Physical custody refers to the parent the child lives with, and legal custody is used to describe which parent has the right to make important decisions about the child’s life, such as educational and medical issues.
Because life is constantly changing, custody issues can crop up all the time — long after the initial orders are issued by the court. The following are three common questions parents may have regarding their child custody orders:
Modifications: Is it possible to modify the type of custody order?
To request a modification of the custody order, a parent must demonstrate a significant change in circumstances, especially those affecting the child’s welfare, to obtain a new custody order.
Relocations: Can one parent move to another state with the child?
The parent that moves to another state with a child must have the consent of the non-custodial parent and/or the court to do so legally. If nobody now lives in the state where the custody order was issued, you can ask North Carolina to take jurisdiction. If not, the state that originally issued the order will continue to control custody issues.
Violations: What can I do if the other parent violates the child custody order?
The court can hold the offending parent in contempt of court for failure to comply with their original orders. All custody orders are official judgments, and the court tends to be very unhappy with people who don’t follow them.
The more you know about how custody works in North Carolina, the more prepared you are for your future concerns.