When may I change a child custody order in North Carolina?

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2022 | Family Law

North Carolina law requires a court order to change an existing custody arrangement. If you do not have legal custody of your children, you may file a motion with the court to obtain custody or modify a current order.

The North Carolina Judicial Branch website notes you must show proof that a child is living with an unfit parent. Abandonment or leaving a child in the care of a non-parent may also compel a judge to modify an existing custody arrangement.

How may I find evidence of an unfit parent?

If your child has personal issues, he or she may open up to you about them and reveal signs of an unfit parent. Forbes notes that a psychologist may help discover the root cause of your child’s issues. Medical records could also back up your claim of a child staying with an unfit parent.

As noted by ChildWelfare.gov, a parent convicted of a crime has a documented court record. You may use it as evidence of abuse or neglect. The court may also review whether a parent is receiving substance abuse treatment and determine the risk of harm to your child. If a parent offers your child drugs, for example, a judge may regard it as a serious offense that requires a custody order change.

What actions may the court consider as child abuse?

North Carolina’s Juvenile Code defines an abused child as a minor with a parent who inflicts serious physical injury. Encouraging a child to perform delinquent acts or engage in sexual activities also reflects child abuse. A family court judge may consider a child’s private discussion of these incidents as proof of an unfit parent.

Neglect or abuse of a child may require modifying a custody order. A child’s medical records or a parent’s court documents may help show the court that a change is necessary.