options:

  • One hour class: Taught by Family Court staff
  • Four-hour course: Taught by court-licensed professionals

Step 5: Discover App

This is one of the longest parts of the study. Both parties must request information to prepare for the negotiation. The findings contain several questions for the parents and witnesses involved.

The discovery will help lawyers prepare testimony in custody cases. A warning might look like this:

  • Lawyers prepare questions and put them under oath
  • Questions must be answered honestly.
  • Rejecting a question may be used against you in the future trial.

Step 6: Try it

If the case goes to court, the parents will not be able to reach a joint custody agreement on their own. Therefore, the custody case is transferred to family law.

Step 7: Indefinite Custody Orders

A perpetual custody order is likely the final step in the custody battle and provides:

  • Time
  • daycare costs
  • alimony

Both parents must comply with these court decisions until the child turns 18 or is emancipated.

As the years go by, the child's life can change drastically and some changes need to be made to the agreed joint custody agreements. The court can help with these changes over time, if applicable.

throughout your case

To apply to the court for a custody order or to update an existing order, you or your attorney may file a complaint (for a new custody order) or an amendment (to update an existing order) in the county in which you or the other partner has been alive for six months.

Once filed, the other parent must receive the subpoena, which can be issued by a sheriff or received by registered mail. The other parent must receive this before anything can be decided. In the meantime, it is important to gather all information that may help your case, such as: B. Evidence of abusive or negligent behavior, evidence of illegal drug use or other activities that may endanger the health, safety and well-being of the child.

How to Improve Your Chances in North Carolina Custody Cases

Parents are not guaranteed full custody. However, there are some steps you can take to improve your chances.

We want to emphasize the importance of putting children first. Custody is not a battle against your ex. This is a serious look at what arrangements work best for your kids.

(Video) Family Lawyer Explains the Different Types of Child Custody in Greensboro, NC

Talk to a Custody Lawyer

To get the best case, there are a few things you can do to be a better parent and present yourself in the best light in court.

Spend time with your children

No judge will grant a custody order to a parent who doesn't appear to be spending time with their children. Parents who truly care about a child's well-being make spending time with their children a priority. So make time for your kids andobserve how longYou spend on them.

Make a calendar and write down the time your ex-spouse spends with the kids

This is the opposite of the previous point. If you need to prove that your ex-spouse is not deserving of sole custody, consider recording their time with the children. Regardless of where the child lives, with the mother or father,Track how much time you spend with your ex-partner.

Change your schedule to get home to your child

If your child is not in school,you should be availablebe with them. This is especially important if the child lives with you. If your work schedule is not flexible, you can include the child in additional activities.keep them safe and productivewhile you finish the job.

Stay involved in all parenting decisions

Things like education, health and religion are important. Talk to your ex about it and be part of the decision-making process. Use email or text messages as they may be recorded. show yourcare for the minor child, providing information, suggestions and reasonsto how the child is brought up.

Improve child custody chances by showing good parenting skills

Parents play many roles in their children's lives. You can improve your child custody chances by acting (and being) like a good parent. This means at least a few things:

  • Help with homework and school
  • Disciplining children properly without any hint of “too much”
  • Supervise children to keep them active and safe

Parents could write a much longer list, but this is a good place to start. Be a good parent and your chances will go up if you ask for custody.

Keep a log of activities and missed appointments

It's not comfortable and it may even seem petty, but you should record the activities and appointments that the children's other parent misses. This is a great way to show that you can take better care of your kids than the other parent. These records don't have to be very detailed, and you don't have to become a super spy with photographic evidence. Just write down the appointment, date and absence of the other parent.


Custody decisions consider your home

After a judge weighs all the circumstances, a court order is issued. One factor is the suitability of your home. Make sure you have enough rooms, beds and spaces for your children. Keep your home clean and hygienic. Take pictures if you think this will become a sticking point in court.

Do not poison your child's relationship with the other parent

If you currently have joint custody, be careful when discussing parenting with your children. They must not do or say anything that would undermine their position as parents. It's a bad idea to criticize them, reverse their parenting decisions and create negative feelings in your child towards their parents. There are two reasons:

  • Most importantly, it negatively affects your children. You will just make them unhappy.
  • The mother or father may have parental rights, so undermining these rights will be viewed negatively by the Custodial Specialist.

Since you're defending your parental rights, it's a bad idea to undermine someone else's parental rights. A simple solution is to accept what your children say about their parents and respond with a gentle explanation that you won't be discussing it with them.

Schedule an appointment with our Raleigh child custody attorneys

Clearing up child support, getting a custody order, and resolving any difficulties arising from a divorce judgment takes time and diligence. Maybe you can solve some problems yourself. However, many people benefit from professional legal services to help them navigate the complex parts of the law and court process. If you are interested in learning more about applying for sole custody in North Carolina, please contact our experiencedLaw firm for familiesToday. To schedule an appointment, contact us today at(919) 301-8843or fill out the form below to find out more.

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