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When a marriage ends, or when unmarried parents are not together in a relationship, child custody issues are often presented. Either biological parent may file a complaint asking the court to make a custody determination. In some cases, someone other than a biological parent may seek custody. (Read more about this on our Third Party Custody page.) In order to file for child custody in North Carolina, the child(ren) must have lived in the state of North Carolina for at least six months prior to the filing, or since birth if the child(ren) is less than six months old, for North Carolina to have "home state" jurisdiction.
The standard for making a child custody determination in North Carolina, is the "best interest of the child" standard. This means that a judge will consider all factors that have an impact on the child(ren)'s well-being, and make a custody determination accordingly. Some factors that judges often consider include, but are not limited to, the living environment at each parent's residence, the parents' work schedules, each parent's proximity to the child(ren)'s school(s), any drug or alcohol issues of either parent, the parents' involvement with the child(ren)'s daily and extra-curricular activities, the presence of domestic violence, etc.
Custody disputes involve high emotions, many steps through the legal process, and can become complicated depending on the issues presented. For these reasons, it is important to have an attorney who you can trust, and who will with you through the process. Attorney Valerie Hein is very experienced in dealing with child custody matters, and will stand up for you during this difficult time.
If you would like to speak with an attorney about your particular situation, call us at 704-918-5529, or send us a message to set up a consultation.