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What does “best interest of the child” mean when deciding custody?

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2021 | Child Custody |

Divorce is challenging for everyone involved. Even when you feel like divorce is a wise and healthy choice, it can still be difficult to move from one chapter of your life to the next.

When parents divorce, they also have to think about how their child will move to the next part of their life. For some parents, it can be hard to figure out which parent will have primary custody and how parental responsibilities will be shared in the foreseeable future.

Here’s what you should know about the “best interest of the child” standard in North Carolina and how it could impact your child custody arrangement.

Understanding the standard

Parents want what is best for their children, but parents may also disagree on what “best” means. When North Carolina family courts look at child custody cases, they will consider factors, such as:

  • Child’s social needs
  • Parent’s living arrangements
  • Child’s schooling and activities
  • Parent-child relationships

Typically judges will look at all available information to determine what type of custody to award and what the schedule of custody or visitation parents will look like.

What about my child’s opinion?

It is possible for more mature children to contribute to the custody decision. Still, most judges will talk to the child “in chambers” rather than having the child go through some of the arguments that can happen in family court.

In general, it is important to let your children know that, no matter what, you and the other parent will always love them.

If you have questions or concerns about child custody or other divorce issues, talk to a family law attorney who has experience in these matters in North Carolina.