North Carolina Custody
In North Carolina, Judges look to the best interest of the minor child in establishing custody. The code gives little direct guidance as to what specific factors a court must consider. The court must, in cases of domestic violence, consider the safety of the child and the victim of domestic violence.
In my experience, judges will review each parent’s relationship with the child and history of caring for the child, the child’s relationships with siblings and other family members, how parents have behaved towards each other during the separation in allowing or prohibiting contact between the child and the other parent, each parent’s character (including but not limited to criminal history, mental health issues, and substance abuse), and each parent’s ability to encourage and support the child’s education. The preference of a child who is of suitable age and discretion may also be considered.
Judges have a lot of discretion in custody matters.