Child custody can be one of the most difficult aspects of divorce. The help of an attorney can be invaluable in making the process less emotionally charged and easier on everyone involved. In North Carolina the law states both parents have rights to custody of their children. Before going to court, parties in a custody dispute have to participate in mediation. If you can’t come to an agreement on child custody, the court will step in. Still the court will base its decision on the best interests of the child(ren) including factors like, the age of the child(ren), parental stability, parental residence and, at times, preference of the child.
In North Carolina, custody can be awarded to a non-parent, but only in the most extreme cases. Unless the welfare of the child will be better served with the non-parent, the court will award custody to the natural parent.