Fighting for custody is no fun. The process could prove expensive and time-consuming for you. Furthermore, custody fights may traumatize your children. And you could hurt your chance at seeing them, depending on your tactics.

Working toward a desirable custody agreement doesn’t need to be onerous, though. By understanding how custody plans work, you can focus on creating one that benefits your children.

The legal side of custody

So long as both you and your spouse are fit parents, North Carolina will likely grant you joint custody. This arrangement may reduce custody conflicts between you two. And North Carolina, along with all other states, follows the Uniform Child Custody Act. This law upholds interstate custody agreements, in case you or your spouse move out of state.

Joint custody does not mean equal custody. But it does signify that both parents will maintain an active, equitable role in raising their children. In rare cases, one parent may receive primary or sole custody. You could find yourself in this situation depending on these factors:

  • Your ability to provide for your child
  • Your ability to create a stable home for your child
  • Your child’s current living arrangement and relationship with you and your spouse
  • Acts of domestic violence perpetrated by you or your spouse

The emotional side of custody

The court will not let your children decide which parent to live with. But they will consider your children’s preferences when determining your custody plan. Your children may have strong relationships with both you and your spouse. But your spouse may be neglectful, abusive or manipulative. Your children may want to avoid them. And in this case, it may be worth petitioning for sole custody with limited – or no – visitation rights.

You may feel frustrated when figuring out a custody plan. But having a firm one in place can save you from the headaches and battles associated with the process. Working with a family law attorney can help you reach an agreeable custody arrangement.