During a divorce, issues of child custody can be heavily disputed, especially when one parent is seeking sole custody. In North Carolina, custody is decided based on the best interest of the child and there is a strong tendency to award joint custody, keeping both parents in a child’s life. To complicate matters further, a judge can award a parent sole legal custody, sole physical custody, or both. Physical custody refers to the location where a child stays while legal custody gives a parent the right to make decisions about a child’s life, such as where they will go to school.
Considerations when Seeking Sole Custody
Typically, for sole custody to be considered, it must be shown that joint custody is impractical, detrimental to the well-being of a child, or one spouse is unfit for the responsibility of raising a child. For example, if one spouse is shown to have engaged in child abuse, domestic violence, or has a history of substance abuse, a court may award custody to the other parent. A parent who believes that their safety or that of their child is in immediate danger should consider contacting the police as soon as possible. Victims of domestic violence may be able to seek a temporary restraining order against their spouse.
Sole physical custody may also be awarded in cases where parents live far away from each other. Shuffling a child back and forth between different cities or states would likely cause a great disruption in the child’s life while creating financial and logistical difficulties for parents. This is an example of a case where one parent may have sole physical custody while sharing legal custody with their ex-spouse. The circumstances in both the examples listed above do not preclude the possibility that the non-custodial parent will be awarded visitation rights.
Involved in a Custody Battle? Call (704) 343-8811
The courts do realize that every family will have a different situation and as such, custody agreements are determined on a case-by-case basis. Pursuing sole custody can be tremendously complex and if you are currently involved in a dispute with your spouse over what is in the best interest of your children, Krusch & Sellers, P.A. wants to hear your story. We can help you to understand and navigate every aspect of your case. When the safety and wellbeing of your family are on the line, do not waste any time in contacting our Charlotte family law attorneys.
We proudly serve clients from both our North Carolina and South Carolina locations. Contact our attorneys today and discover how we can help.