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What are some child custody laws in North Carolina?

Child custody laws are quite similar across the country and many states have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Act, including the state of North Carolina. The laws for child custody in the state permit for joint custody, visitation by grandparents and even consider the wishes of the child(ren) before the court makes a decision.

The Uniform Child Custody Act was adopted in 1979, which allows for the state of North Carolina to make a decision regarding a child custody agreement if one of the following is present:

- If North Carolina is making the decision and it is the home state of the child

- The child is in North Carolina for safety reasons

- The child has significant relationships with people living in North Carolina

- No state can meet any of the three aforementioned stipulations

In North Carolina you can have joint custody, legal custody, sole custody and physical custody. Joint custody is when two people share custody of the child. Sole custody is when one person has custody of the child and does not share any aspect of custody with anyone else.

Legal custody in North Carolina means that the parent or guardian with legal custody is allowed to make the important decisions in the child's life. This typically includes education, health care, religious instruction and more.

Physical custody is when the child lives permanently with one parent and the other parent has visitation rights.

Custody in North Carolina is determined using a variety of factors that include the following:

- The overall safety of the child

- A history of domestic violence

- The relationship the child has with each parent

- The current living arrangement of the child

- The ability for each parent to create a stable home environment for the child

- The ability of each parent to care for the child

Grandparents are allowed visitation rights in North Carolina. The grandparents need to go through the same process of gaining custody of the child or gaining visitation rights as a parent in order to gain grandparent visitation rights.

Source: Findlaw, "North Carolina Child Custody Laws," accessed March 03, 2017

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