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What are the factors involved in a custody case?

In North Carolina, child custody decisions are taken very seriously. There are a number of factors that play into the custody arrangements for a child. All decisions are made in the best interest of the child, although the courts do take into consideration the parents' opinions as well as the child's preferences.

What factors are considered in determining child custody arrangements?

There are at least six major factors that play a role in child custody decisions. The first is if the family has any history of domestic violence. If so, the non-offending parent may be better able to care for the child, so this would be a consideration. The child's safety is of the utmost importance, so if for any reason the child isn't safe, the court can award custody to someone else. Unsafe conditions affect the case whether they're abuse or poor living conditions.

Another factor is the child's current living conditions. A child used to going to one school and seeing a certain parent each day is more likely to want to stay in that position as long as it is safe to do so. The relationship with the parent is a key factor, so parents who spend more time with their children may have the upper edge in court.

The final factors include a parent's ability to care for the child financially and emotionally as well as being able to provide a stable home. If you can prove that you provide all the safety and security necessary, there should be no reason to take away your custody or visitation rights; your attorney can help you make a solid case for custody, whether you want sole custody or another arrangement.

Source: FindLaw, "North Carolina Child Custody Law," accessed Sep. 29, 2016

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