Where a parent lives, how much money the parent makes and a parent’s ability to raise a child are all factors used when determining a custody arrangement. Ultimately, this and other relevant information is used to figure out what is in the best interests of the child. Looking out for the best interest of the child is the top priority in North Carolina family courts.
If possible, both parents will receive joint custody. However, this is not always feasible if the parents don’t live close to each other. In such a scenario, one parent may be given physical custody of a child. The child will live with that parent while the other is given visitation rights and pays child support. Sole custody is generally granted only in cases where a parent proves to be a danger to his or her kid.
In such cases, the rights of the person who does not receive custody are terminated unless a judge indicates otherwise. Even if a parent receives sole custody of his or her child, that order may be reviewed in the future. Reasons for awarding custody to a single parent can include a refusal of the other to seek treatment for drug abuse or being physically abusive.
A custodial parent may be entitled to financial support from the noncustodial parent to help pay basic expenses related to raising a child. These expenses may include health care premiums, the cost of a tutor and helping to pay for entertainment such as seeing a movie or going to camp. If parents have joint custody of their children, they may decide on their own how to handle costs related to raising their children.