One of the most important things a parent does for his or her children is to provide guidance and care, especially when they are young. Part of this includes making decisions they believe is in the best interests of the child, such as those pertaining to education or medical needs. Each parent has the right to make decisions for a child, even after a divorce. Legal custody is the term that refers to this specific decision-making ability.
Joint legal custody
Legal custody allows a North Carolina parent to have a say in major choices that affect his or her child. This may be for where the child goes to school or what type of religious training he or she receives. In many cases, parents who share physical custody may also share legal custody. When determining legal custody, a family court will consider what is in the best interests of the child. This may include looking at:
- The conduct and actions of both parents
- How the parents acted in the past
- The relationship of each parent with the child
While it is common for parents to share both legal and physical custody, this is not always the case. There are situations where parents may share physical custody while one parent retains legal custody or vice versa.
The ideal custody arrangement
There is no one-size-fits all custody arrangement. North Carolina parents would be wise to seek terms that are ideal for their specific situation and the needs of their kids. In addition to parenting time, it is also important to address the parent’s right to make decisions for the child.