When a court makes custody decisions during a divorce, it will always do what is best for the child. This means looking at every factor that will impact the child. One aspect that may influence the court’s decision is if a parent has problems that make him or her unfit under the law. In such a case, the court may be more likely to award sole legal and physical custody to the other parent.
In general, the court wants to create an equal parenting plan that allows the children to have adequate access to both parents. The goal is to encourage meaningful relationships between both parents and the child. However, if your situation is one where the other parent has some type of problem or issue that would put your children in danger, then you may want to prove to the court that he or she is an unfit parent.
Case by case
According to the North Carolina General Assembly, the judge will determine your custody case on the specific facts of your situation. There is no blanket rule for determining what makes a fit parent. You simply must prove that it is not in the best interest of the child that the other parent gets custody rights.
You can often prove the other parent is unfit by showing a history of abuse or domestic violence. If the other parent has left and essentially abandons your child, this is also grounds for labeling him or her as unfit. Drug abuse issues and severe and uncontrolled mental health issues may also be a consideration of the court when determining if a parent can properly parent a child.