Who Gets Custody?

Written by: Kaitlin Romanelli Myers, Esq.

The answer is, it depends. In North Carolina, there are two ways custody can be decided, by consent, or by a judge following a custody hearing. North Carolina strongly favors parents working together to make a custody determination. When parents come together and form an agreement on their own, or with the help of a mediator or attorneys, it is call a consent order. In North Carolina, when a part files a suit for custody, the parents are ordered to go to mandatory mediation, this gives the parents an opportunity to discuss custody and come to a resolution. Even if an agreement is not reached at mediation, parents have many opportunities to reach a resolution, by discussing together, or negotiating using attorneys.

In cases where parents cannot agree, then a judge will step in and make a custody determination using the best interest of the child. In making this determination, the judge will look at every factor that affects the children, the living arrangements, stability of parents, the love/affection or emotional ties existing between the child and parents, mental and physical health of the parents, parent schedules, and any other factors that have to do with the child.

If you have questions about custody of your child, you should consult with an attorney to discuss the specific facts and what to expect in negotiating or litigating custody. If you have a custody matter in Asheville or the surrounding areas, you can call 828-232-4481.

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