The state of North Carolina has recognized the constitutional right of parents to care and rear their children in the way they see fit. Parental rights are an essential Constitutional right the Court has deemed fundamental in our society. While the Court does recognize the Constitutional rights of parents, this does not mean that in all custody cases the parents will be granted custody. There are three different custody for minor children that can be granted: Joint Custody; Exclusive Custody; or Custody to two or more persons, agencies, organization, or institution. Additionally, the court has even found that a nonparent relative can be granted custody of a child, so long as the court finds that both parents of the child are unfit or have neglected the child.
Parents of the child typically have priority when the court is granting custody because the law assumes that the parents will perform and provide their obligations to all of their children. Thus, since the founding of the United States, parents have the presumption to raise their children. However, if the court believes that the parents are unfit, custody can be granted to another person, agency, organization or institution if it is in the best interest of the child. To make this determination the court will analyze whether there is domestic violence between the parties, the safety of the child, and the safety of either party from domestic violence. In sum: the court will attempt to determine what is in the “best interest of the child.”
The best interest of the child is not a “standard” the court has given. This means the court has not stated that X + Y = “the best interest of the child.” Unfortunately, the court has not given a clear formula for parents or attorneys to rely on in custody cases. Instead, the court has stated that the parent of the child needs to only provide for the child “adequately.” The court has given some guidelines to how a child can be provided for adequately. All that the court requires is that the child’s cares are met. If the child’s cares are met and their fundamental rights are not impaired, then the court will not deprive the parents of their right to raise their child. However, this right can be taken away if the child’s welfare is threated. Thus, when a parent neglects the welfare and interest of the child, the parents will no longer have those assumed parental rights. The court sees it as if the parents are forfeiting their parental rights.
So what does this mean for you and your child? Could your parents take custody of your child? Could your alcoholic ex-spouse get custody? Or could your child’s biological parent that you have a restraining order against have custody? Or could a parent who committed violence acts get custody? Unfortunately, there is not clear answer. The answers to the above questions are all possibly yes, as shocking as that might be.
King Law Offices has over 20 years of custody experience. We want to ensure that your parental rights are not violated. We understand how terrifying it must be to potentially loose the custody of your children. The attorneys at King Law Offices have worked on hundreds of custody cases, fighting for parents to keep the custody of their children as opposed to their grandparents or an alcoholic or abusive parent. The attorneys here understand the law and how to prove that custody being with you is in the best interest of the child. Call King Law Offices at 866-318-KING (6086) to schedule a consultation with an attorney today. Protect your parental rights and your child’s rights.