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How Can a Parent Try to Maximize Their Custody Time in North Carolina?

— April 27, 2022

The most important factors examined for the child’s best interests are related to their safety and well being.

Charlotte, NC – Parents who are about to go through a custody hearing will usually want to do whatever they can to get as much time with their child as possible. The family court system has a number of different rules that regulate how each parent is awarded custody and what factors a judge may use to determine time sharing. During this time, a parent needs to prepare to present their relationship with the child as favorably as possible, and explanations for potentially negative actions. For specific information, it is best for anyone who is having a custody dispute to get advice from a local attorney. 

Parenting in accord with the best interests of the child

The judge handling the case will use a standard called the best interests of the child to make custody determinations. This is the same standard used in almost every jurisdiction in the country. It gives the judge discretion to look at various factors and decide what environment and custody plan will be optimal for the child to live in. 

The most important factors examined for the child’s best interests are related to their safety and well being. This means that criminal records for domestic violence, child abuse, neglect, and other serious crimes will be weighed very heavily in the judge’s determination. Any parent who has these issues in their past needs to do some serious preparation with their lawyer to avoid losing their custody rights or having only a very limited time to see their children.

Image of Children Swimming in a Swimming Pool
Children Swimming in a Swimming Pool; image courtesy of Pexels via Pixabay,

Other factors may include each parent’s financial and living situation, their career and need to travel, limiting disruptions to the child’s education, healthcare and daycare concerns, each parent’s prior relationship with the child, and stability in home life. If any extended family members such as grandparents want custody time, they must petition the court for these rights separately. 

Preparation for the case

As a general rule, parents should try to present a history of caring for the child and a high level of involvement in their life to show that they take their responsibilities seriously. This can include things like invoices and bills that show healthcare and childcare expenses, records of helping the child in school and extracurricular activities, and showing previous time spent together. It may be difficult for a parent who has had little prior involvement with the child to suddenly make a case for primary custody. 

Additional help with child custody issues is a website that lists child custody lawyers in Charlotte and other cities throughout the United States. Anyone who needs more information about finding a local attorney can choose a state and practice area to get legal advice. 

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