Going through a divorce can rattle anyone. After all, you may have to divvy up marital property, relocate or adjust to a new way of life. If you have children, though, your divorce may be even more difficult because you will need to consider the placement of your children during this transition. If you expect to face some type of custody or visitation battle, you should understand North Carolina’s best interests of the child standard.

Like in many other places, judges in North Carolina must consider what is the most ideal situation for the children when settling custody matters. Courts apply this standard to decide who is best suited to care for and nurture the children. Before making an order, a judge must carefully consider the facts and circumstances of the situation.

Understanding relevant factors

To do their jobs properly, judges may not be arbitrary. Instead, they must back up their decisions with both evidence and law. In deciding what is in a child’s best interest during a custody dispute, judges must consider all relevant factors. Among others, these often include the following:

  • Each parent’s physical, mental and emotional health
  • Each parent’s relationship with the children
  • Each parent’s history of abuse, neglect, drug use or criminal behavior
  • Each parent’s ability to provide a stable home environment
  • The children’s educational, developmental and other needs
  • The children’s wishes

Stability is a factor

The State of North Carolina has an interest in having children grow up in a stable environment. There is no automatic preference of one parent over the other. Instead, judges tend to make custody and visitation orders by making as little disruption as possible in the children’s lives. This may result in a few different types of custody or visitation arrangements, including joint custody.

If you are heading for a divorce or potentially facing a custody or visitation battle, you likely have a great deal on your mind. By carefully considering North Carolina’s best interests of the child standard, you can get a better idea of how a judge may handle your custody dispute.

Learn more by talking to an attorney

You can get answers to all of your child custody and family law questions by contacting a knowledgeable lawyer. At Frasier & Griffin, PLLC, we help clients across North Carolina protect their parental rights and families. Contact us now to schedule your first meeting with one of our proven attorneys.