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North Carolina Child Custody



When the parents of minor children split up, they'll need to agree on how child custody will be handled. If parents, with the assistance of their North Carolina child custody attorneys, are unable to reach an agreement, then the matter will be decided in court.

Does my North Carolina child custody agreement have to be approved by the courts?

No, a North Carolina parenting agreement doesn't need court approval. However, if an agreement can't be reached, parents can turn to arbitration, mediation and/or the courts for assistance. (Most North Carolina Family Courts require parents to attend mediation if they're unable to reach agreement on their own.)

What types of child custody are permitted in North Carolina?

There are two types of child custody in North Carolina: Physical custody (which addresses living arrangements) and legal custody (which addresses which parent has decision-making power for the child). Learn more about the differences between legal and physical custody here.  

For each type of custody, parents may have joint custody, meaning responsibility is shared, or sole custody, which means one parent has primary responsibility. If one parent has sole physical custody, the other parent typically has visitation.

Can child custody arrangements be changed?

In North Carolina, child support is calculated based on both parents' combined gross income and the number of children each parent supports. If the parents earn more than $300,000 annually, the court can deviate from these support amounts.

Yes, you may update your child custody agreement if either the child or the parents' circumstances change. For example, if parents have shared physical custody and one parent relocates out of state, the agreement might be updated to give sole physical custody to one parent and visitation to the other.

How is North Carolina child support calculated?

Child support is calculated based on the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines presume that both parents should share the financial responsibility for raising a child, and take into account each parent's income, how many other children each is supporting, child care expenses, healthcare expenses and other extraordinary expenses.

My child's other parent hasn't paid child support recently. How can I collect the money I'm owed?

You have several legal options if you're trying to collect unpaid child support, and your North Carolina child custody lawyer can explain these in more detail. You can take your child's other parent to court. You can also work with the North Carolina Division of Social Services' Child Support Enforcement to help collect the money to which you are owed.

Find & Hire North Carolina Child Custody Lawyers

When you're ready to hire a North Carolina child custody lawyer, Attorneys.com can help you. We offer a free service that can quickly connect you with a child custody attorney in your area—whether you live in Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro or elsewhere in the state. Simple fill out the form on this page or call us at 877-913-7222. After you answer a few easy questions, we'll promptly put you in touch with a local North Carolina child custody lawyer.