Custodial Modification in North Carolina

North Carolina typically favors 50/50 joint custody between two parents unless extenuating circumstances prevent it. Once custody has been awarded in a court order, modification can be a bit difficult.

Below are some things to consider when attempting to modify child custody.

  1. Consider the reasons for modification. Reasons for requesting a change to a custody order may include:
    • Moving to another state for employment.
    • A new marriage.
    • Being closer to other family members.
    • A change of scenery

These reasons are pretty simple for someone who’s single, but they are more complicated when a child is involved. A concern for the child’s safety is also a significant reason for modification.   

  1. Communicate with the other parent. The first step we recommend is to communicate with the other parent and explain your reasoning for modification. If the other parent agrees, then it’s a pretty straightforward process in which a modification is submitted to a judge for approval. This is, of course, the easiest approach.
  2. File custody modification. When the other parent disagrees, a custody modification must be filed to the court. The court will consider modification if the reason is substantial and also in the child’s best interest. Frequent changes are frowned upon.
  3. Decide the best interest of the child. You will need to explain why modification would be in the best interest of the child. If you’re moving, perhaps the neighborhood and schools in the new location or being closer to other family members would benefit the child. Concerns regarding the child’s safety and well-being while under the other parent’s care is substantial as well, but there will need to be considerable proof for a court to decide that.
  4. Hire an attorney to help navigate the process. Modification involving 50/50 custody (or more) is no simple task. An experienced attorney can guide you through the filing process and help show the court why modification is necessary in the first place.

Our experienced team of Family Law Attorneys at Marcellino & Tyson are happy to schedule a consultation with you to discuss your individual needs. Feel free to reach out to us at (704) 919-1519.