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Filing for Sole Custody in North Carolina

If you feel your ex-partner is not suited to share equal involvement in your child’s life, you might have considered filing for sole custody. Doing so can give you the opportunity to ensure your child is always safe and grows up in a loving, stable environment.

That said, the courts don’t lightly consider granting sole custody to any parent. Because it’s widely believed that children benefit from both parents’ involvement in their lives, you can face obstacles to achieving the ideal arrangement for you and your child. That said, an experienced lawyer can help you overcome these obstacles and demonstrate that sole custody is the right decision for your child.

Always keep in mind, however, that the courts rule according to your child’s best interests. This means that the court can disagree that what you feel is ideal for you is also ideal for your child.

What Is Sole Custody of a Child?

Sole custody refers to a parent’s legal authority to make major decisions for a child without the other parent’s input. Any type of custody in which both parents have a legal decision-making capacity is a joint arrangement.

A parent can have sole physical custody in which the child lives with them 100% of the time. This parent, also known as the custodial parent, also has the complete authority to make other decisions that affect their child’s living situation. A parent with sole physical custody may also have sole legal custody, which allows them, alone, to make other important decisions for a child – such as their healthcare, schooling, religious upbringing, etc.

A parent can have both sole physical and sole legal custody, or either of these individually. In many cases, one parent may be awarded sole physical custody while legal custody may be assigned jointly between both parents.

Factors That Affect Sole Custody Assignments

We previously mentioned that the courts rule on custody matters according to a child’s best interests. This means that a judge assesses each parent’s ability to provide basic amenities, such as food, shelter, safety, love, and comfort. In no way are custody arrangements intended to “punish” or “award” either parent.

That said, factors the court will take into account when considering a petition for sole custody may include these:

  • Any history of domestic violence
  • Any history of child abuse
  • General criminal histories
  • Histories of alcohol and/or drug abuse
  • Ability to provide stability, safety, or comfort
  • Ability to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and other basic necessities
  • Ability and willingness to be a parent of a minor child

If the court is unconvinced that someone meets criteria such as these, that individual can end up with less or no custody of their child. Unless it’s clear that a child doesn’t benefit from much contact with one of their parents, the court may be reluctant to grant sole custody on the first pass. This means it can take time and future petitions for modification of child custody to reach this outcome.

Who Can Help Me Fight for My Right to Be a Parent?

Whether you are seeking sole custody of your child or wish to prevent an ex-partner from depriving you of your custody rights, our legal team at Krusch Divorce Resolution can help. With more than 40 years of experience, we have what it takes to help out clients overcome challenging obstacles involving family law matters.

For more information, contact us today and request a consultation to get started.