Child custody arrangements determine how separated or divorced parents will share the rights and responsibilities of their children’s lives and welfare. The focus of a custody arrangement is always the best interests of the child.
In North Carolina, there is no presumption that the mother is a better parent than the father, children are not allowed to determine with whom they will live – although in some situations, the judge may consider the child’s preferences. Only children under 18 years of age are subject to custody arrangements unless they are disabled.
Either agreement is subject to approval of the court. If the parents cannot come to an agreement, the matter of custody is brought before a judge who decides the issues.