Chances of a Father Getting Child Custody in NC?
Before we begin our article on the “Chances of a Father Getting Child Custody in NC“, we have to inform you that this organization is not a law firm, nor is this article written by a lawyer. Nothing in this article should be taken as legal advice. NC Fathers is an organization of NC non-custodial fathers, step-mothers, paternal grandmothers, and other family members who are trying to reform the NC Family Courts for presumption of equally shared parenting. You can view OUR GOALS, join our MAILING LIST, and collaborate with us on FACEBOOK if you want to learn more. Additionally, if you find this article interesting, we ask that you share it on sites like facebook, twitter, linkedin, and other social media sites for other fathers who may be researching the Internet to discover their chances of getting custody of their children.
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Officially, in North Carolina there is no presumption (favor) for which parents gets custody of a child in a court battle. Most people in NC know of a Father who either has custody of his children, or has equal custody. For these fathers, it is most likely that they reached that agreement with the mother OUTSIDE of court. In NC, there is NO joint PHYSICAL custody, and someone HAS to be the custodial parent, while the other being the non-custodial parent. According to the national statistics, 85% of mothers win custody during a COURT hearing. And, of the 15% of fathers who have custody of their children, roughly 6% will lose custody in a future hearing after the mother has completed some type of counseling or services to satisfy the courts. So officially, there is no favor. Unofficially, there very much is a favor for mothers having custody of their children and fathers being marginalized to a visitor role in their kid’s lives.
In regards to LEGAL custody, most fathers do receive joint legal custody of their children with a few exceptions. In NC, if you conceive a child with a woman you are not married to, then you have absolutely NO legal rights to the child, and absolutely no chances of getting custody of the child. In order for you to obtain those rights, you either need to legitimate the child after hiring an attorney, or wait for the mother to file for child support at which time you will be ordered to hand over DNA. If you are established as the father via DNA, then you have full rights to visitation and the ability to file for custody of your children.
Factors Influencing The Chances Of A Father Getting Custody Of His Child During A NC Court Hearing
There are many factors that influence whether a mother or father gets custody of children, but as we have already discussed, the deck is stacked from the very beginning in favor of the mother according to the statistics. However, it is unlikely that your LAWYER will ever tell you this.
Your lawyer will tell you that the factors influencing who gets custody of a child depends on the child’s age and gender, who has been the primary caregiver of the child, a parents mental and physical health, the ability of a parent to provide things like clothes, food, and other basics of life, a parents lifestyle, and the ability to provide consistency. However, we are about to provide an example of where these factors already favor mothers. Per NC law, a mother can QUIT her full time employment to stay home with a child and receive social services benefits if she so chooses. But, what do you think the court would do if you quit your full time employment as a father to stay at home with the kids? Exactly, you would immediately be banished as a “Deadbeat Father” and lose any hopes of gaining custody of your child.
Behind the scenes, there are other factors that have dramatic influences on fathers not getting custody of their children in NC, for which we are about to outline:
- Lawyers make a TON of money getting $5000 retainers when parents fight for 18 years. Now we do not think that MOST lawyers believe that fathers should not have custody of their children, but there are a few. Our assertion here is that the NC Bar Association of Lawyers is adamantly opposed to any talk of equal physical custody because this would mean parents fight less court battles.
- There are very well entrenched “Womens’ Rights” organizations that have been around for decades who have a seat at the table when Judges attend their annual conference on family law matters. These groups have enormous power, resources, funding, and memberships that scare Politicians and Judges.
- According to the Social Security Act, specifically Title IV-D, the State of NC gets back an equal amount of money that they collect in child support that can then be used to replenish Welfare and Public Assistance programs. Therefore, one parent needs to have dramatically less time with his/her child so that they are paying maximum child support so that they trigger greater federal dollars. Since social services is primarily an agency for mothers and children who provides growing educational, job, medical, housing, and financial assistance when needed, and who advocates that fathers go to jail when they have a hard time making financial ends meet, we surmise that this organization favors mothers and lets Judges and Politicians know of their beliefs.
In short, the chances of a father getting custody of his child in NC depends largely on if you are in the court system or not. If you are forced into a custody battle within the courts, the chances are not that great.
How to Increase The Chances Of Fathers Getting Custody Of Their Children in the NC Courts
As an organization trying to bring about equally shared parenting in the NC Courts, our organization believes that BOTH parents should have physical and legal custody of the children. And, that the courts and social services agencies should do everything possible to strengthen both parents. However, we do recognize in many cases where mothers should get custody, and where fathers should get custody of their children. In cases of domestic violence or child abuse, then certainly the offending parent should not have custody, or at least not until they undergo some level of intense counseling and demonstrate over a good amount of time that they have made the necessary changes to parent effectively. The problem here is that when mothers do bad things, there are plenty of people ready to help her get those services, while fathers are usually cut out of kids lives forever.
The best way to equalize the NC Family Courts so that fathers have a better chance of getting custody of their children in NC when the mother has demonstrated an inability to effectively parent, is to build an equally powerful organization of non-custodial family members like the organizations we mentioned earlier. This is our goal and we hope that you will join us.
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