Skip to Content
  • Law Office of Kelli Y. Allen, PLLC

Is the Mother Always Granted Custody of the Children?

mother holding small child

No, in North Carolina, the mother is not always granted custody of the children. Rather, the question is what is in the best interest of the child.

In North Carolina, whether the parents have ever been married and regardless of where the children are currently living, the mother and father begin a custody case on equal footing; neither parent is automatically presumed to be “better” for a custody determination. During the court proceedings, each parent has the right to present a case showing the judge why it would be better for the child if he/she were awarded custody.

Bear in mind that it is unlikely for either parent to be awarded “sole” custody. Usually a judge will determine that some form of joint custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child. Often this will entail the child living primarily with one parent during the school year and the child living with the other parent during the summers, holidays, and some weekends. Sometimes a custody arrangement may involve the parents alternating weeks with the child living with the mother one week and the father the next.

With custody determinations, nothing is automatic. Every case is determined based on the individual factors present in the family dynamic to determine what custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child.